May 202009
 

The report by the Commission on Child Abuse has been published. It deals with abuse in industrial schools and reformatories in Ireland, and its conclusions are truly sickening, highlighting clerical indifference to children’s welfare and the savagery with which they beat and raped young children.

The report describes the system as a Victorian model of childcare that failed to adapt to Twentieth Century conditions and did not prioritise the needs of children. According to the report, children were committed by the Courts using procedures with the trappings of the criminal law. The authorities were unwilling to address the failings in the system or consider alternatives.

These are some of its findings, taken verbatimfrom the report, except for some minor adjustments to make the post read more clearly.All of the following words were written by the Commission without any additional remarks by me. They speak for themselves.

______________________

The Christian Brothers failed to accept any congregational responsibility for the physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect that took place in institutions run by them. They were defensive in response to complaints.

Artane

In Artane industrial school, children were left feeling powerless and defenceless in the face of bullying and abuse by staff and fellow pupils. The school was so imbued with the harshness of the underlying regime, that children constantly felt under threat and fearful.

Physical punishment of boys in Artane was excessive and pervasive and, because of its arbitrary nature, led to a climate of fear amongst the boys.

Sexual abuse of boys in Artane by Brothers was a chronic problem. Complaints were not handled properly and the steps taken by the Congregation to avoid scandal and publicity protected perpetrators of abuse. The safety of children was not a priority at any time during the relevant period.

Neglect and emotional abuse were also found to have been features of Artane. The numbers of children made it impossible for any child to receive an adequate standard of care.

Many of the details of this abuse were contained in the Congregations’ own records that became known as the €˜Rome Files’

Letterfrack

It was an inhospitable, bleak, isolated institution accessable only by car or bicycle and out of reach for family or friends of boys incarcerated there.

Physical punishment was severe, excessive and pervasive and by being administered in public or within earshot of other children it was used as a means of engendering fear and ensuring control.

Sexual abuse was a chronic problem. For two thirds of the relevant period there was at least one sexual abuser in the school, for almost one third of the period there were two abusers in the school and at times there were three abusers working in Letterfrack at the same time. Two abusers were present for periods of 14 years each and the Congregation could offer no explanation as to how these Brothers could have remained in the School for so long undetected and unreported.

Children were emotionally and physically neglected throughout the relevant period and those children who could have benefited from family contact were deprived of this because of the remoteness of Letterfrack’s location. This isolation impacted on boys and Brothers who were posted there.

Tralee

St Joseph’s Industrial School. Serious allegations were outlined both in documents and in oral testimony about a Brother who was violent and dangerous over a number of years . This Brother was moved from a day school because his violence towards children was causing severe problems with their parents, and was moved to Tralee Industrial School. Such a move displayed a callous disregard for the safety of children in care. He went on to terrorise children in Tralee for over seven years.

Children were left unprotected and vulnerable to bullying by older boys and this was stated to be a particular problem in Tralee both in terms of physical and sexual abuse.

One ex-Brother, Professor Tom Dunne, gave evidence about his experience of Tralee and he described a cold hostile culture where the boys were treated with harshness: €˜It was a secret enclosed world, run on fear’.

Dun Laoghaire

Carriglea Park Industrial School. A period of near-anarchy was tackled by the imposition of a harsh punitive regime which was facilitated by the transfer of Brothers with a known propensity for severe punishment to the school.

Glin

A system of harsh and pervasive punishment existed in Glin during the relevant period. Brothers with a known propensity for sexual abuse were transferred to Glin indicating a serious indifference to the safety of children.

Salthill

Violent Brothers who were moved around from one school to another continued their violent behaviour. In Salthill, one Brother, who had been described as cruel in Letterfrack, continued his severe treatment of boys in Salthill and another continued his harshness in schools he was assigned to after Salthill. Internal Christian Brothers’ Reports identified a €˜severity in attitude’ towards the boys in the 1950s and the records would indicate a concern with six Brothers who had served in Salthill with regard to physical punishment.

The Salthill report deals with a relatively recent allegation of sexual abuse against a Brother who had been transferred from Salthill €˜following a grave indiscretion with one of the boys’ in the early 1960s. The treatment of a boy who alleged sexual abuse against this Brother some twenty years later by Congregational Authorities was shameful and disturbing.

Cabra

St Joseph’s School for the Deaf. It was the subject of Eastern Health Board Investigations in the 1980s which revealed disturbing levels of sexual abuse and peer sexual activity amongst boys who were resident there. These documents reveal a persistent failure on the part of school Authorities to protect children from bullying and abuse.

In addition, the documents revealed that physical punishment of these children continued into the mid-1990s and that staff were protected by management when physical abuse was discovered.

The Industrial Schools owned and managed by the Christian Brothers did not keep a Punishment Book as was required by the Rules.

John Brander

Brander taught children in the primary and secondary school sector in Ireland for 40 years. He was eventually convicted of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

He began his career as a Christian Brother and after three separate incidents of sexual abuse of boys, he was granted dispensation from his vows. This chapter goes on to describe this man’s progress through six different schools where he physically terrorised and sexually abused children in his classroom. At various times during his career, parents attempted to challenge his behaviour but he was persistently protected by diocesan and school authorities and moved from school to school. Complaints to the Department of Education were ignored. The Committee received a large number of complaints from individual national schools and the investigation conducted into the career of Mr Brander, apart from being shocking in itself, also illustrates the ease with which sexual predators could operate within the educational system of the State without fear of disclosure or sanction.

Oblates

Daingean Reformatory

This was the only boys’ reformatory in the State for most of the relevant period and was managed by but not owned by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The physical abuse of boys in Daingean was extreme. Floggings which were ritualised beatings should not have been tolerated in any institution and they were inflicted even for minor transgressions. Children who passed through Daingean were brutalised by the experience and some were damaged by it.

Apart from a cruel regime of punishment, Daingean was an anarchic Institution. It was run by gangs of boys who imposed their rules on the others and the supervision by the religious Brothers and Priests was minimal and ineffectual.

Serious questions were raised about two Brothers who were in the school for long periods but in general allegations of sexual abuse were concentrated on abuse by older boys. The gangland culture fostered the development of protective relationships between the boys and these relationships sometimes developed a sexual aspect. The boy seeking the protection had little option but to comply with the demands of the older boy and the authorities were dismissive of any complaints.

The Rosminian Order

St Patrick’s Industrial School in Upton, County Cork

The Order conceded that punishment was abusive and at times brutal.

The issue of sexual abuse in this institution emerged most strikingly through material that came to the Investigation Committee’s attention following a search by the Order of material in their archive in Rome, which disclosed a considerable number of documents, 68 in all, dating from 1936 to 1968. They dealt with, among other things, 7 sexual abusers who worked in Upton. These documents provided a valuable contemporary account of how sexual abuse was dealt with.

Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Co Tipperary

the Order have conceded that there was excessive and severe punishment in the Institution. Complainants spoke of a climate of fear and of harsh and at times brutal punishments.

The extent of sexual abuse in this institution was as serious and disturbing as in Upton. Two religious members of the Rosminian Order and one layman were convicted of sexual abuse of boys in Ferryhouse. Another religious who served in Ferryhouse was convicted of a crime committed elsewhere on a boy who had previously been a resident of Ferryhouse and who was then living in another Rosminian institution. These three religious offenders served in senior positions in Ferryhouse and the layman was a volunteer there for different periods of years between 1968 and 1988.

During almost all of the period covered by the inquiry, there was at least one sexual abuser present in Ferryhouse.

The living conditions in both schools were poor, inadequate and overcrowded although conditions in Ferryhouse did improve from the late 1970s. Children were underfed and badly clothed and received poor education and training.

Presentation Brothers

Greenmount Industrial School, Co Cork

For some specific periods during its history, Greenmount operated a harsh and severe regime. The level of corporal punishment tolerated depended on the attitude of management at the time. Some Resident Managers were more severe than others.

