Pope to Send Pastoral Letter to Ireland

Unless you’ve been living in another galaxy, or you were a bishop, you can’t have failed to notice the uproar that erupted in Ireland following publication of the Ryan report on the sexual and physical abuse of children by religious orders, and the Murphy report which detailed a calculated cover-up of crimes by the Catholic clergy.

I must admit I had little confidence in the Catholic church’s capacity to address these horrors, but the Pope has proven me wrong.  While Irish bishops in Rome are more plentiful than crab-lice on a parish priest, all pleading ignorance and ratzodog_laughing 2innocence (I didn’t know it was wrong to be fucking little boys up the arse, please let me keep my job, please, ah go on go on go on …), the Pope was getting the real story from Brady and Martin.

They’re a shower of bastards, Ratzo.  You have to do something about them.  They’ll fuck it up for all of us if the Irish people realise what we’re up to.

Ja ja ja.  Ich habe ein Spezialplan out-geworken.  Ich will, in der neues Jahres, einen  Brief schrieben, ja?  Nicht war?

A letter, Holy Father?  You’ll send them a letter?

Naturlich! Ich will einen grossen Pastoralbrief schicken.

But Ratzo, the people are out lynching priests and nuns.

Niemals you worry about these hodensacker. Mein Plan will alles fixen.

So there you have it.  Just when we despaired.  Just when we thought the Pope couldn’t give a flying fuck about the clergy’s activities  in Ireland as long as his money was safe, he has made an earth-shattering announcement.  Ratzo is on the case, and Ratzo is moving decisively very soon now to interevene in the whole filthy business by …  well, by writing us a letter.

When?  Real soon now.  Maybe some time next year, Ireland is getting a letter from Ratzo.  Dear Ireland, Don’t worry.  Be happy.  All the best, My Holiness.

Phew.  Isn’t that a relief?


Previously on Bock:

Das Papahund


Ratzo’s Leap

Das Papahundchen


McCloskey Family Statement

This is a statement received from the family of Peter McCloskey.  It has been reproduced here without alteration.


McCloskey Family Statement on 3rd December 2009

Issued by Peter McCloskey’s parents, Aidan & Mary, his brother Joseph and sister Aida.

Peter McCloskey is our son and brother. United with common purpose we speak now on his behalf.  As a family, we have found the events of recent years deeply traumatic. In common with many families, who have had similar experiences, we are familiar with “The Silent Episcopal Wall” that leaves us torn apart, above all wounded.

The publication of the Ryan Report, and more recently the Murphy Report concerning the Dublin Archdiocese, has resonated deeply within our family. It crystallises for us, that Peter’s search for truth and justice in approaching the Limerick Diocese, to expose his experience of clerical child sexual abuse, was as innately corrupt as that of the Dublin Archdiocese. The cover-up is endemic and country wide in the Catholic Church.

We are broken hearted in the wake of so much human suffering. The Dublin audit gives us a “Map”. It reveals how so many individuals affected by childhood sexual abuse, met the “Wall of Silence”. The audit has sent ripples of pain into every parish community. The pain of all victims, the named and unheard, their partners and families, indeed Church itself, will not be healed for a long, long, time.

This family has been steadfastly loyal to the Catholic Church and our Christian belief throughout all that has happened. We are certain that our observance of Religious Practice must have been difficult for Peter to endure, given what he had suffered as a child. As a man, he came forward and experienced another form of abuse when he began processing his experience of childhood clerical sexual abuse, by bringing it to the attention of Dr. Donal Murray and his team.

It is clear to us, from the findings of the Murphy Report, that Dr. Donal Murray learned his craft well, while working as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Dublin Archdiocese. The reward seems to have been a Diocese of his own. Regretfully, the Murphy Report highlights the name “Dr. Donal Murray”. In fact, the report “Red Flags” him in particular, for his failures, and duty of care, to protect children while serving in Dublin.

Dr. Donal Murray, once appointed to Limerick Diocese, became Commander in Chief and autonomous without any scrutiny. The question then arises as to how did he hone his skill set and honour his responsibilities? In particular, his modus operandi when dealing with child protection issues, and the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, cries out for an immediate audit. We testify that the reality of Peter’s experience, at the hands of Dr. Donal Murray and his legal team, is not reflected in the public persona that Dr. Murray portrays. Peter, once he encountered his advisers behind the closed doors of interviews met the same “Wall of Silence” and “Bullyboy Tactics”.

