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What the Bishops Knew

'What the Bishops Knew' by Hugh Costello fictionally explores an accusation of child abuse by a Catholic Priest in Ireland and how over several decades this was allegedly covered up within the hierarchy of the Church in an attempt to protect its reputation.

Mary Dowdall - Brid Brennan
Bob McCabe - Mark Lambert
Barry Glynn - Patrick Fitzsymons
Barry, aged 10 - Peter Gilmore
Fr Brand - Kevin Flood
Monsignor Milligan - Pat Laffan
Professor McGovern - Niall Cusack
Bishop Culleton - Gerard Murphy
Cardinal Finnerty - Des Nealon
Director Eoin O'Callaghan

The writer:
As well as being a regular writer for R4, Hugh Costello is an Emmy Award nominated screenwriter (Bernard and Doris with Ralph Fiennes and Susan Sarandon). He is loathe to see himself as the scourge of the Catholic Church but his interest in its affairs has lead him to write a number of plays about the Vatican; Conclave and My Dear Children of the Whole World.

Directed by Eoin O'Callaghan

Please find details of organisations which offer advice and support below.

The Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service has been in existence since 1977 and has developed over the years into a highly reputable child protection agency. Today the charity is not only involved in developing child protection policies and safe practice but in recognition of the wider issues, offers help and support to all those affected by abuse as well as those seeking to provide pastoral care. They can offer support to anyone affected by abuse within the church or not. Contact them by phone on 0845 120 45 50, 24 hours a day or visit

Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors is a support group for women and men from Christian backgrounds who have been sexually abused by Ministers or Clergy, as children or as adults. They support both survivors who have remained within their Christian communities and for those who have left. Contact them by phone on 0808 801 0340, Tuesdays from 2-5pm and Wednesdays & Thursdays from 6-9pm, or log onto

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is a charity that offers support, advice and guidance to adult survivors of any form of childhood abuse. You can contact them on 0800 085 3330 Monday to Thursday between 10am and 9pm and Friday between 10am and 6pm or visit

Stop it Now! UK and Ireland works to protect children and prevent child sexual abuse. Their helpline offers confidential advice, information and support to anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse and helps callers take the action that is in the best interests of children. The helpline is available to any adult who is concerned that an adult or child they know is sexually abusing a child, or is at risk of doing so; is concerned about their own thoughts or behaviour towards children, including an interest in child pornography; or is a parent or carer of a child whose sexual behaviour or interests they find worrying. Contact the Freephone Helpline on 0808 1000 900, 9am to 9pm Monday to Thursday and on Fridays from 9am - 7pm, or visit There is also an email address and Emails received are anonymised to preserve confidentiality. That address is

Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. Contact the Samaritans by phone on 08457 90 90 90, 24 hours a day, or log onto

Release date:

45 minutes

Last on

Tue 1 May 2012 14:15

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