The report into Greenmount contains a detailed analysis of an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against two Brothers who were on the staff at the time. This matter was dealt with inadequately at the time and one of the Brothers went on to abuse in other schools he was assigned to.

Food clothing and accommodation were poor in Greenmount and education and aftercare were badly provided.

Brothers of Charity

Lota Glanmire, Co Cork.

The significant element in the account of Lota was the deeply disturbing accounts of sexual abuse of vulnerable children by religious staff. In addition, the indifference of the Congregational Authorities in addressing the issue facilitated the abuse in Lota for many years. In one case, a Brother who was known by the Congregation to have abused in England and was known to the police there, was brought back to Ireland and assigned a teaching position in Lota, where he worked for over 30 years. This Brother admitted to multiple sexual assaults of boys in the school. The circumstances of his return to Ireland and the handling of allegations against him whilst in Lota are a serious indictment of the Brothers of Charity. The Brothers have admitted that abuse took place but, as in the case of other Orders, they have not accepted Congregational responsibility for it.

Sisters of Mercy

Goldenbridge Industrial School

A high level of physical abuse was perpetrated by Religious and lay staff in Goldenbridge. The method of inflicting punishments and the implements used were cruel and excessive and physical punishment was an immediate response to even minor infractions. Children were in constant fear of beatings and in many cases were beaten for no apparent reason. A feature of this school was a rosary bead industry that was operated from the school. This industry was conducted in a way that imposed impossible standards on children and caused great suffering to many of them. It was a school that was characterised by a regime of extreme drudgery, both in terms of the rosary bead making and the daily workload of the children.

Goldenbridge was an emotionally abusive institution. Girls were humiliated and belittled on a regular basis and treated with contempt by some staff members. It was characterised by an absence of kindness or sympathy for the children.

Cappoquin Industrial School, County Waterford

This institution was identified by the Department of Education Inspector as being particularly neglectful of the children in its care in the 1940s. Children were described as malnourished and underweight.

Cappoquin adapted to the Group Home system in the 1970s but it was marred by highly dysfunctional management throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Alcohol abuse and inappropriate relationships between senior personnel interfered significantly with the standard of care provided to the children. This period was marked by indifference on the part of the Community of Sisters in the convent attached to the school, which allowed a dangerous and neglectful situation to continue.

Clifden

Clifden was an institution that was strongly affected by the personality of the Resident Manager who was in office from 1936 to 1969. She was described by complainants and respondent witnesses as a strict, harsh woman who ruled and dominated all aspects of life in the institution. She treated the school as her personal domain and worked a punishing schedule with little help or support. She was unable to give the children the care they needed and used harsh physical punishment not just to correct misbehaviour, but also to enforce discipline and order. A significant feature of the evidence was the culture of detachment and lack of affection that was described by both respondent witnesses and complainants.

Newtownforbes

This school repeated many of the problems identified in Clifden. It was consistently under-staffed with a heavy workload falling to the Resident Manager and much of the day to day work being done by the children themselves. Newtownforbes was severely criticised by Department of Education Inspections in the 1940s for serious neglect and abuse of children who were found with bruising that was not satisfactorily explained. Conditions improved into the 1950s and 1960s but it was a strictly regimented school that used corporal punishment to punish and to maintain order. There was a heavy emphasis on domestic chores and this together with childcare duties impeded the education of many children. Children were undermined and emotionally neglected by a regime that did not offer kindness or encouragement to children who had no-one else to look out for them.

Sisters of Charity

St Patrick’s Industrial School which was founded in 1879 accommodated 186 boys up to the age of 10. A significant feature of this school was the very young ages of the children and the large group of them all being cared for by a small number of nuns. Because they were so young when they were there, witnesses tended to remember specific episodes rather than have overall memories of St Patrick’s. Some of these incidents pointed to a regime that was harsh and unpredictable with corporal punishment the usual response to misbehaviour. Three male complainants described incidents of sexual abuse and the significant factor in each account was the child’s inability to confide to the Sister who was caring for him. Men who were employed in the school appeared to have ready access to these small boys and there was no awareness of the risks posed by this.

St Joseph’s Kilkenny

In general this was a well run institution but it was dogged at two separate periods in its history by serious instances of sexual abuse and the Congregation did not deal with these appropriately or with the children’s best interests in mind. In 1954, a handyman who had been employed in the school for the previous 30 years was discovered to have been grossly sexually abusing girls from as young as eight years old. An investigation which was conducted by the Department of Education, confirmed the abuse but the children concerned were offered no comfort and the perpetrator, although dismissed from the school, was not reported to the Gardai.

The second period in which sexual abuse arose in St Joseph’s was during the 1970s after the school admitted boys, when two care workers who were sexually abusing boys were dismissed. Both men went on to abuse again after leaving St Joseph’s and the failure of the Congregation to deal decisively with these men was a factor in this.

________

Conclusions

1.Physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions. Sexual abuse occurred in many of them, particularly boys’ institutions. Schools were run in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff.

2. The system of large-scale institutionalisation was a response to a nineteenth century social problem, which was outdated and incapable of meeting the needs of individual children. The defects of the system were exacerbated by the way it was operated by the Congregations that owned and managed the schools. This failure led to the institutional abuse of children where their developmental, emotional and educational needs were not met.

3. The deferential and submissive attitude of the Department of Education towards the Congregations compromised its ability to carry out its statutory duty of inspection and monitoring of the schools. The Reformatory and Industrial Schools Section of the Department was accorded a low status within the Department and generally saw itself as facilitating the Congregations and the Resident Managers.

4. The capital and financial commitment made by the religious Congregations was a major factor in prolonging the system of institutional care of children in the State. From the mid 1920s in England, smaller more family-like settings were established and they were seen as providing a better standard of care for children in need. In Ireland, however, the Industrial School system thrived.

5. The system of funding through capitation grants led to demands by Managers for children to be committed to Industrial Schools for reasons of economic viability of the institutions.

6. The system of inspection by the Department of Education was fundamentally flawed and incapable of being effective.

7. Many witnesses who complained of abuse nevertheless expressed some positive memories: small gestures of kindness were vividly recalled.

8. More kindness and humanity would have gone far to make up for poor standards of care.

Physical abuse

9. The Rules and Regulations governing the use of corporal punishment were disregarded with the knowledge of the Department of Education.

10. The Reformatory and Industrial Schools depended on rigid control by means of severe corporal punishment and the fear of such punishment.

11. A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.

12. Children who ran away were subjected to extremely severe punishment.

13. Complaints by parents and others made to the Department were not properly investigated.

14. The boys’ schools investigated revealed a pervasive use of severe corporal punishment.

15. There was little variation in the use of physical beating from region to region, from decade to decade, or from Congregation to Congregation.

16. Corporal punishment in girls’ schools was pervasive, severe, arbitrary and unpredictable and this led to a climate of fear amongst the children.

17. Corporal punishment was often administered in a way calculated to increase anguish and humiliation for girls.

Sexual abuse

18. Sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions. The situation in girls’ institutions was different. Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors or in outside placements, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls’ schools.

19. It is impossible to determine the full extent of sexual abuse committed in boys’ schools. The schools investigated revealed a substantial level of sexual abuse of boys in care that extended over a range from improper touching and fondling to rape with violence. Perpetrators of abuse were able to operate undetected for long periods at the core of institutions.

20. Cases of sexual abuse were managed with a view to minimising the risk of public disclosure and consequent damage to the institution and the Congregation. This policy resulted in the protection of the perpetrator. When lay people were discovered to have sexually abused, they were generally reported to the Gardai. When a member of a Congregation was found to be abusing, it was dealt with internally and was not reported to the Gardaí.

21. The recidivist nature of sexual abuse was known to religious authorities.

22. When confronted with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of the religious authorities was to transfer the offender to another location where, in many instances, he was free to abuse again. Permitting an offender to obtain dispensation from vows often enabled him to continue working as a lay teacher.

