Taxpayers’ Money Protects Clerical Child Abusers

The State is paying most of the compensation costs for the victims of abuse by clergy in residential institutions. The figure is estimated at about €1.3 billion.

This was agreed in a secret deal between Michael Woods, Bertie Ahern and CORI, the Church umbrella group. The Attorney General was excluded from the discussions at the insistence of the clergy.

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.

18 thoughts on “Taxpayers’ Money Protects Clerical Child Abusers

  1. Q: What’s it going to take for people to get angry enough to take to the streets and demand action?

    A: Self-interest (eg: Pensioners losing medical cards). Only greed or fear seem to motivate the Irish; otherwise, it’s keep the head down, play ball, and take what you can get.

    This country is sliding into a political vacuum – imagine a demagogue like Hitler appearing on the scene now….


    Bock, many many thanks for your articles on this issue, among others. The mainstream media are almost useless in truly exposing the evil and apathy in our society.

  2. Truly it would seem like a great opportunity to redraw the hospitals and schools if so many of them still are in their control.
    I am not in Ireland. Was the logic that most of the state schools are on Church property and would be in jeopardy? I’m trying to understand why this agreement was made? What is the current hold that they have on the government?

  3. Well said Paddy.

    The majority of people will talk and talk but will do nothing until it affects them directly.

    If the dole was removed tomorrow you would see people pouring in to the streets to march and shout until it was brought back.

  4. Interesting point on Times front page. If anything constitutes blasphemy it is the actions of these dog- collared child abusers. I look forward to their iminent prosecution.

  5. The demagogue is already on the scene (Paddy) guys. Just look very closely at Declan Ganley and his new ‘political’ movement which is grasping at any issue which appears to be an issue and is exceptionally well funded; even by the EU!

    In any case BOCK, today the Tee-Shock announced that as the thousands of children who suffered abuse from the evil that is the Catholic Church were legally and technically in State care, the State therefore is responsible; i.e. the taxpayer.

    So now; what do you think of that? (like I should ask!!!!!!)

  6. The government clearly intends riding out the storm, the Dail debate on a matter that concerns the very fabric of the State is not until after the elections. If the report is going to achieve anything, then a single issue must be seized upon and pursued, at the moment there is so much anger and pain that people are flying in every direction. Personally, being one who favours separation of church and state, I would advocate a rolling back of the church’s role in health and education. It would ensure no possible repetition and be a statement that the people of Ireland are taking back the institutions for which they have paid many times over.

  7. Seems to me the solicitors have done very well out of this deal and the church – typical of this country.

  8. Well said Bock. The Canadians confiscated the lands of the Christian Brothers. Let them be financially bankrupt, it will go well with their frocks of spiritual and moral bankruptcy. If the Catholic Church had a stem of guilt about their twisted and rotten crimes, the Vatican plc could step in with its enormous bank of treasures and fund the Irish church. Their apologies are hollow. Let’s never again listen to those twisted bastards, or their misguided followers, when they attempt to lecture us on sexual morality.

  9. The Government are happy to let the church get on with managing the schools and hospitals, because it saves them doing it.
    I can only talk about schools, I am no expert on hospitals.
    Our primary schools are run and managed by volunteers on the Board of Management, the majority of whom have no background in education.
    Normally the Board is chaired (ruled) by the local priest.
    The boss of all bosses is the Patron (normally the local bishop).
    The Government give grants, pay teachers and then step aside and let the Board at it.
    The Patron owns (often in trust) the ground on which the schools are built, despite the Govt paying for the lands and paying for the schools to be built.
    If the Board makes an error, the individual Board is at fault, the individual Board (and quite likely the individual Board members) get sued.
    The Dept of Ed and Science (DES) wash their hands of all responsibility and get off scott free, as in Louise O’ Keeffe’s case.
    Does the church actually run our schools? No, it does not repair them, build them, do the nitty gritty – but the church does rule them e.g. veto all teacher appointments and promotions; insist on ethos being upheld; examine the teaching of religion annually; walk in whenever they feel like it; force teachers to teach religion and prepare children for the sacraments; ensure that more Catholics are produced.

    So, it’s a deal that suits both church and state.
    It doesn’t suit the children or the teachers anywhere near as well.

  10. Hi Peter – do you have any links on how the Canadian Govt. dealt with the ‘Christian” Brothers? I would be very interested to read more on it.