At this time, our desire is to be constructive. At present, all Priests are subject to a policy of “Stepping Aside” from ministry where there is even a suspicion, or any concern, of a child protection issue. We believe that the same policy which an ordinary Priest is governed by; the Murphy Commission should implement a similar policy and apply it to all Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals.

In light of the findings of the Murphy Report, the “Red Flagged Name” of Dr. Donal Murray warrants an immediate intervention by the Commission of Investigation. We believe this is of the utmost urgency. The “Map” should spur the Commission to meet, and if necessary increase their resources to audit the Limerick Diocese immediately. In this respect, it may mean that that the “Red Flagged Man” should stand aside and be subject to the discipline he, and his fellow Bishops, impose on all Priests.

Sadly, the Murphy Report has come too late for Peter. However, through the establishment of a formal audit in Limerick Diocese, the full facts of how Peter was treated will emerge in time.

Peter’s determination to achieve justice was based upon a belief that those who perpetrated, or covered-up child sexual abuse should be accountable for their actions. The “Map” we propose calls for a deployment from the Commission to audit the tenure of Dr. Donal Murray, and the Limerick Diocese in its totality. It is the least that Peter is owed by the Church, which so terribly failed him.

The suffering must be acknowledged. The evil corruption must be purged, so that every man, woman and child can safely move forward in the Ireland of today.


Christian Brother Convicted of Sexually Abusing 19 Schoolboys

A former Christian Brother spoke recently on the radio of  how, at 14, he was put in charge of much older boys in an industrial school.  They dressed him up in a miniature Christian Brothers soutane and armed him with their universal instrument of pain — a leather.

This child was sent out to patrol the school grounds accompanied by an adult  Christian Brother for protection, and he was expected to beat the older boys in the yard to teach them manners.  This 14-year-old boy was instructed to terrorise other boys in the name of Christianity but he didn’t.  For four years, he resisted the pressure, until he could take no more, and finally laid into one of the young prisoners with his leather, venting all his rage and frustration on the hapless boy who could never dare fight back.

When he came into the common-room in the monastery, all the waiting Brothers rose and gave him a standing ovation.

He left the order soon afterwards.

This is how the Christian Brothers formed the characters of the children they induced to join their dysfunctional band of sexually disturbed men.  They passed on to the boys the same furtive feelings of shame about their sexuality that they felt themselves.  They taught them to become drunken brutes.  They taught them violence in the name of religion.  These young boys who entered a monastery were deprived of normal human affection and normal adolescent development.  Instead, they learned fear and guilt.  They learned a warped and stunted understanding of sexuality and, once fully formed, they went out to abuse the children of this land.

It didn’t happen in a vacuum. The entire country under the malign influence of an authoritarian and puritanical Catholic church was gripped in a century-long spasm of self-loathing and hatred of the natural flesh.  It was a backlash from the catastrophic famine and a conscious decision by the church authorities to stamp out the carefree, pagan, bacchanalian tendencies of the Irish.  The joy of sex would be replaced by the self-hating misery of the Irish clergy and no organisation bought into this warped and impoverished view of life more enthusiastically than the Christian Brothers.

I remember a Christian Brother instructing us in school about sexual matters.  Kelly was his name and he was clearly demented.  He was a youngish man, possibly no more than thirty, but he had obviously never been laid in his life and it was driving him crazy.  His understanding of sex was more primitive than our 13-year-old bicycle-shed knowledge and it showed in his rage, his quiet, hissing anger.

Today we’re going to talk about SEX he spat, and you could see he’d been up all night worrying about the big speech.  He made sex seem dirty, shameful,  ugly.  He worked himself up into a rage and it was apparent to anyone with eyes — even to children like us — that he struggled with monstrous emotional demons.

Other guys of his age were out having fun while this unfortunate jerk was barking life-hating nonsense at children.  The poor guy was not stable.  His entire life was concerned with controlling his boiling frustration towards himself,  towards the family that had shoved him into the Brothers and towards the cult itself,  an organisation he plainly hated.