23. Sexual abuse was known to religious authorities to be a persistent problem in male religious organisations throughout the relevant period.

24. In the exceptional circumstances where opportunities for disclosing abuse arose, the number of sexual abusers identified increased significantly.

25. The Congregational authorities did not listen to or believe people who complained of sexual abuse that occurred in the past, notwithstanding the extensive evidence that emerged from Garda investigations, criminal convictions and witness accounts.

26. In general, male religious Congregations were not prepared to accept their responsibility for the sexual abuse that their members perpetrated.

27. Older boys sexually abused younger boys and the system did not offer protection from bullying of this kind.

28. Sexual abuse of girls was generally taken seriously by the Sisters in charge and lay staff were dismissed when their activities were discovered. However, nuns’ attitudes and mores made it difficult for them to deal with such cases candidly and openly and victims of sexual assault felt shame and fear of reporting sexual abuse.

29. Sexual abuse by members of religious Orders was seldom brought to the attention of the Department of Education by religious authorities because of a culture of silence about the issue.

30. The Department of Education dealt inadequately with complaints about sexual abuse. These complaints were generally dismissed or ignored. A full investigation of the extent of the abuse should have been carried out in all cases.

Neglect

31. Poor standards of physical care were reported by most male and female complainants.

32. Children were frequently hungry and food was inadequate, inedible and badly prepared in many schools.

33. Witnesses recalled being cold because of inadequate clothing, particularly when engaged in outdoor activities.

34. Accommodation was cold, spartan and bleak. Sanitary provision was primitive in most boys’ schools and general hygiene facilities were poor.

35. The Cussen Report recommended in 1936 that Industrial School children should be integrated into the community and be educated in outside national schools. Until the late 1960s, this was not done in any of the boys’ schools investigated and in only in a small number of girls’ schools.

36. Where Industrial School children were educated in internal national schools, the standard was consistently poorer than that in outside schools.

37. Academic education was not seen as a priority for industrial school children.

38. Industrial Schools were intended to provide basic industrial training to young people to enable them to take up positions of employment as young adults. In reality, the industrial training afforded by all schools was of a nature that served the needs of the institution rather than the needs of the child.

Emotional abuse

39. A disturbing element of the evidence before the Commission was the level of emotional abuse that disadvantaged, neglected and abandoned children were subjected to generally by religious and lay staff in institutions.

40. The system as managed by the Congregations made it difficult for individual religious who tried to respond to the emotional needs of the children in their care.

41. Witnessing abuse of co-residents, including seeing other children being beaten or hearing their cries, witnessing the humiliation of siblings and others and being forced to participate in beatings, had a powerful and distressing impact.

42. Separating siblings and restrictions on family contact were profoundly damaging for family relationships. Some children lost their sense of identity and kinship, which was never recovered.

43. The Confidential Committee heard evidence in relation to 161 settings other than Industrial and Reformatory Schools, including primary and second-level schools, Children’s Homes, foster care, hospitals and services for children with special needs, hostels, and other residential settings. The majority of witnesses reported abuse and neglect, in some instances up to the year 2000. Many common features emerged about failures of care and protection of children in all of these institutions and services.

_______________________

Bock comments.

Now, if you managed to read all of that without getting sick, well done.

Here we have a catalogue of failure by the State, indifference on the part of the church, and brutality by the religious orders. We have absolute denial of responsibility by all but the Rosminians. The Christian Brothers in particular, are refusing to acknowledge their role in brutalising generations of children who were arrested, convicted and imprisoned as criminals for all manner of offences that arose directly from poverty.

The Dunleavy report on Glin, for example shows the shocking list of things children were convicted of, and imprisoned for, to be raped and beaten by the savages of the Christian Brothers:

Reason for admission Number
Destitution 111
Larceny 62
Not attending school 61
Wandering 49
Having a parent not a proper guardian 38
Parents unable to control child 12
Receiving alms 10
Being under the care of a parent with criminal habits 6
Homelessness 5
Fraudulent conversion 2
Housebreaking 2
Assault 2
Malicious damage 2
Total 362

And for all their crimes against children, do you think the clergy are making restitution?

No. They’re not. These people are still sitting smug and safe in their denial while the taxpayer foots the €1.3 billion cost, at a time when the country simply does not have the money.

The report speaks of excessive deference towards the clergy in the 1940’s but overlooks the grovelling deal struck by Michael Woods and Bertie Ahern that bailed out the clergy using State funds. Your money and mine.

How many of these abusers will be jailed? Will the head of the Christian Brothers be dragged in front of a court and forced to explain his despicable denial of what his colleagues did to these children?

These holy men and women, Christians all, beat, raped, starved and humiliated defenceless children. In some instances, they killed them.

These holy men and women are the same people who dictated to the people of this land, including our our parents and grandparents since the foundation of this State, how they should lead their lives, how they should frame their laws, what they should read, how they should arrange their sexual relationships, how many children they must have, how they should conduct their marriages.

Is there any logical reason why a bunch of priests or monks or nuns should be allowed to run any institution? Any reason at all? I can’t see any reason why men and women who are completely fucked up by sexual frustration should be allowed to control children’s welfare, or anything else for that matter.

This really is a screwed up country.

_________________________

Full report and executive summary HERE

Here’s the excellent Paddy Doyle who suffered more than most at the hands of the religious orders. Read him.

___________________________

Also on Bock:

Child Abuse – PR Guidance for Bishops

Oh, the Sisters of Mercy, they are not departed or gone.

Louise O’Keeffe and Sexual Abuse in Ireland

Eileen Flynn Dies

Catholic Bishops and irish Education System

What Dirt Have the Nuns Got on Bertie Ahern?



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  80 Responses to “Commission on Child Abuse Report Published”

Comments (76) Pingbacks (4)
  1.  

    You should have put a warning on this. I vomited up my guts after reading.

  2.  

    Bock,

    I’m English and Protestant and only came to live on this island in 1983 so know feck all about what went on, but I can’t understand why none of the politicians had the balls to stand up to the church. Was Noel Browne the only man ever to oppose McQuaid & Co?

    It’s sickening that the Brothers will not have to lose a moment’s sleep after all this, having sued the State in 2004 to secure secrecy.

  3.  

    Gary — Wasn’t the title enough warning?

    Ian — I don’t understand it either.

  4.  

    heavy reading,but compelling none the less,fair play for posting it bock

  5.  

    No words in the dictionary will suffice, nor no sentence can convey my horror at what I have just read. This is the heart of darkness of our pathetic little republic.

  6.  

    This is where I feel most sorry for atheists, because at least I can pin some fucking hope on the righteous anger of God Almighty for the guilty. He knows I’m no saint in a glasshouse, but where in the name of anything Christian is there a single shred of Christianity in this whole deceitful, dreadful apparatus? Maybe, in my more bleeding hearted moments, I could look at an individual case and cite history repeating itself, the perpetrator was himself/herself a victim yada yada, but not when confronted with this magnitude of church machinery and state complicity. A reckoning will happen, and my soul takes slight solace in that. Fuck all use on this mortal coil for the poor misbegotten souls, they who had no comfort from the shadows all their miserable childhoods long. God damn the strength of their tormentors’ hands. Oh but it was so long ag- Hell no!

    Hell? Yes.

  7.  

    you might be interested in the fact that the current pope signed documents sent to all bishops around the world commanding them to keep silence on this sort of thing.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection

    He doesn’t just look evil…

  8.  

    I’m sorry Bock I didn’t read all your post but I have just heard a discussion on RTE Radio 1. One incident for me stands out: a little boy was made eat his own shit after he soiled his bed. Made eat his own shit. This is concentration camp stuff. I am ashamed to be Irish. Part of a society that colluded in all of this. One question comes to mind: Did this systemic, instituionalised abuse go on for decades well into the 20th century in similar institutioins in Britain? Becasue if it didn’t, well, I rue the day we got our independence. We weren’t fit to govern ourselves. A fucking tabilban theocracy is all the first decades of Irish independence were.

