The total bill for the Residential Institutions Redress Board will be somewhere in the region of €1.3 billion, most of which you will end up paying for through your taxes. The clergy agreed to pay €128 million in a confidential agreement with Michael Woods, minister for education at the time, and they demanded, illegally, that the Attorney General be excluded from the negotiations. Bertie Ahern acceded to this demand.
I wrote about this scandal two and a half years ago HERE.
The clergy are now claiming that they entered this agreement in good faith and have no intention of contributing any more money to their victims. Instead, the State must pick up the enormous tab for the crimes of the clerical rapists and torturers. One thousand two hundred million euros, at a time when the country is on its knees financially, will be handed out by this government to save the finances of the institutions that committed the crimes.
Furthermore, these institutions were paid handsomely by the State to house their victims. They did not spend the government money on the children. Instead, they sent them out to work as slaves for local farmers or in their own sweatshops, and from these children’s labour, the religious orders derived further profit.
When numbers ran low, the clergy demanded more slaves so that they could collect the full amount of money from the State, and so that they could supply the maximum number of slaves to local businesses. They bribed ISPCC inspectors to denounce families and tear children from their parents. They intimidated judges who refused to support the charade. They cosied up to hypocritical politicians and threatened them with electoral annihilation if they didn’t support the flow of immoral earnings from State funds to the religious orders’ coffers.
When the children came home in rags, exhausted from slaving in the fields, the clerics raped them and beat them. And then, having made enormous sums for State funds, and off the misery of these unfortunate children, the Catholic church had the effrontery to demand that you and I pay for their crimes. That demand was conceded by Michael Woods and by Bertie Ahern, without the advice of the Attorney General, whose presence at the negotiations was vetoed by the other side.
What kind of a way is that to run a government?
Now the minister for children, Barry Andrews, says the deal is done and he can’t compel the church to hand out any more money.
This is incorrect.
A deal based on lies is no deal at all. The church negotiators did not conduct the discussions in good faith. They concealed the true extent of the abuse — of which they were well aware — from the government side. They knew exactly how much abuse had taken place, and yet they allowed the government side to assess the potential damages on the basis of a far smaller expected number of abuse claims.
I repeat: they raped Irish children and then they stole your money, with the complicity of a willing government, when they were forced to accept what they had done.
They continued to protect the rapists within their ranks.
They did all in their power to gag the Commission of Inquiry by court action, preventing it from identifying abusers. They even tried to stop it naming individual members of religious orders, and that court action was also funded by the taxpayer. They lied in their evidence to the commission. They evaded the commission’s questions. They misled the inquiry and obfuscated at every opportunity.
The Finance section of the Commission’s report makes for fascinating reading. Get it HERE.
When the Commission’s consultants, Mazars, sought information from the Christian Brothers, for example, the response was dismissive and critical of the Mazars’ approach in relation to adequacy of the capitation grant. This document exhibited a defensive approach by this Congregation to the investigation by the Committee. Instead of seriously analysing the funding issue and acknowledging the validity of the questions raised, the response sought to achieve by vehemence what it ought to be striving to do by way of analysis.
Mazars’ analysis, the report goes on to say showed that when compared with costs in Ireland at the time, the capitation grant was adequate to care for the children to a reasonable standard. Other factors such as economies of scale, farming produce, contribution from trades and income from trades could be factored in, depending on the individual school, and these would also impact on the resources available to care for the children.
And the Christian Brothers’ attitude to the analysis?
Arrogant to the last, the Congregation did not respond to this analysis but simply dismissed the basis for it and insisted that the only valid comparator was the one they set out in their opening statements, that of a school in Northern Ireland or in the UK.
One thing is clear from the report: the Christian Brothers never saw themselves as an altruistic, or charitable organisation. They view the industrial school system as a money-making business, whose main purpose was to fund the construction of further buildings for schools and monasteries. In doing so, they were well funded by this State, and it’s not at all obvious from the report’s findings that they saved the State a single penny by doing this work on its behalf.
Far from it. Not only were the brothers who worked in the schools paid a stipend by the State, but also all those who worked on their farms, as well as those who were retired. This was true for all the religious orders and it’s clear that if the State had set up its own childcare system, it would have got far better value for money. THe Christian Brothers and all the other orders milked the country dry and then presented their business as a charitable work born out of kindness. They’re still milking us.
The inquiry met just as much stonewalling from the Sisters of Mercy who ran a lucrative bead-making industry in respect of which no accounts appeared to have survived.
In 1952, which was a time when the Resident Managers were demanding substantial increases in capitation allowances, the Sisters bought a large house in Rathdrum, County Wicklow, with this money, which they used as a summer house for the children for a couple of weeks every August. There was no record of any other Sisters of Mercy schools using Rathdrum and there is no evidence as to what it was used for during the other 11 months of the year. Such a purchase was not consistent with an institution struggling to survive.
The Sisters’ response also dismissed the comparators used by Mazars on the basis that they failed to take into account the nature of the costs implicit in running an institution. It insisted that the only valid comparator was with a UK institution but, like the Christian Brothers’ submission, did not advert to the differences between the two systems.
The Oblates also revealed themselves for the grasping, life-hating bastards they are:
According to the Commission, their response to the Mazars report was also defensive. The Oblates saw the Mazars’ report as an attempt to illustrate that the Order had profited from their involvement in Daingean and set about dismissing that proposition.
In light of all this, the clergy’s apologies are hollow and insincere. They still don’t believe that the things their friends and colleagues did were crimes, and yet, this near-bankrupt country is paying over a billion euros in compensation while the Catholic church pays virtually nothing.
These are the people who still control most of our schools and many of our hospitals. The way this country evolved after independence is a disgrace. Successive governments granted enormous power to the clergy in vital areas of life such as health and education, abandoning thousands upon thousands of our helpless children to the attentions of religious perverts.
And we have the nerve to call ourselves a republic?
Be angry. Be very angry.