He was neither an abusive nor a violent man.  Nor was he ignorant.  Brother Kelly taught us mathematics and Latin with equal proficiency, but he was very, very angry, and even then, as children, we knew why.

He was fizzing.

Seán Drummond was 14  when the Christian Brothers recruited him.  Fourteen.  A child.  He went through the same brutal, ignorant, emotionally-stunted induction process as all the others and when he emerged, he knew nothing of human emotions, normal friendships or the warmth of family. Like all the Christian Brothers, his only experience of sex was with other youths in the monastery, or  at the hands of the older men.

And when Drummond emerged at the age of 18, he was both a fully-formed Christian Brother and a fully-formed sexual abuser.

When he was 18, he taught in a Limerick primary school at Creagh Lane for a year and in that year he inappropriately touched 19 boys.

Drummond  left the order when he was 21 and went on to marry and have five children.

The indecent assaults came to light when two former pupils met in 1999 and compared notes after which Gardai brought a prosecution.  Drummond, now 61, pleaded guilty to 36 charges of indecent assault in Limerick Circuit Court.   He now must wait while a judge considers what sentence to impose.

If you’ve been a regular reader of this site, you’ll know what I think of child abusers, and my reaction when I read the first few paragraphs of the report was to dismiss Drummond out of hand as just another evil pervert.  But as I read on, I began to realise that he was, as an 18-year-old, acting out the behaviours imprinted on him by the heartless, warped and amoral Christian Brothers machine, a system that introduced him, at the age of 16, to self flagellation, and that suppressed all normal adolescent sexual impulses.

In my opinion, Seán Drummond believed at the time that the kind of touching for which he has been convicted was perfectly normal.  None of the Christian Brothers boys his age knew anything else.  Coming from such a vile system as the one that abducted him at 14 years of age, is it any surprise that he behaved as he did?

He didn’t last long in the system, and he soon did what many others lacked the strength to do.  He walked away from the all-controlling criminal organisation of which he had been a part.  He formed a relationship and had a family, all of whom attended the court.  For forty years he lived with the knowledge of what he had done between the ages of 18 and 19.  Now, as a 61-year-old father, he faces the possibility of imprisonment for crimes comitted by a brainwashed and emotionally damaged teenager.

There’s another aspect of this case that I find distasteful and disturbing.

The judge heard that some of the victims experienced problems with alcohol, drugs, and relationship troubles as well as learning difficulties  resulting from the assaults.

Look. These kids were groped, as were many others in the schools I attended.  We all had creepy teachers.  It was horrible, and as a parent I would have wanted to kill someone who did that to a child of mine, but to say that it caused drug addiction is pushing it a bit.  In my opinion, this devalues the experience of the children who really were raped and beaten, and not just groped.

Call me suspicious-minded if you want, but I don’t like it.


Update: 10th December.

Seán Drummond was yesterday sentenced to two years in prison based on vidctim impact statements in which people said that they had suffered marital difficulties, alcoholism, learning difficulties and drug abuse as a result of his touching them.

Without wishing to justify what he did, I have to say  I find this evidence difficult to accept and I think nothing is served by imprisoning a man for wrongs committed by a damaged youth.


Previously on Bock:

Ryan Report – Artane, The Christian Brothers’ Gulag

Questions and Answers – Clerical Rape Victim Confronts Minister

Taxpayers’ Money Protects Clerical Child Abusers

Clerical Abuse Victims in Their Own Words

Child Abuse – PR Guidance for Bishops

Commission on Child Abuse Report Published


Religious Orders Fail to Meet Responsibilities to Abuse Survivors

Who could have guessed that the people who ran our industrial schools would go back on their word?

Who for one second could have imagined that the religious orders who operated a system of slavery, torture, sexual abuse and financial rapacity would also turn out to be two-faced liars?

I’m stunned.

You remember the uproar six months ago when the Ryan report was published.  The entire country was outraged that Ahern’s government had given €1.28 billion of public money to pay for the redress board while the priests and brothers and nuns had given almost nothing, even though they were responsible for the rapes and beatings and the destruction of children’s lives.

