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Beyond Belief

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781848949157

Price: £7.99

ON SALE: 1st April 2010

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General

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‘I was living in a world where a priest who spoke the words of God used me for sex, and there was no-one to tell. The world where this horror happened didn’t exist for anyone else.’ As a boy in Ireland where everyone — from among his own neighbours to the powers of church and state — chose to deny that a priest could sexually assault a child, Colm O’Gorman felt only shame, guilt and fear at the regular rape and abuse he suffered. But Colm would go on to make history, successfully suing the Roman Catholic Church, asking questions of the Pope himself and creating a watershed in history as hundreds more victims found the courage to report their abuse. Beyond Belief is a powerful story of a young man’s shame turning to outrage, and demonstrates that — whatever our past hurts — there is hope for the future if we are prepared to stand for truth.


This is the most important and moving story to come out of Ireland in many years. It shows how the gentle will inherit the earth.
Anne Enright
'[This] is a crucial document in the charting of a dark period in our history. It is also a story of bravery and survival, of strength and resilience, and will serve as an inspiration to many readers.
Colm Toibin
...inspirational and moving.
<i>Sunday Independent</i>
Few men have made such an extraordinary personal journey... I have interviewed several sufferers of systematic sexual abuse, but Colm, almost uniquely, doesn't come across as a victim. Nor is he self-conscious or bitter.
<i>Daily Telegraph</i>
a powerful and moving story and Colm tells it so articulately in print and interview.
ABC Radio, <i>National Life Matters</i>
[This] compelling memoir is wonderfully well-written, brilliantly paced and will surely be made into a film...This is a book you simply have to read. It could change your life...It is the memoir of a man whose courage and timing ultimately made the difference. With this book, he continues that mission by rescuing the story of child sexual abuse from media fatigue to make it compelling, relevant and current once again.
<i>Sunday Tribune</i>
I doubt you will read a more moving memoir this year than Beyond Belief...Parts of his beautifully written book will reduce the reader to tears, especially his description of his relationship with his father. It is this story - so typical of the dysfunctional communications some Irish fathers had with their sons a generation ago - that forms the other pillar upon which this valuable tome rests. His final paragraphs on forgiveness are pure poetry and deeply moving.
<i>Irish Times on Sunday</i>
One of the most inspiring and dignified voices heard in Ireland in recent times. He has triumphed over sexual abuse.
Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of the Republic of Ireland.
...a riveting account of his own abuse and his battle with the Church -- and he's a very good writer, which helps. It seems certain to be a bestseller.
<i>Irish Independent</i>
...a determined and fluent individual who has turned the trauma of his life into an extraordinary form of empowerment. O'Gorman transcends much of his terrible anger and brings some sense of resolution to what was, and is, a dark period in the story of modern Ireland.
<i>Irish Times</i>
(Colm) is a charismatic man, his words tumbling with the speed and lyrical cadence so typical of the Irish, yet so polished, so wholly formed in thought, that the deeply felt passion of it packs the punch of an evangelical preacher.
<i>Scotland on Sunday</i>
Beyond Belief is both shocking and inspirational, evoking the terrible loneliness of the abused child before channeling the adults frustration, anger and passion for the truth. Excellent.
<i>RTE Guide</i>
Compelling and moving. He is a very rare and clearsighted person to whom we owe a great deal.
<i>Books Ireland</i>
a chilling account of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests... Colm went on to successfully uncover the past and change the future with the first Irish inquiry into clerical sexual abuse and sue the Roman Catholic Church - forcing it to admit failing to protect its children. *****
<i>Manly Daily</i>