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 …
A MASON-FREE ZONE?
The three members of the North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal were asked to consider setting up a register of freemasons involved in the hearings. They refused.
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.”
Sir Ronald Waterhouse, the retired High Court judge who chaired the Tribunal, felt that the application was a slur on the integrity of the Tribunal’s staff.
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. read on...