You remember how, after fighting the inquiry in the courts and denying everything for years, the religious congregations finally prostrated themselves in shame and remorse, and promised to contribute to a fund for the survivors of their abuse.  You recall how this sincere promise was made to our splendid leader after he was forced to threaten them with sequestration of their assets.

Well guess what. It looks like business as usual. It looks like they’ve fallen back on a tried and tested method of bamboozling the government and the Irish people: lie low until the heat dies down.

According to this report, some of the 18 abusing orders have failed to respond to three separate queries from the government about their proposed contributions to a fund for their victims.

Now let me ask you this. Why is the government inviting these peple to make suggestions?  Why isn’t it kicking their doors down and taking everything they possess?

Plus ca change.


One in Four statement.


Previously on Bock:

Commission on Child Abuse Report

Confronting the Past

Christian Brothers Deny Child Abuse

Letterfrack — A Christian Brother’s Prayer

Ryan Report — Artane, The Christian Brothers’ Gulag


Confronting the Past

The passageway is narrow in front of the bar and on a busy night it can be uncomfortable squeezing past. That’s why I found it strange that nobody had picked up a high stool lying across it, blocking the way. This is not normal, but neither is it normal that everybody would be staring in the same direction, saying nothing.

I picked up the stool, put it back where it should be, looked up, and only then did I notice a man in his late forties gripping a much older man by the throat. This is another thing not normal in the places I inhabit.

Such moments always have an underwater quality about them, where sounds and words and movements become blurred, and so I couldn’t hear what the younger man was saying, but I could see that the older man was in serious trouble. His attacker was wiry, hard, made of rope. A tough man who would have no difficulty doing away with this elderly person.

I’ve never been brave, and I’ve never been a fool, but as the younger man lunged at the older, I jumped between them just as the barman was vaulting the counter, and I put my hand on the younger man’s chest.

Stop. What are you doing? Don’t let yourself down.

He looked into my eyes and I was relieved see that he was no danger to me, but he tried to push me aside as he aimed a punch at the older man. You fucking paedophile!

Stop, I said again. Stop. Don’t do this. Calm yourself.

Other customers led the old man outside, and I said to his assailant, Come on. Let’s go out the back and talk.

He was calmer now and he he reached for my hand.

I’m Pat.


Out the back, he lit a roll-up and offered me one.

No thanks. I don’t smoke anymore. What’s the story?

Christian Brother, he said. In the fuckin pub smiling at me, the cunt. He paused to drag on his cigarette. Thanks for that by the way.

It’s nothing, I said. We all look out for each other. What’s his name?

Brother K.

Fuck, I said. He taught me when I was 10 or 11. Manipulating little bastard. He used to fuck with our heads.

I didn’t tell him that the same man was well known for molesting the children he taught, including my classmates, though Brother K didn’t do it to me because he knew my relations. He was afraid, but he did play mind-games with me, which I remember to this day.

We stood around for a few minutes chatting before going back inside. The barman didn’t want to serve Pat but I had a quiet word in his ear. Christian Brother.

Oh that’s all right, he said.

As I left by the front door, the old man was standing outside smoking a cigarette. The Brother K I remembered used to smoke cigarettes with the same name as his own.

I hadn’t enough information to confront him but I walked up to him as close as my disgust would let me and I pointed my finger at him without saying anything.


The old man looked back at me without a word, and he recoiled.

We both knew why.


Previously on Bock

Christian Brothers Deny Child Abuse

Letterfrack -A Christian Brother’s Prayer

Ryan Report  Artane, The Christian Brothers’ Gulag

Commission on Child Abuse Report Published


Dáil Debate on Child Abuse — Department of Education “Controlled by Secret Societies” Says Ruairi Quinn

The Dáil met today to discuss the gravest issue to confront our society in decades: the systematic abuse of children by clergy in residential institutions. (Ryan Report). The gallery was packed with survivors of that abuse, who heard the three main party leaders deliver speeches acknowledging the State’s failure to protect those children.

Once the three party leaders had finished speaking, most of the Fianna Fáil deputies stood up and left the chamber, in a gesture of casual contempt for the bewildered abuse survivors in the gallery.

In that one moment, Fianna Fáil displayed its true collective nature.

A parliamentary party indifferent to anything but its own survival was not going to waste a whole morning debating the most important social issue ever to confront us. Not when there were constituency funerals to attend, gaming arcades to open, free lunches to gobble down or incriminating documents to shred.

