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Priest who hates Paedos with a Passion

October 31, 2006 ·  By Will Payne and Nicola Tallant, Irish Daily Mirror

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Sickening scenes of child prostitution and abuse have been described in an Irish priest’s disturbing account of his mission to bring down the Philippines vile sex trade.

Father Shay Cullen was so appalled by what he witnessed during his time in South East Asia that he dedicated his life to exposing the country’s seedy underbelly.

In his book Passion and Power, Fr Cullen from Glenageary in Dublin describes the horrific sights he saw every day in his 30 years in the Philippines.

He reveals how children as young as two were bought as playthings by perverted tourists for $40 a time.

In one passage he writes: “The streets were thronged with American sailors, all bar hopping, leading girls to a cheap hotel or carrying the small ones in their arms like children.

“Many of the girls were no more than 15 or 16. The sailors were tall, muscular and macho, dressed in bulging T-Shirts and gym shorts, they walked about as if they owned the place, shouting obscenities to each other, waving beer bottles, grabbing the girls that stood in the doorways of the sex bars and clubs.

“The women and young girls were from far flung provinces where their brothers, sisters and parents lived and died in poverty of disease, malnutrition and neglect.”

Fr Shay, a three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, is at home in Ireland this week to promote his new book. He hopes it will raise funds for his Preda Organization, which helps rehabilitate children saved from pimps.

He said: “I have no idea how many children we have saved over the years but many of them come and visit me with their own children and talk about their experiences. Many of them are working for us at Preda.”

The book details how Fr Shay has brought countless paedophiles before the courts and even went undercover to buy children from pimps. He was integral in an investigation to identify one paedophile who had infected up to 18 teenage girls with STDs. And he launched a successful campaign to have the US military bases closed down as they were fuelling the sex industry.

But the priest said it was visiting the hospitals and makeshift abortion clinics that gave him the reality check.

He said: “Many a women or teenager died a painful death as the result of a botched abortions or delivering a baby in an unsanitary pool of blood in some tin-roofed shanty on hillside or a back-street slum.

“Here were the results of what went on behind the glare of the neon lights and honky tonk life of the Olonagapo sex industry, which was disgracefully protected and encouraged by the local mayors and officials.”

Hollywood superstar Martin Sheen is heading the books’ promotion from this base in Galway.

Sheen met Fr. Shay when he was filming Apocalypse Now in the Philippines and the two have been firm friends ever since. He Said: “I was taken bby him and his work. Fr. Shay is one of my heroes.” End

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