  9.  

    Nick wtf are you onn about?These abuses were carried out in the name of christianity,the abusers would cleanse their decrepit souls of all wrong doing with a prayer or confession to your God!!!Look at all the wars caused in the name of christianity back through history.fuck sake what about W?..leave your god out of this,Religion is trouble..ask the Palestinians,and NO this was not a long time ago,cetainly no where near as long as your messiah was supposedly walkin the earth……….It was interesting to read some of the shit that was going on…one example would be the golden bridge school where inmates had to make 60 rosary beads a day n 100 on a saturday after the sisters of absolutely no mercy had a convenient arrangement with a local business man…so why the fuck are the irish people picking up the tab for these animals? surely the vatican and the land the church owns in this country would be able to cover this…the mind beggars belief…just goes to show how removed from reality our government still is,fuckin country yokel god fearing fucks that they are!!!

  10.  

    Hi, I was treated very badly as all the others were in St Josephs, Upton Cork. I never new about compensation , and now i am led to believe it’s to late for that.

    What I would like to know , does any one know what happened to a Brother Johnson who was my main abuser.

  11.  

    The thing that sickens me further about this is that they have waited until most if not all of the perpetrators have died before releasing the report therefore further bypassing any recourse to justice whatsoever. What force is at work here? Words fail me, tears flow and anger rages.

  12.  

    Pauleire wtf I’m on about is just this: drawing one simple distinction between faith and religion. I’m not apologising for any of these animals. I won’t leave my God out of it because if I did I’d as well go and hang myself right now. Belief has nothing to do with religion imho. Read Chapter 13, covering abuse of special needs kids (http://bit.ly/LNNR9) and if you can find God in there, a shred of God, in the actions of the scum in there then let me know. I won’t hold my breath. I need God tonight more than on most nights, reading this horror, and I’d wager that plenty more, in Palestine and Somalia and Turkey and Tennessee, need the same God and share the same faith. Religion has nothing to do with that.

    From p 241 of this Book of the Damned, a jolly little section relating to those with physical and intellectual special needs :

    13.31
    Witnesses reported that while attending special needs services they were physically abused and
    assaulted by various means including being hit with leather straps, canes, spade and broom
    handles, various types of sticks and brushes, kitchen implements, wooden coat hangers and
    rulers. They also reported having their heads held under water, being put into cold baths, having
    their hair cut and pulled, being forcibly fed, and being locked in outhouses, sheds and isolated
    rooms. Witnesses with sensory impairments described the particular fear and trauma associated
    with being physically abused when they could not see or hear abusers approaching them.

  13.  

    As the father of a little Downs Syndrome angel I find this particularly distressing. Meantime, I agree with Nick, this has nothing to do with God or religion, any more than the swimming coach jailed for sexually abusing children a few years back had to do with water. The men and women who carried out this abuse were not religious, true the hid behind the man made institutions of the church but they are not men of God. However, the abused children were obviously – in the eyes of this evil in our midst – children of a lesser God. I don’t know exactly what “legal arrangement” the churches have from 2004 to keep all the identities of their members, dead or alive, unnamed in any report. But I would appeal to Cardinal Sean Brady, leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, to renege on this arrangement and call for these criminals, dead or alive, to be brought to justice. If you close the door of the church on these calls for justice Cardinal, or try to hide behind ecclesiastical bureaucracy, it will be the final nail in the coffin of any moral authority you have left in Ireland.

  14.  

    Hear hear. The moral authority of our religious leaders is suspect through this complicity in any event, but nonetheless redemption, or at the very least the cleansing expression of true remorse, is to be hoped for. Yes, Cardinal, in the name of those sinners who hide in the frocks of the Church, remorse, repentance and some small resolve to atone would be a good place to start. Can one honestly call it reneging if one does the right thing, no matter how late one comes to it?

    And Abdul, I am father to a little downsie myself, and I have very little compassion in me tonight. To think of the defenceless little creatures. The anger rises in me something wicked. Something wicked indeed this way came, and continues to come, if the stories I hear whispered tonight elsewhere are true. We will be working some of this anger into The Emergency on Saturday morning on Newstalk, God willing, and this is not a plug for the show so much as a plug for the CICA report, which deserves as wide an audience as possible, unpalatable though its contents are.

  15.  

    No one is going to jail for any of this ….no one at the top that is. No political party will demand that those at the top are prosecuted. In the meantime the Irish people will continue to vote for all the main political parties who are responsible for their being no meaningful prosecutions.in the first place……and while all this is going on the Catholic Church will still be in control of almost every national schools in the country.

    People just don’t care….The state will do nothing just as it’s done nothing in the past. …….

    and the good people of Ireland will just carry on collecting their rents…..

  16.  

    Well said and give em hell Nick, and God bless your little Downsie, and all the other little Downsies as well, who, as you are well aware, have us all wrapped around their little fingers.

    The above report has tonight made the BBC, Amnesty International and CBS, one of the biggest news channels in the USA.

  17.  

    Unfortunately, there is still no mandatory inspection of institutions around the country that have ”housed” men and women with learning disabilities from a very young age. These institutions are by and large run by the religious.

  18.  

    This is my fourth attempt at starting a comment through a haze of rage and fury. I find I am not competent to continue it just yet. Some of the previous comments have touched on most of what I would have babbled about anyway so maybe I’d be better off leaving it be.

    I am enraged beyond reason at this very moment and have been ever since learning of some of the details this morning. It was fairly big news here today and something snapped inside me on the drive home as I listened to it on the radio.

    Fucking Nazi bastards the lot of them. Right to the very top.

  19.  

    Bock – truly horrendous stuff, with so much salt being rubbed in to many deep life altering wounds… B@stard Catholic institution leaders thinking they are too superior to acknowledge and beg for forgiveness… Government leaders who spit in the face of the abused by getting them (the taxpayer victims) to foot the bill for compensation (if any)…

    One of the wealthiest bodies in the world, the Catholic Church, has been unraveled time and again, in Ireland and abroad, as being power abusing, criminal sociopaths, who prey on the weak of body and mind, the tender of age… and they get away with it. I am trembling with anger at the mere thought of them continuing to hold positions of authority, not a single jot of remorse between them, the unutterable monsters.

    And lest I forget – there were plenty of lay- abusers facilitated by the various Orders, and plenty of lay people protected the protagonists after the fact. They could be our neighbours, our relatives, who under the misguided spell of the Churches power and authority, protected the abusers, and damned the children to ongoing abuse. They too are worthy of our revulsion…

  20.  

    … and the 2nd recommendation as a result of all this is to erect a memorial bearing the words of apology by Mr Bertie Ahearn.
    Take the cost out of the compo money.

  21.  

    Why wont they name and shame? Because it is still going on. It is so sad.
    I really think that there should be an online database that lets victims name names, dates, and a brief description of the crime so that we all know who these monsters are(.The victims can remain anonymous.)
    Also boycott the church……Hit them in the pocket ! anyone who puts money in the coffers is aiding and abeiting these animals,( if you must speak to God then do it at home.) how could anyone listen to a sermon from these hypocrites.

    also a petition and protest about the use of taxpayers money for compenstation THEN the church will do something as it loses its MONEY. I would love to see that day.
    Sorry to rant but I am so mad.

  22.  

    What sort of a mindset did the entities responsible for this have? They should have been drowned at birth. If there be no Hell one should be made for them.

  23.  

    One question comes to mind: Did this systemic, instituionalised abuse go on for decades well into the 20th century in similar institutioins in Britain?

    Pacman, no it didn’t.

    Try Bocks link to Paddy Doyle, interesting timeline there.

    http://www.paddydoyle.com/historyofneglect.html

    1933- Industrial schools were abolished in the UK, but not in Ireland.
    .
    .
    .
    1978- A child care worker at Madonna House kidnapped a boy in his care, took him to Edinburgh and drowned him in a bath in a hotel. The Minister for Health, Charles Haughey, rejected a call for a public enquiry into the matter, stating that it would serve no useful purpose.