Those who remained mumbled platitudes, pieties and commonplaces off sweat-blurred pages creased from their arse pockets. And the more they muttered, the more they revealed the unplumbed depths of their crassness, the complete lack of empathy, understanding or insight that infects these elected representatives. The more they groaned and stuttered and stumbled through their lines, without a hint of originality, passion or emotion, the more they looked like the zombies they are.

Elected representatives, did I say? God help Ireland if this bunch of goons is representative of anyone.

Today’s debate was supposed to address the deep-rooted nature of the problems that afflict our society. It was supposed to acknowledge the hurt and the pain suffered by the church’s victims, with the collusion of the State, and yet the members of the governing party didn’t seem to grasp that fact, or to care. It hasn’t gone away, you know.

Those who did care included Ruairi Quinn, who explained that he had been attempting without success to get information from the Department of Education about who exactly owns our schools. He was fobbed off and provided with answers that would insult the intelligence of a frog. The information isn’t in any one place, he was told, but in hundreds of files, and it couldn’t all be gathered in one place.

Listen to that now: the Department of Education doesn’t know who owns the schools.

Is it any wonder that Ruairi Quinn accused the senior civil servants of being either members of secret societies like Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbanus, or else completely incompetent?

After all, you only have to look at the terms of the deal agreed between Michael Woods and the clergy to see that it was designed for the protection of the church. Woods lied to the victims and lied to the Dáil when he said the Redress Board was being set up so that the victims wouldn’t have to go through the adversarial system of the courts.

The reality is that all victims are bound by a savage gagging order forbidding them from even discussing what happened at the redress Board. The fact is that the victims were confronted at the Redress Board, humiliated, invaded, doubted and emotionally raped all over again. Their characters were called into question, and their parents’ good names were blackened. The Redress Board had confidential medical files on these childrens’ parents and siblings which were used to challenge their testimony about the abuse that had been inflicted on them.

The Redress Board was never intended to save the victims from cross-examination. The true purpose of the Redress Board was to make sure the church was protected from legal action, and it succeeded in that, thanks to Michael Woods and his Opus Dei colleagues in the Department of Education — the same people who continue to frustrate the efforts of an elected representative in his efforts to find out what schools the church controls.

A decision was made to put the taxpayer in the firing line instead of the church. Woods and his cronies decided to let the church off with a miniscule contribution, and agreed that you and I would pick up the tab instead. Meanwhile, they concocted a cast-iron way of permanently silencing the victims by imposing a binding restriction on them that prevents them discussing what happened to them at the Redress Board, thereby compounding the abuse.

And now we see what Fianna Fáil deputies think of this subversion of democracy, and oppression of the most vulnerable in society.

They strolled out of the Dáil chamber at the first opportunity, without an upward glance at the gallery where the victims sat in bewildered disbelief.


This is part of what Ruairi Quinn said, and the full Thursday debate is here and here:

Either officials in the Department are members of secret societies such as the Knights of St. Columbanus and Opus Dei and have taken it upon themselves to protect the interests of these clerical orders at this point in time in this year of 2009 or, alternatively, the Minister is politically incompetent and incapable of managing the Department of Education and Science. He went from February to last week saying that the information was not readily available.

The Taoiseach met with the same religious orders. Imagine what he could have said; imagine what power the Taoiseach could have had if he could have said to the 18 orders that, for example the Christian Brothers have 97 schools, paid for mostly by taxpayers through voluntary contributions and grants, and that the Sisters of Mercy and other orders together have perhaps 300 or 400 schools – I am guessing because these guys refuse to tell me.

The legal ownership of those schools should be transferred without any contribution and in return the schools should continue for the time being under the existing patronship arrangements until such time as we democratically and collectively decide how best to do it. We are the only country in Europe – including countries such as Catholic Spain, Catholic Italy and Catholic Austria – where the primary school system is controlled by private organisations. If one thinks they are not private one should examine the court decision on Louise O’Keeffe and how the State was not responsible for the abuse she received from a primary school teacher, who was not a religious person, but that the responsibility lies with the boards of management of the private organisations.

