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Abuse victim calls for Caldey monk’s remains to be removed from island

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Father Thaddeus Kotik: One of his victim's wants his body removed from the island

A WOMAN who was abused by Father Thaddeus Kotik on Caldey Island in the 1970s and 1980s has said she wants his remains to be removed from the island and for an inquiry to be held.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous and spoke to the BBC under the pseudonym Charlotte, said that the she was threatened by Kotik as a child.

She told the BBC: “I still think that the island itself is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I just feel sad that it’s inhabited by a monastery.

“I feel sad for the island that it’s had to harbour revolting creatures. I have nothing against the physical island, it’s a piece of nature and it’s absolutely beautiful but I think that Father Thaddeus needs to be removed.

“That’s just the first step. The abbey should be thinking about that themselves. They need to get with the programme and start realising that this is a very, very serious issue.

“It changes how you grow up. It changes how you see the world and most importantly, it changes how you see your place in the world.

“It’s very important for me to not just have my story told. I don’t want anybody to say to me ‘oh you poor thing, oh that’s really sad, that must have been really hard’.

“I want the whole world to say this is an outrage, and it’s happening and why is it still happening?

“We are destroyed souls and we are left to do our own healing. And it’s an epidemic. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of people like me.”

Angela Burns AM has also called for an inquiry into the abuse. She said: “I think they’re burying their heads in the sand. They know it’s awful and they’re hoping that if they just keep up a wall of silence it doesn’t impact on them.

“I think they need to be really clear about their motivations. Are they protecting their faith or are they protecting the body of the church? If it’s just about protecting the body of the church they should be ashamed of themselves.”

Charlotte visited Caldey Island until the age of 11 and was one of six women to receive compensation for the abuse.

The Abbot of Caldey Island, Daniel van Santvoort, said that any allegations of abuse should be sent to the police of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. He added that he would co-operate fully with any investigations.

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Newgale: New £30m road proposed to combat coastal damage

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has revealed a preferred new route for a road around Newgale today (Sept 25) at an event in Roch.

The new stretch of road would begin at Pencym and end at a new roundabout near Roch.

A new route is needed due to fears about road closures during high tides and winds, as well as coastal damage caused by global warming.

Reports have suggested that the current Newgale road may not exist in 20 years times.

The new route could cost up to £30m – compared to £40m a proposed viaduct would cost – and would need funding from the Welsh Government.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “Transport officials will continue to work closely with the authority as they progress with their studies and firm up their proposals for addressing the current problems with the A487.

“Welsh Government is open to consider an application for funding to move forward the development work.”

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MP calls on Welsh Government to explain broadband delays

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STEPHEN CRABB has called on the Welsh Government to come clean over broadband rollout delays.

Minister Julie James AM, whose responsibilities include digital infrastructure and inclusion, has been urged to explain the reasons for delays to the rollout of superfast broadband to rural properties across Wales.

Last year, the Superfast Cymru scheme saw BT receive £425m in return for connecting the vast majority of premises in Wales to next-generation broadband.

When the contract ended, 90,000 mainly rural properties still had not been connected. Further details of another scheme to complete the work were due to be announced in July, but at the start of August, Julie James AM suddenly announced that ‘unforeseen issues’ were causing delays which could not be further discussed because of ‘commercial confidentiality’.

Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “It’s simply unacceptable for the Minister responsible to announce delays to the next stage of Broadband rollout but refuse to explain why. Access to reliable, fast broadband is of increasing importance to businesses, large and small, in Pembrokeshire and I have worked with many across the constituency to improve their broadband access.

“However, the digital divide continues to exist with rural communities in Pembrokeshire suffering again. It is an inescapable fact that delivery of broadband infrastructure is devolved to the Welsh Government and Julie James AM should now come forward and explain the reasons for these delays.”

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Air ambulance lands at ‘serious’ crash scene

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THE WALES AIR AMBULANCE has landed at the scene of a serious crash this morning (Sept 25) between the Sentry Cross and Honeyborough roundabouts on the A477.

Posts on Facebook from witnesses at the scene say a man is being treated by paramedics.

Police have said one car was involved in the incident.

In addition to the helicopter, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Welsh Ambulance Service and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are at the scene.

The road is currently closed with diversions in place.

A police spokesperson said:  “Dyfed-Powys Police is at the scene of a serious RTC between the Sentry Cross and Honeyborough roundabouts, Pembrokeshire.

“The A477 stretch between those roundabouts is currently closed while emergency services deal with the incident. One car is involved; the driver has received serious injuries.

“No further information is available at this time.”

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