  24.  

    I read the summery last evening. But as yet havent the gumption to click the link for the full report. But if ever there was a document that needed to be sent to each and every household in this State this is it, mind you it would do little harm if the Constitution went along with it.

    What the devil is Wandering when its sitting at home. And I had forgotten the roll of the ISPCC in all of this.

  25.  

    I’m reading a book called The Whisperers, which is about the lives of ordinary people in the Stalinist-era Soviet Union, and concentrates particularly on the terrors and purges of the 1930s and 1940s. On page atfer page it tells of the tragedies of ordinary people, most of whom were actual believers and fellow-travellers in the Communist experiment, and had fought for and supported the Russian Revolution ten years earlier.

    On a whim they were systematically killed, tortured, exiled – their lives and futures ruined forever. The ‘why’ as ever remains elusive, but ultimately it was the usual mix of too much power concentrated in the hands of a small number of idealists, combined with a pliant bureaucracy willing to do its bidding

    When I read this, all I could think of is …… we too had our Gulags … words fail me ….

    What is most schocking about the report is the implicit compliance of the State in all this. Something must be done to redress the balance, and it must be seen to be done.

  26.  

    Irish political independence was a myth. Political power passed from the British state to a clerically dominated middle and large farming class. The power afforded to the clergy in the secular sphere was immense. In this report we see documented the development of a vast stalig of repression, almost whooly directed against the poor and voiceless. Clerical control of education was immense and continues to be in most ways, though now exercised through lay sympathisers. Bring it to an end.

  27.  

    1. The deals negotiated with the Church authorities regarding compensation (2002) and ‘naming and shaming’ (2004) must be declared void ….

    2. As far as I know, the Canadian government kicked the Christian Brothers out of their country when a similar scandal broke over there a few years back …. The same should be done here …

  28.  

    If the religious have secured immunity, why does no-one pursue through the courts the civil servants complicit in cover ups? At least it might secure the naming of some of those responsible.

    Why is there no demand now for complete separation of church and state?

  29.  

    When you’re in a hole, you should stop digging, or in this case, this guy should bury himself:

    “The incoming leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has described as ‘courageous’ members of the clergy who have admitted abusing children in their care.”

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0521/abuse.html

  30.  

    Amazing stuff.

    I thought the apologies from the creepy Christian Brother and the nun and the cardinal on the news were the so insincere.

    Joe Little played a blinder, he was visibly shocked.

  31.  

    As a counsellor working with adult survivors of child sexual abuse there were absolutely no surprises in that report for me or any of my colleagues. The only surprise is that it took ten years to compile and publish. We have spent the past twenty years helping to pick up the shattered pieces of people’s lives, lives that have been ripped apart by the most brutal trauma imaginable. And even though I have heard the most degrading and violent of stories from survivors down through the years, this morning I was still moved to tears at the depth of hurt and pain inflicted on countless Irish children.

  32.  

    They should suffer for what they did. The people of this country cannot let this stand. I am enraged and so sad for the suffering done on those children throughout the years. Unlike Nick, I don’t believe there is a God to dole out justice in a life after this. So I want vengeance now, mass uprisings against those who enabled this and who still control so much of public life in both parts of the country. It is time to rid the place of their corrupt and corrupting control. No need for a guillotine, but the courts and prison service must be used to provide some measure of shaming and sentencing.

    I remember being a child and how powerless I was, and I had a very safe and happy childhood. I can’t imagine living in fear every day like generations of my country people have. I look at my own children, exasperating, joyful, vulnerable, hopeful and the idea that little people like them can be harmed for the perverse pleasure and convenience of religious orders fills me with fear and anger and unfortunately, hate.

  33.  

    I just read the link gerkeo (#29) posted. Disgusting. The abusers have no idea what courage means. The deserve no praise for telling of their crimes when they were finally pinned down and forced to admit some part of it.

  34.  

    The underlying problem here is cowardice I think. We let those fuckers run the country for decades, raping children. McAleese is shedding crocodile tears today I see, but did nothing when she had the chance , according to Christine Buckley. She’s nice and cosy with church top brass of course.

    People can make a difference though. If all the massgoers in the country told their local pp that they would have nothing more to do with the church, no more mass, no communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, until they: apologised for past wrongdoing, offered to shred the deal with the state (which Bock has written very informatively about) and offer instead a proper package of compensation, and promise to refer any abuse complaints to the Gardai from now on. For starters anyway. I bet you they would hop to it. They derive their power from all the Novena/Rosary women, dragging their husbands and kids to mass, the same women they treated like shit for generations. Those women have the power, if only they could see that they do not need this franchise/corporation to be good people, or to be close to God. As long as they have bums on seats, nothing will happen.

  35.  

    I was molested by that bastard, Shine, in The Lourdes Hospital,Drogheda, May 1971! I laugh about it, thank goodness.
    Your summary of the report is great, otherwise I’m dumstruck.
    We can’t ignore this.

  36.  

    Like the political and banking scandals, nothing will change until people are jailed for their actions. Reports with no names and no recriminations are useless, the guilty just divert their attention to something else. When the judiciary are investigated ( and that day will come) we’ll discover the full extent of rottenness in this Island. Where’s the conclusion that the religious should with immediate effect have no further role in the education system in Ireland? Disgrace.

    Profoundly ashamed to be Irish and confirmation, not that any is needed, that athiesm was the correct decision made long ago in my schooling years.

  37.  

    Still no sherriff, no possee, no judge, no law, no law enforcement. We call this shithole a ‘State’. Most animals will die to nurture and protect their young. Our Churches/priests/state officials torture, rape, starve children and how many child murders are they covering up? What next for the priests – roast a child for Sunday dinner – 8 year old thigh is nice and tender. We defer to these people and institutions? Fuck them the way they fucked our children. If this happened in any non white non christian country the ‘international community’ would be calling for Ireland to be fucking nuked and good riddance – the world would be a better place without us.

  38.  

    Almost ten years have passed since the reporting procedure began, and most of the abusers have been allowed to pass away quietly into the night with the dignity that they refused their victims. I first thought that they should all be hung drawn and quartered. Now however “On mature reflection” I am of the opinion that any death sentence would far too lenient and quick even with the drawing and quartering first.

    I’ve come to believe that there are far more fitting punishments, fitting in with and drawing from their own “Beliefs”. Some Old testament “Eye for an Eye” type punishments spring to mind. The last of these living Dark “Angels”, should now be rooted out and their remaining days on this plane should be spent locked away in rooms with bars, on the receiving end of the same torture that they put their victims through as a “Bitch to a guy named Butch”. Spending their last days in such torment would start a penance in accordance with the requirements of their religion, to allow for “Cleansing of the soul”.

    As I can’t believe that any god could possibly forgive such sins with a prayer and a wave of a hand from a man in a black overcoat, when they move on from here, half an eternity of such “Penance” would be fitting. This is where a “Purgatory” along the old lines would do a great job, to allow enough time for such soul-cleansing. Twenty or thirty thousand years or so should be almost sufficient, then they would be allowed to meet their victims face to face to complete the needed apologies. Of course where they would be sent after that depends on their own beliefs, but pictures of Dantés hell would be a fair reflection of what they told the rest of us would happen.
    This what they purport to belive in so I think it would be quite fitting that the punishment should fit the crime, and be completely in line with their own teachings and beliefs.

  39.  

    Sorry to repost but
    By “Apologies” above, I should have said “prostrate themselves in front of their victims and plead for forgiveness”.

  40.  