We have to deal with this problem and this is the way we start. The Taoiseach has asked the orders to return in two weeks with an inventory of their assets. The man sitting beside him knows what they are and he is refusing to tell me, a Deputy of this House. I do not believe the Minister, Deputy O’Keeffe, is a bad man. I do not believe he is a Catholic right-wing secret obscurantist but many of the people working for him on a permanent salary – he will be gone in a couple of years – most certainly are or else they are incompetent, lazy and destructive. He can take his choice as to what the explanation is but I have given him the facts. He and his Department are concealing from us, the citizens of the Republic, information on the nature and ownership of schools. I am unable to go into it but one of the replies I received was simply a lie; it suggested that legal protocols were in existence that prevented schools from being sold off. That is not the case for the vast majority of those schools, many of which are in built up areas and were built prior to 1960 when such protocols came into existence.

Build the monument and make it a living lasting voice of what we did. This was not some era of colonial exploitation; this was not the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the country; this is what we did to ourselves for the reasons Deputy Gilmore stated. We should have not just a monument but a living museum and a permanent reminder that never again can it happen and an explanation for those who were affected and their families as to why they were the way they were.


Kildare Street

Crime Religion

Christian Brothers Deny Child Abuse

On the 15th May, five days before the Ryan Report was published, this is what the Christian Brothers were saying.  Five days!

Brother Kevin Mullan sent the following letter to the redress Board five days before the Ryan Report exposed the Christian Brothers as an organisation that beat, raped and starved thousands of little boys.

According to Kevin Mullan,

The only form of corporal punishment allowed by the Congregation was moderate slapping on the palms of the hand with the approved leather strap (some 12 ins long approx — including shaped “handle” — and without metal inclusions).  No other form of corporal punishment could be condoned by the School authorities, nor could such punishment be administered without sufficient reason.

Now.  There you have it.  They did nothing to the children in their control.

This is the same standard statement that Brother Kevin Mullan sent to the Redress Board countless times in order to dismiss the claims of people who were raped, beaten and starved by his colleagues.

He sent this five days before his brotherhood was exposed for sexually abusing and beating hundreds of small children.  He wrote this letter on behalf of his organisation.

Tell me please why this organisation should not immediately be dissolved by the State and why all its assets should not iimmediately be sequestered.

Oh wait.  Perhaps the problem is that we don’t live in a modern democracy.  That would probably account for the fact that all of these people are not in jail.

Favourites Images

Letterfrack — A Christian Brother’s Prayer

Dear Lord, I thank Thee for all of Thy bounty.

I thank Thee for the beauty of this land.



I thank Thee for the comfort of our splendid home.


I give thanks that in Thine infinite wisdom, Thou has seen fit to provide me with all that I need, though I am not worthy.

Thou hast provided warmth in this fine house, and sustenance from the land.


For the devils that beset me as I walk these corridors at night-time, Thou hast provided succour and comfort.


Thou hast sent me the serpents that I might chastise them.


In Thine infinite wisdom, Thou hast stayed Thine hand in The Holy Scripture and hast not forbidden the comfort of the flesh, save with womankind. Though the serpents’ hearts be black, yet their limbs are warm and their cries sweet unto the ear.

I gaze now from this window, and behold the cornucopia Thou hast provided for my delight, and for the easing of my rage.



It is with true humility and gratitude that I descend these stairs to the garden and make my way to the house of the serpents, where, with Thy divine blessing, I may continue the great work entrusted unto me by Thee.


Dear Lord, grant me the strength, I beg of Thee, to persevere until every last one of the serpents hath been cast from this place, and destroyed.



Then, Lord, let me rest, content in Thine bosom.



Pictures taken in former Christian Brothers monastery and industrial school at Letterfrack


Ryan Commission report

Also on Bock:

The Sisters of Mercy – Would You Want These People in Charge of a Children’s Hospital?

CORI Statement on Child-Abuse Report

Religious Orders Have No Loyalty To Ireland

Ryan Report – Artane, The Christian Brothers’ Gulag

Questions and Answers – Clerical Rape Victim Confronts Minister

Taxpayers’ Money Protects Clerical Child Abusers

Clerical Abuse Victims in Their Own Words

Child Abuse – PR Guidance for Bishops

Commission on Child Abuse Report Published

Crime Favourites

Ryan Report — Artane, The Christian Brothers’ Gulag

These are extracts from the Ryan Commission report on St Joseph’s Industrial School, Artane.


