The Freemason Connection To The North Wales Child Abuse Cover Up ‘Inquiry’
THE NORTH Wales Child Abuse Tribunal cleared freemasonry of any involvement in covering up child abuse.
But why did some fascinating information about the brotherhood never come to light? Why did the Tribunal’s own leading counsel not declare that he was a mason? And why was there no mention of a police lodge during the public hearings? REBECCA investigates how freemasonry came out of the inquiry smelling of roses …
THE WATERHOUSE Tribunal set the tone for its approach to freemasonry right from day one.In the very first session the barrister for one of the groups of former residents of care homes made an application about masonry.
The barrister, Nick Booth, asked that “the Tribunal should keep a register of the masonic membership amongst its staff, the members, its representatives and witnesses who appear before it”.
He explained: “The duty of loyalty to a brother mason and his duty of impartiality if he is involved in the administration of justice is not a new one and it’s one that’s very much in the public eye, particularly at the moment.”
“The Tribunal will be aware of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee which is investigating the issue,” he added.
“Sir, I stress, if I have not stressed it before, that I am not making any suggestion of disreputable conduct, merely to put the matter beyond the reach of any possible public comment which might undermine the public confidence in the Inquiry.”
The chairman of the Tribunal, Sir Ronald Waterhouse, and the two other members of the Tribunal, retired for a brief adjournment.“It will not surprise you that the application is refused,” said Sir Ronald on their return.
“As far as the staff are concerned,” Sir Ronald said, “in so far as the application carries any reflection upon the integrity of the staff of the Tribunal it’s repudiated, wholly unwarranted; there is no evidence whatsoever to support any suggestion that they have not acted with complete integrity…”
“The members of the Tribunal are in this position: the Tribunal was set up by Parliament and the members of it were appointed by the Secretary of State for Wales and the [criticism of the composition] should be addressed through the proper channels.”
He said that the Tribunal’s own Counsel, Gerard Elias QC, was appointed by the Attorney General.
“Any criticism … should be addressed through the usual Parliamentary channels,” he suggested.
Gerard Elias said nothing during Booth’s application and he remained silent after Sir Ronald had made the Tribunal’s ruling.
Yet both Sir Ronald and Gerard Elias knew something that journalists reporting the Tribunal would have wanted to know.
Gerard Elias is a mason. He’s a member of perhaps the most powerful masonic lodge in Wales, Dinas Llandaf. The lodge, which meets in Cardiff, is made up mainly of legal professionals and members of the Conservative party, although there are members from other political groups.