    Today’s Irish Times editorial by Geraldine Kennedy described the abuse as “torture” and I have no problem with that description, ritualized, systematic torture I’d go along with. However, in shining this light into the dark recesses of our past – which some say is another country – we are also obliged to put a degree of context on this. I am talking about corporal punishment, which I believe was outlawed throughout Europe in the early 80s. The younger readers in here might not be aware of same, you may even find this bizarre, but I assure you I’m not making it up as anyone in their 40s will testify. Corporal punishment involved getting physically beaten by a Christian brother, a nun, or a lay teacher for not having your homework done, or for something as trivial as getting a sum wrong or talking in class. Myself and a schoolmate even got a flaking because we left the ball on the ground too long – thus my definition playing soccer, “that English game” – when we were supposed to be playing Gaelic football. The beatings were administered using a stick, or a ruler or the infamous leather, specially designed for the purpose of inflicting pain on children. Usually you would have to hold your hand out for ten slaps from one of the above, pull your hand away and an extra two slaps were added to your punishment. Corporal punishment in schools was perfectly legal, some even extolled the virtues of a good hiding, “T’will make a man of you”. And our parents saw nothing wrong with this practice – if they did they would not have sent us to the schools. I am in no way comparing the few slaps that I got with the pain, humiliation, sexual, emotional and physical abuse of the misfortunate children citied in the above report. But at one point does a beating, and believe me ten slaps on the hand on a cold winters morning hurts, become torture? Was/is corporal punishment in fact torture? The above report has directly and indirectly pointed a finger at all the institutions of this state. The Churches, the education board, the teachers, our parents, government and society at large are all standing in the dock today. Will they enter as their defence the view that it was the accepted norm to physically chastise children in their times, that we cannot apply retrospective justice. Corporal punishment in schools meantime is still legal in many countries, including Australia. Meanwhile, if you ten year old son came home from school today with his hand full of welts and you asked him what happened to him and he replied that he was beaten, with a leather slap, by an adult, for getting a spelling wrong, would you say “that’ll make a man of you”, or would you call a solicitor? However, travel back less than 30 years and those welts on your sons hand were accepted as an integral part of the educational system/

  41.  

    A spineless political culture, populated by the sons and daughters of former politicos who also had a craven deference to the clergy. When other countries were putting manners on the clergy, our forefathers were struggling to cosy up to this vile and reprehensible sect. We have reaped the reward now for acquiescence, lack of questioning and a general suspicion of responsible inquiry into so-called “honourable” institutions. I remember a priest condeming the first editorial of The Sunday Tribune when it was launched in the early 1980s. Vincent Browne had to cheek to declare no institution would escape his scrutiny in the paper. He was rounded on as an enemy of the church. Rid us of these meddling priests…..

  42.  

    @ Abdul
    Solicitor, Ha, I would thread its eyeballs with what ever tool was used. And I do not have any kids at all.

  43.  

    anybody hear Mannix Flynn on Newstalk in the last hour?,summed it all up suberbly,’nazi germany would be clapping’……and now the childrens minister Andrews on,talking through his arse…..

  44.  

    A former Nazi soldier who founded an extremist religious cult in Chile has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children…….Keeping his followers in almost total isolation from the outside world……There he preached a harsh regime of work and discipline……..He also tempted local peasants into sending their children to the compound with offers of free education………He was charged with child abuse in 1997 after one local boy escaped the compound and alerted authorities to the abuse……Tried and convicted in his absence, he was caught in Argentina last year and expelled to Chile, where he was retried and convicted of abusing 25 children between 1993 and 1997……Schaëfer, a corporal and medic in Hitler?s army, was not charged with any crimes after the Second World War. He became a fundamentalist preacher but fled with his followers to Chile after accusations of child abuse in Germany.

    We Irish have our own ways of dealing with these things………………….

  45.  

    Joe Scanlon posted this link on Grandad’s site:

    http://www.catholicleague.org/release.php?id=1616

  46.  

    Here’s how our elected leaders dealt with a critique by the Irish-American priest Father O Flanagan

    When he got back to America, Fr Flanagan spoke about it to the American Press. The matter was
    raised in the Dail in a debate on 23rd July 1946.
    Mr Sean Brady TD asked the Minister for Justice, Mr Boland:
    whether his attention has been drawn to criticisms of the prison and Borstal systems in
    this country reported to have been made by Monsignor Flanagan during his recent visit
    and published in the Irish newspapers, and to similar criticisms made on his return to the
    United States which were published in the New York Press on the 17th July, 1946 and
    whether he has any statement to make.

    Mr Boland replied:
    My attention has been drawn to the criticisms referred to. During his recent stay in this
    country Monsignor Flanagan did not see and did not ask to see any of the prisons or the
    Borstal institutions. I am surprised that in these circumstances an ecclesiastic of his
    standing should have thought it proper to describe in such offensive and intemperate
    language conditions about which he has no firsthand knowledge.

    Mr Flanagan TD asked if the Minister was ‘… aware of the fact that Monsignor Flanagan did not
    make these statements without very good foundation and very good reason for them’.
    Mr Brady TD asked ‘if his attention has been drawn to a statement made by Monsignor Flanagan
    and published in the American Press, that physical punishment, including the cat o’ nine tails, the
    rod, and the fist, is used in reform schools both here and in Northern Ireland’.

    The Minister replied:

    I have a cutting from a paper which contains a statement to that effect. I was not disposed
    to take any notice of what Monsignor Flanagan said while he was in this country, because
    his statements were so exaggerated that I did not think people would attach any
    importance to them. When, however, on his return to America he continues to make use
    of statements of this kind, I feel it is time that somebody should reply …
    After an interruption, he continued:

    All I have got to say is that these schools are under the management of religious Orders,
    who are self-effacing people, and who do not require any commendation from me.
    •
    The Minister chose to attack the man who had attacked the system. His support for
    the religious Orders closed the debate.

  47.  

    If Fianna Fail’s ill conceived blasphemy law was already passed, it would have been broken all over the country today by people reading this report. But the fault lies with the abusers, the state, the church and other organisations who covered this up, rather than respond to the cries of suffering children.

    The idea that one could go to jail for maligning a deity, but not for torturing a child in an industrial school
    says volumes about the priorities of those in power.

  48.  

    Ian , that article you linked reads initially like a defence of the institutions, but in fact, it makes an important point, essentially the following :

    “The Irish report suffers from conflating minor instances of abuse with serious ones, thus demeaning the latter. When most people hear of the term abuse, they do not think about being slapped, being chilly, being ignored or, for that matter, having someone stare at you in the shower. They think about rape. By cheapening rape, the report demeans the big victims.”

    I think this is a very important point. There was a guy on the news yesterday, talking about some of the kids having to do work, and do it “to a very high standard”, and he spoke of this in the same way as others were talking about “abuse” (i.e. rape). To me there is nothing necessarily wrong with having children do tasks per se, or doing them to a very high standard (obviously this depends on the type of work, number of hours, working conditions etc.), and to speak of this in the same breath as rape and some of the really horrific disgusting stuff detailed in the report only dilutes our outrage, and is either foolish or done deliberately for that purpose. I’d prefer if generic terms like “abuse” were replaced where appropriate with more precise terms e.g. rape, beating with a stick, etc. Lets tell it like it is and not use these softly softly terms. Its the least we owe the victims.

  49.  

    Maybe this explains the Viking invasion of Ireland. Lets go rape and pillage in Ireland boys, the locals do it themselves and dont give a fuck. You can even have the kids.

  50.  

    Catholic Leage Link.

    There’s a feedback form. I gave them a bit of a roasting for trying to minimise the fallout.
    Just because beating isn’t rape, doesn’t mean that REPEATED, systematic beatings of children, effectively imprisoned in these institutions is not serious.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/feedback.php

    “Please give us any information regarding incidents of anti-Catholic bias.”