  • Although the initial proposal was that £1,600 would be spent building dormitories and classrooms, an Annual published by the Brothers in 1905 recorded that buildings costing over £60,000 had been erected at Artane by that time.
  • Artane was conceived on a grand scale. Dormitories accommodated up to 150 boys, sleeping in ordered rows of beds with no personal space. The dining area or refectory accommodated all 825 boys at one sitting.
  • The undertaking comprised the School, the trade shops and the farm, in addition to the Community house. The trade shops and the farm constituted a substantial business enterprise, of which the farm brought in a large yearly income.
  • The number of children detained in Artane from 1937 to 1969 was as follows:
1936 n/a 1944 820 1952 732 1960 421 1968 230
1937 679 1945 820 1953 696 1961 395 1969 211
1938 737 1946 811 1954 739 1962 367
1939 772 1947 797 1955 650 1963 341
1940 820 1948 830 1956 566 1964 319
1941 817 1949 803 1957 496 1965 314
1942 817 1950 776 1958 426 1966 307
1943 810 1951 749 1959 446 1967 230
  • These boys were ordered to be detained in Artane by the courts for reasons of inadequate parental care, destitution, neglect, truancy or the commission of minor offences. It is clear, however, that poverty was the underlying reason why children were sent to Artane, whatever the statutory category grounding the detention.
  • The reasons for committals during the period from 1940 to 1969 were as follows:
Improper guardianship School Attendance Act Destitution Homelessness Larceny Other crime
1374 1045 720 227 229 9

(*Bock Comment: An examination of the figures shows that 3366 of these children had committed no crime at all. 319 were incarcerated for larceny or some other crime, but the larceny might have included the theft of food due to starvation.)

  • In 1936, the Cussen report concluded that in Artane Industrial School, with over 700 pupils, only the minimum standard of literary education required by the regulations is provided, and pupils, however promising, cannot, as a rule, proceed beyond sixth standard.
  • The Institution was not adequately staffed. The report goes on to say that some Brothers did not participate at all in the running of the School due to age, ill-health or even, according to one Brother, because of disinclination. These Brothers were supported by the School, but did not participate in its work.


The Christian Brothers made similar submissions regarding Artane as they did in relation to other institutions. In particular, they submitted that:

the welfare and best interests of the boys was the paramount concern of the Congregation and of its members who worked in Artane. The evidence would also suggest that the quality of care which was thus provided to the boys was, in all the circumstances, of a particularly high standard

(* Bock comment. This statement was not made in the 1950s. The Christian Brothers made this statement two years ago in relation to an institution wehere children were routinely beaten and raped by their members. This represents what they still believe).

The spokesman for the Christian Brothers at Phases I and III of the hearings was Br Michael Reynolds, who conceded that:

There are three and possibly four cases there where I would say yes, there was certainly very severe punishment administered. I am not saying that is the totality of it, I am saying that is what I can work out of on record.

According to Ryan, the Congregation’s concessions stopped far short of what the complainants alleged and did not even match the admissions of individual respondents.

Br Olivier was also involved in a shocking incident that began when a 12-year-old boy accidentally defecated on the floor in the sports dressing room. The Brother came on the scene and some of the excrement ended up on his shoes. The Garda statements made by the witnesses differ as to how this happened, and the precise sequence of events, but what is admitted in statements made by Br Olivier is that he told the boy to lick the excrement from his shoes and he did so. The Brother, in his statement to the Gardaí, said that he was shocked when the boy did this and told him to stop: €˜I only said it out of frustration. I didn’t mean him to do it’.

In the 1990s, Br Olivier wrote an apology to the former resident. A copy was furnished to the Committee by the Congregation. Br Gibson had asked him about a statement made by the former resident. Br Olivier’s letter to the man was as follows:

Br Gibson … brought to my attention a statement you made to him some time ago.

I am deeply saddened to learn of your pain and hurt and I sincerely offer you my humble apology for my part in causing any of the above pain and hurt.

I hope you find in the goodness of your heart the courage to forgive me and I promise to remember you always in my prayers.