    I wonder if there is any registry of the holdings of the Catholic Church in Ireland, so that the relatively paltry E128mil capped compensation could be put in to context. It’s paltry compared to the bill to be footed by the Irish taxpayer, and I am fairly certain it is paltry compared to their overall financial worth in Ireland. (their moral worth has been in negative equity as long as I can remember). Land, buildings, artwork, cash, shareholdings… These bastards are not stupid. And not poor. (Vow of poverty me arse)

    As always Mr Bock – kudos to you for calling this out more than two years ago. From what I read in the press, while the sitting government and opposition parties are all ‘saddened’ by the details in the report, I haven’t seen much about them stepping up to do something tangible to pursue the culprits, and direct compensation to the victims – compensation from the appropriate source… the perpetrators and their protectors.

    On a personal note… am very ashamed to be Irish when reading the report. Someone approached me in work (in an MNC in a large Asian city) yesterday, and asked me what the hell the irish are after inflicting on the world with these ‘christian brothers’. I would like to hope over time I will have a chance to rebut by telling him how harshly it was dealt with by the powers that be in ireland. But I get the feeling I am hoping against the odds….

  11. The recent revelations have saddened me enormously. I saw a kid skipping down town holding her dad’s hand smiling and laughing and I thought to myself what kind of a person could turn such joy to misery.

    Then this morning as I drove my truck near a church I was blocked by double parked cars on double yellow lines near a corner at a church. They were bringing their kids for their 1st Holy communion. I sat there fuming for 20 minutes until I could squeeze by.
    What, if anything, is going through the minds of these parents who still actively support this evil institution. Is there much difference between their unquestioning loyalty and obedience now and their parents obedience and silence years ago. well, now they would be reading the FACTS in the papers.

  12. I don’t live in Ireland, but even from abroad, this whole story is disgusting and appalling- especially the collusion between the church and the govt at the expense of the children and the taxpayers. Somebody should really do something about it.

    Put the Ire back into your Ire-land.


    Check out this comedy video: “Louis CK learns about the Catholic Church”. I think that it meets the offensiveness criteria of this site. Don’t know if I agree with the end yet, but it’s damn funny. Very vulgar – beware…

  13. The clergy gets off paying only 10% of what the govt (you all) agreed to pay (130 million/1.3 billion). I would be very angry, too. If keeping the AG out of the discussion was illegal, then somebody should challenge that. A citizen initiated class action suit, perhaps (since it is all taxpayers who are being fleeced by their holy shepherds).

    What goes on (and is allowed to go on, if it could be stopped, which is questionable) in this world is just unbelievable.

    What do you think of the video?

  14. surely now we are akin to the people of germany after the holocaust, this is irelands holocaust, i swore i would not be distracted from my purpose at present, but the recent revelations have sickened me to the core.
    anyone with a shred of decency those of us who maintain a shred of integrity should have no hesitation in displaying their disgust to the fullest degree.
    the example set by canada should be followed, this has nothing to do with money, this is all about the shame of a nation, we cannot call ourselves a people or a country until very drastic action is taken against church and state to take the full measures of retribution and distribute them in an appropriate form to the victims.
    we are irish, previously welcomed and loved in many countries, for those of us who are sickened by those acts perpetrated in the most vile disguise of charity,education, faith, hiding behind the warped and evil cloak of the all powerful church, we the people of this country will have to carry the burden of pariahs, just as the german people had to due to the barbarism of the nazis, because thats who those bastards were, sick, twisted bastards, all they were missing were the gas chambers,
    will nothing be done again, does anyone think it’s over? will the government throw their platitudes at the media and carry on with their elections? they should fall, the church should fall, it should be seen to be the end.

  15. Bertie Ahearne said the church has no money to pay out – so there you have it – it must be true. (I wonder what happened the 8 or 10 million Euro that the bishop’s house in Limerick sold for a year or two ago to a local property developer? – a house NOT attached to a school I may add). I mean the clergy always live in shitty houses worth nothing and have no money whatsoever in their accounts – where I worked it looked like they had loads of money in accounts, but I must be mistaken)

  16. Bertie Aherne, the man with no memory of his own finances, who did not possess a personal bank account, truly amazing he has so much knowledge of the finances of the church ?
    did we really fight for freedom ?
    is ireland the champion of the rights of the unborn ?
    our forefathers fought for freedom from english rule and replaced it with corruption, bribery, theft, a kleptocracy
    they then placed the children who’s unborn rights they championed and fought for, into the hands of the sickest, vilest, most twisted perverts both male and female that ever existed
    they sold us out in every way possible.
    will people still genuflect and ask for help from these protectors of demon’s ?
    will they turn out at the polling booths and elect more ignorant sycophants to tread the paths of kleptocracy, i i fear they will.

  17. This really makes me want to puke. Follow the money, works every time. I remember that my father used to call the nuns bloodsuckers, claimed they and all religious orders were bleeding the state dry. Now I know what he meant.

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