  51.  

    am just so heartsick, words fail me, have been reading the reports on line , and am sitting here stunned, struck dumb and feeling so helpless, inadequate and heart sick…………………………..and I have friends and family all around me…………………………………… what a bout those poor souls who had no-one ????
    just doesn’t bear thinking about.
    and to think those bastards from the “Catholic Church ” & and ” Christian Brothers “( Christian my ass ) are going to get away with it !!!!!!

    is it any wonder the country is in the state it’s in, with the mentality we have been ingrained with , *bury your head in sand &and it will all go away*. I think for the first time in my life I am ashamed of being Irish and a Catholic !!cant say anymore, getting too angry here.
    Cheers Bock , as always true to your self

  52.  

    This country needs to total overhaul of culture, so that people finally get off their knees, and letting people away with stuff like this.
    If we, as a society, hadn’t been in awe at the authorities of state and church all those decades ago, then the first few cases of serious child abuse that were detected should have resulted in serious jail time for the abusers (if they hadn’t been killed by an angry mob beforehand). Too many people turned a blind eye, and so it continued.

    Too many people in this country still have undeserved respect for power, whether it’s priest or politicians.

  53.  

    Surely it’s past time we removed the “privilaged” position of the Catholic church from our constitution.

  54.  

    Where is Dana, Youth Defence, Kathy Sinnott, Libertas and the rest of the merry band of our catholic taliban who were preaching about how sacred our kids were last year as they scare-mongered people about 3 year old conscripts to a mythical EU Army?

    Has one of the defenders of the unborn bothered to comment on this? Because come Lisbon 2 you’ll have these christian fuckers all the over the place once again scaring people shitless with their lies. Speak up Dana ! Justin, where are you and the battalions of Schutzjugend ! Keeping a low profile today, typical fascist Bastards…..just like those sadistic rapists they admire so much.

    No. Silence reigns in taliban heaven today, “cup of tea, father? ….will I turn down the radio your worship?” about the only hushed conversation audible.

    For once I hope there’s a hell just like the one those cunts used to tell us about when we were in short trousers.

    If the “christian” brothers and sisters of “mercy” and all those other institutions of rape and abuse refuse to name the abusers in their midst, then surely we can assume they are sharing a collective guilt ,and are all, to a depraved man and woman, guilty of serial abuse.

    What to do :- Seize every square metre of their properties, the bank accounts, every last cent they have put away on the backs of the these people whose lives they have broken. Give the proceeds as some small measure of compensation to these survivors of what is our holocaust.

    Kick them out. Let Benny look after them in the Vatican cesspit.

    What will happen :- fuck all, a lot of hand-wringing and behind it all, more legal argument to protect the abusers. After all the Holy Trinity of the Church, Fianna Fáil & the Gaa might not wield its once almighty power, but the dying wasp still has enough sting left to protect their “own”. Bertie the Altar Boy turned Crook-supreme has already made sure of that anyway.

  55.  

    if this doesn’t spell the end of the catholic church then i dont know what will.
    people need to be reminded of this for eternity.
    we need to ask ourselves is this still going on today because it might be.
    who are protecting these type of children from paedophiles because they haven’t gone away you know.
    they will just change tactics and not join the religous orders as a means of satisfying their perversions.
    or does a life of celebacy make you perverted? i am divided on which i believe is the case.
    Lastly we need a referendum on the removal of all references to anything religious from the constitution and the teaching of religious education needs to be banned in schools after all, this is now a multi-cultural society.
    i am an athiest and i don’t bring my kids to mass. if they want a religion when they are in their teens, thats fine but i would ask them to read the report first.

  56.  

    Disgusted.

    Scariest of all is the thought that this church is still abusing us, in one way or another, and will continue to abuse us – with the help of our elected representatives.

  57.  

    Jerry.
    My (German) brother in law is gay. He told me 15 years ago that the priesthood had been a preferred career path for gays in europe for a long, long time, not for reasons of faith.

  58.  

    Child abuse has nothing to do with gays. I’d select gays as my preferred child minders any day.

  59.  

    As they have taken the vow of chastity then perhaps enforced chemical castration for all priests at seminary school would relieve them from the sick urges they feel.

    That scumbag O’Grady has fled the country, whoever gave him a passport should be charged with aiding and abetting child abuse. Pity the poor unsuspecting country that now has him, and are probably unaware of his foul deeds.

    One more point though, for those who think that this is all in the past maybe a spell answering the phone at childline or the samaritans and you will understand that child abuse including rape is still going on today up and down the country and not just at the hands of non family members..

  60.  

    Tim May, thanks for that link to the Catholic League. I copied and pasted the victims’ evidence from the other article and sent it to them.

    As regards Bertie’s sweetheart deal with the religious orders, surely all collections by church organisations must be boycotted until they agree to a renegotiation. I’m not a churchgoer, but if I were I know I’d pass on the plate next Sunday without contributing.

  61.  

    Bock. Apologies – extremely upset and disturbed and didnt express self clearly – trying to make a point about deference to organisations when in fact organisations are made up of individuals who often get involved in those organisations for reasons of self interest – politicians in it for money, bankers……terrorists….priests…..the point trying to make is never ever defer to an organisation / institution when your instincts are telling you otherwise. I have no problem with gays either – my brother in law was just talking about gay life in europe. I do have a problem with gays or anybody else who uses the banner of an organisation to pursue their own self interest with abject disregard for the people the organisation is there to serve. If it doesnt feel right do not defer – deference is what has got us into the various messes we are in. We need to trust our decent instincts – see the world as it is not as how it is spun. Our deference is the most powerful weapon these bastards have – the deny until hell freezes over principle – it works because we defer. More understanding of how organisations and individuals work will make people more confident, challenge more likely, reduce that deference and keep a check on evil.

  62.  

    The Church’s control of education is still intact. Primary teacher education is virtually denominational in its entirety. Boards of Management of schools, as structured, have a certain number of nomineees by the patron, i.e. the local Bishop, which ensures conformity. Employment of teachers is controlled by boards who shun candidates without Rel Ed. diplomas. The Rules for National Schools allow for half an hour of RE per day. This rule is breached continuously with all sorts of religious events of a protracted nature. Does the DES stand its ground in implementing its own rules? Certainly not. This is the result of a supine political class who have never challenged this dominance. Some notable exceptions have appeared of course: Browne, Kemmy, Gregory, Spicer, but the wilderness created by the ruling old boy class of church educated patriarchs has soon drowned them out.

  63.  

    @ Paul,
    Kind of got your point, fair enough but, you are in fact associating by default Homosexuality with Paedophilia in both of your comments. I do not think we want a situation where your average Mo is getting bashed either physically or metaphorically by people disgusted by the actions of religious orders/paedos/the state.

  64.  

    In answer to raphael- I was told a couple of years ago that on a ”pilgrimage’ to Upton (in a vain attempt to exorcise bad memories) that Johnson left the order.
    Lacking a spirit of forgiveness despite extensive therapy i could quite cheerfully machine -gun that guy without compunction. He was a mad dog.

  65.  

    my father has been trying to obtain justice for approximately 6 years now. he is 84 and has been represented by a solicitor in dublin. when he was asked where he was he was uncertain, knowing only that he had been sentenced to 3 years borstal for a crime he didn’t commit. he was sent there in 1945 at a time when the clonmel borstal was being used by the military and the other detainees had been transferred to cork prison where he joined them. in all our correspondence with the solicitors and several other gov. depts the word borstal was used extensively in our attempts to find records for him.my sister and i visited cork and spoke to historians there. we visited court houses and archives to try and locate him . our solicitors had investigated all the residential institutions on the LIST to no avail because he was in the only borstal to exist in eire. six years of an old mans life have been spent looking in the wrong direction despite our letters regarding BORSTAL. this institution which was run by the department of justice is not included on the redress board list – why? my father was abused in this state run institution – what justice is there for him. it amazes me that two laypeople were able to discover more information than the solicitors representing their father, that we have more knowledge regarding the penal system than the barrister who represented him at his hearing. if any of you know people who attended this facility,which closed in 1954 or have any advice to give we would be so grateful. naturally this posting doesn’t tell the whole story but suffice it to say that the last 6 years have been pretty draining for both ourselves and our father. we certainly dont believe our solicitors had a clue what the were looking for and were more interested in their returns,they never read the material,they never paid a personal visit had they done so they might have been able to tell an old man that he could not be considered as he was in borstal not a listed residential institution!