I pray and hope that you will find peace of mind and happiness in your life.

May God bless and protect you always.

(*Bock comment : he was deeply saddened to learn of the pain and hurt caused by forcing a child to lick shit off his shoes. What is most interesting is the Christian Brothers’ interpretation of the letter: While this letter acknowledges [the complainant’s] alleged pain, the letter is not intended to be an admission of the allegations made against Brother Olivier).

As the Commission remarks: there is a marked contrast between the apologetic position taken by Br Olivier and that of the Congregation.

Suddenly I find myself completely sick of this. I was going to write more about this vile organisation, and I will do so, but not today. I find their attitude so negative, so destructive and so life-destroying that I’m beginning to feel soiled by association with them.

For now, why not look at these photos of their gulag in Artane, and remind yourself why we need to shake off forever these vampires and their kind.




Crime Religion

CORI Statement on Child-Abuse Report

CORI, which represents 138 religious congregations, wishes again to place on record its recognition of the appalling reality presented in the Ryan Report published last Wednesday. As previously stated the emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered by so many children on such a vast scale is horrendous.

CORI supports the eighteen congregations whose institutions were investigated by the Ryan Report in their efforts to find the best and most appropriate ways forward (a statement was issued on behalf of these eighteen congregations earlier this evening).

All of us accept with humility that massive mistakes were made and grave injustices were inflicted on very vulnerable children.   No excuse can be offered for what has happened..

The recommendations and conclusions of the Ryan Report are an imperative for all those involved in the care of vulnerable people.

This is CORI’s bland, self-satisfied response to the storm of disgust that has swept over Ireland.  This is the measure of their disconnection from reality.  This is how stupid they think we are.

Read what they’ve said in that dismissive statement.

They wish to place on record their recognition of the reality presented in the Ryan report.

Why?  Do they want a medal?

They support the 18 congregations investigated by the  commission.

Of course they do.  They ARE the people investigated.

They accept with humility that massive mistakes were made and grave injustices inflicted on children.

Mistakes?  Injustices?  They raped, beat and murdered children.  These were neither mistakes nor injustices.  These were crimes for which members of CORI need to be jailed.

The recommendations of the Ryan report are an imperative for those involved in the care of vulnerable people.

CORI’s members did not care for vulnerable people.  They abused , beat and raped vulnerable people and they need to be forcibly disbanded and prosecuted.  We need no more statements from these criminals.

These criminals, who tortured our children, have blood-sucked this State for over a billion euros thanks to a deferential Fianna Fail government and a minister who is a member of a secretive religious organisation.

After all, this is only a country, and what’s that compared to the interests of an international criminal conspiracy?

These abusers are the beneficiaries of a treasonous conspiracy and need to be kicked out of our education and health systems.  These people no longer have a place in decent Irish society and have no business making statements of any sort.

The only statements these abusers ought to be making are statements to the police.

This is the statement made by the 18 raping,child-abusing congregations:

At our meeting in Dublin this morning, we again recognise and accept the gravity of the findings and conclusions contained in the Ryan Report. We fully accept that we seriously failed vulnerable people while in our care and that we have an on-going responsibility to try to meet their needs.

Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care. We must find the best and most appropriate ways of directly assisting them.

We will meet again in the coming days to explore the detail of our responses

In other words, the people who raped  our children have stated that they don’t intend to revisit the agreement reached with Michael Woods , and why would they? After all, isn’t that why they inserted him into the government in the first place — to look after their interests?  What’s the point in having an Opus Dei member in government if he isn’t prepared to sell the country down the river to protect his cronies in the clergy?

What’s the point in having a chain-wearing religious adept  inside the Cabinet if he’s not going to subordinate democracy to the interests of a religious conspiracy?

But consider what exactly the’re telling you.  This statement is saying that they will continue to take gigantic amounts of money from the taxpayer, even though they committed the crimes.  It says that they care nothing for the financial state of our country as long as their own money is safe.  It says that they have no respect for you, or for your country.

These people are criminals.

It’s time we started to see them for what they are and withdrew any respect we might have for them.

It’s time to kick them out of our schools and hospitals.  It’s time to get their hands off our children.

It’s time Ireland grew up.
Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse