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Columban issues warning to sex tourists


Campaigning Columban priest, Father Shay Cullen, has used the occasion of his naming as a Person of the Year to warn Irish sex tourists that they will be monitored by his charitable organisation if they visit the Philippines.

Speaking after his naming as one of Ireland’s People of the Year for 2008 at an awards ceremony in Dublin, Fr Cullen pointed out that the numbers of Irishmen now travelling to the Philippines for sexual contact with minors is on the increase.

”They’re having sex with underage girls,” he said of the men he has personally encountered, many travelling under the pretence of enjoying a golfing holiday.

”When they return to Ireland they want to have sex with children again, thereby putting Irish children in danger. It’s inevitable that an Irishman or several Irishmen will be facing charges there soon.”

Fr Cullen then warned that Irishmen travelling illicitly to the Philippines could expect to be monitored by his organistion, the People’s Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation (PREDA), which actively pursues child exploiters and performs sting operations to capture abusers.

Born in Dublin in 1943, Fr Shay was ordained in 1969 before travelling to the Philippines, where he quickly became involved in rescuing street children and defending them against sexual predators.

He established PREDA in 1974, through which he has been responsible for highlighting the dangers for vulnerable youngsters in the Philippines, and most especially from paedophiles who travel there to avail of sex tourism.

He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times for his missionary work.

Today, in addition to its rescue efforts for children, PREDA actively visits jails where children are often held, and offers education and legal representation for the children in its care.


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