  66.  

    Bock, as you may know I live relatively near Clonmel.
    The Borstal in Clonmel was Ferryhouse or the County Prison. However, neither were required for the Army.
    What was required was Glencee in the mountains above Bray in Wicklow.
    But I will check, for there is something really odd about this communication, and someone that might need a bit of help.

  67.  

    Cas — Apologies. Your comment slipped under the radar and I didn’t notice it. Maybe somebody here will have the answers for you.

    Vincent — I actually have no idea where you live, but that’s neither here nor there. Whatever you can dig up, I’m sure Cas would be grateful.

  68.  

    thanks for reading my post.
    it is certain that the residents of clonmel borstal,established to reform and educate young offenders and based upon the english models, were taken to cork prison for a period . the military assumed the building until 1947. the bars were removed and renovations were undertaken.the borstal premises cannot be confused with ferryhouse. my rsearch uncovered the fact that many native tipperary folk thought ferryhouse was the borstal but it was an entirely different building,run by the department of justice. ireland had its own borstal association at one point!
    my fathers solicitors should have had this information ,they didn’t read his letters or any of my correspondence thouroughly had they done so,had they researched and questioned him personally at an early stage,they would have realised this institution wasn’t on the LIST and he would be wasting his time pursuing a claim. we trusted them to be informed-they were not.

  69.  

    I am a bedraggled refugee from the Evil Rotten Roman Catholic Church, now a Proud Atheist.

    I suffered 12 years of my youth at a JESUIT concentration camp, Xavier College in Melbourne, Australia. No sexual abuse but plenty of physical and mental abuse from those Arseholes.

  70.  

    I’m just coming to terms with my past, For all my life I’ve lived in denial of my years in Ireland. There was shame and stigma attached to have been in those institutions. I’ both shocked and amazed at what I’ve uncovered about my past. In Feb 1934 at the age of two I appeared at Dublin DC charged with ‘Receiving Alms’ and was sentenced to 14 years. My first eight years were at St. Patrick’s in Kilkenny, then was transferred to Artane. My number was 11,536. I believed I was nobodies child. Left to make my way in the world on my own, I tracked down my Father, then an older sister, before I left Ireland age 17 to join the RAF as a Messing Orderly. Just scraped past the entrance exam. The vast amount of information I’ve uncovered is truly shocking and unbelievable. It transpires that I was totally innocent of any offence. There is proof the witness lied at my court appearance, and admitted as such!

  71.  

    That is truly appalling.

  72.  

    Yes Bock, It is truly appalling when one views the evidence I obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The Father I never got to know was arrested on charges of desertion and failing to support his family. Under cross examination the witness against him and responsible for me being ‘put away’ for 14 years admitted she had lied at my court hearing. The Father was cleared of all charges. He spent the following three years fighting for custody of two of his children. Because a Daughter he managed to get out on licence attended a Protestant School, the licence was revoked and he was ordered the return the girl. He refused and employed solicitors to fight his case. The Inspector of Industrial Schools a Mr. Walsh wrote to the Father: “You have requested that your son be returned to you, until such time as you return your daughter to school your request can not be entertained.” His solicitors questioned why the Father refused to have his girls receive religious education. His reply: “Because it would prejudice my chances of obtaining my son.” No further action was taken as those practising law towed the State Church line. My Father gave up and started a new family with a new girl, while ‘did my time. I have copies of letters from all concerned and the whole story would shock any one.

  73.  

    Why don’t you write up the full story? I’ll put it on this site if you wish.

  74.  

    Patrick, I’d like to read your full story, what you mentioned above is indeed appalling.

    Also I think that stories like yours should be published one way or another, lest they are forgotten. It is important that personal accounts like yours will never be forgotten.

    Please, if you find the time, take up Bock’s offer to write it down to be published here.

  75.  

    Bock, Carry, I’m in the process of writing my complete story and it’s taking a good deal of my time. The first chapter I’ve titled ‘Sins of the Parents.’ One wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the letters written by those in charge of children at the time. The story is divided into a number of section.
    The second chapter tells of life in St. Patrick’s Kilkenny where there were in excess of 180 baby boys and lads up to the age of ten. At ten we were transferred to adult ‘schools’. In my case it was to Artane in Dublin the city of my birth. There work began at age ten, making and repairing cloths. At fourteen I started serious work on the farm then poultry farm. During my time at Artane, there were about 30 kids I refer to as the ‘Nobodies’. We were nobodies children, therefore were especially useful during the holiday periods. Most of the 800 plus boys went home on licence to their family over Christmas and other holiday periods. All other work areas closed down, but livestock on the farm and poultry farm still required tending to, feeding, milking and cleaning seven days a week. That was where we came to the rescue, eight hours a day, seven days a week, unpaid. Have to admit I stole some of the hens food.
    The next chapter relates to being set free into a strange new world. With no home or family, I survived for 18 months, then make my way to the UK to join the RAF. The years that followed, I kept my own company, too ashamed of my background. A social misfit, as I knew nothing of social graces. I’d never celebrated a birthday. For that matter, it was only in recent years, whilst looking through my records, I noticed the date of my release from Artane was the day before my sixteenth birthday. I’d never known my date of birth till I obtained a copy of my birth certificate as proof of age to join the Forces at seventeen.
    My service life makes interesting reading, it was fun getting into trouble testing boundaries: punishment was a joke compared to Industrial Schools. For my leave periods and weekends off, I travelled the length and breath of the UK and stayed in B&Bs and YMCAs. Once I met a girl in county Durham, my life turned about for the better. She worked in a clothing factory from the age of 14. All I could offer her was a dream. That dream I achieved and much more besides.
    In sport I competed at International level. In the forces I ended up as an Instructor in the field of logistics. In civilian life I became a Site Superintendent with Lockheed A/C International in charge of a multi national workforce. By age 54 I retired in comfort to the dream home I promised my wife on our marriage.
    Sadly the story didn’t end there. We had three children, two girls and a boy. Suddenly we lost the youngest girl at age 15, knocked down by a careless driver. Then my wife was afflicted with Alzheimer’s and as with most things in my life I chose to care for in my own way. The illness lasted 12/13 years, and I cared for her at home, on my own 24/7 year on year till her passing. All the experts told me, I was attempting the impossible. As with most aspects of my life, I keep records to prove my story. I retain the medical records and videos of her journey and over the period I learned more about Alzheimer’s than many experts.
    Life had one more challenge to offer after my wife’s passing, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The survival rate for UK is 20.7%. Because I was a fit person I was operated on to have my complete stomach removed.
    In the beginning of this October, I’ll be 84 and I’m pleased to say I’m back running early morning for half an hour, four days a week.
    The above is just a very brief summary of my story. The Nuns and Christian Brothers may not have educated me, they were uneducated themselves. The lesson I learned was not to believe anything I was told, but to reason things out for myself. My education was the University of Life, to look, listen and learn. It’s life long. Both the parent’s I never got to know, their and mine story seem incredible. Hope I can find a good publisher.

  76.  

    That’s great Patrick. Don’t give up writing it down. And please don’t be discouraged if publishers say “ah, just another Irish miserable childhood”.

    I’m so touched by your childhood memories in Ireland, more than by no-nonsense reports – there are things a lot of people don’t know about and that is the feelings of all involved and the impact on the long term, not to mention about details I at least never heard about – being sentenced as a two year old for getting alms?

    With your resilience and resources I’m sure you’ll find a way to publish your memoirs. Otherwise I’m sure there are people reading or writing on this blog who would help you along.

    I would at least, but I’m only a German writer living in Ireland, so no English speaking contacts.

    But probably

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