Crime Politics popular culture

Criminal responsibility

They changed the system for kids committing crime.

It used to be that kids of seven years could be held responsible for crimes, which was plainly nonsense. That law was passed in an era when nobody cared about children. It was an era when children were sent up chimneys to clean them, or out into fields to work as a man would, and when children of the poorer classes never passed beyond primary school because they had to go out and work in support of the family. It was an appalling state of affairs that children could be treated with such brutality, and that they ended up in institutions whose list carries terrifying echoes of other, and far more sinister camps. Daingean. Letterfrack. Glin. Artane.

Actually, as I’m on the subject, let me just provide you with a list of these fine establishments.Here it is.

Our Lady of Succour, Newtownforbes
St.Patrick’s Industrial School, Kilkenny
St.Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, Dublin
St.Conleth’s reformatory School, Daingean
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Letterfrack
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Kilkenny
St.Joseph’s Industrial School, Whitehall, Dublin
Artane Industrial School, Dublin,
St. Michael’s Industrial School for Girls, Wexford
St. Michael’s Industrial School for Junior boys, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford
St. Vincent’s (House of Charity) Industrial School for Junior Boys, Drogheda, Co. Louth
St. Vincent’s Industrial School for Girls, Limerick
St. Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin 8
St. Ann’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Renmore, Lenaboy, Co. Galway
St. Anne’s Industrial School for Girls, Booterstown, Co. Dublin
St. Anne’s Reformatory School for Girls, Kilmacud, Co. Dublin
St. Augustine’s Industrial School for Girls, Templemore, Co. Tipperary
St. Bernard’s Industrial School for Girls, Fethard, Dundrum, Co. Tipperary
St. Bridgid’s Industrial School for Girls, Loughrea, Co. Galway
St. Colman’s Industrial School for Girls, Cobh/Rushbrook, Co. Cork
St. Columba’s Industrial School for Girls, Westport, Co. Mayo
St. Conleth’s Reformatory School for Boys, Daingean, Co. Offaly
St. Dominick’s Industrial School for Girls, Waterford
St. Finbarr’s Industrial School for Girls, Sundays Well, Marymount, Cork
St. Francis Xavier’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon
St. Francis’s Industrial School for Girls, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
St. George’s Industrial School for Girls, Limerick
St. John’s Industrial School for Girls, Birr, Co. Offaly
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, Passage West, Co. Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, Tralee, Co. Kerry
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Clifden, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls and Junior Boys, Liosomoine, Killarney, Co. Kerry
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Cavan
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Dundalk, Co. Louth
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Kilkenny
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Mallow, Co. Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Summerhill, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Girls, Whitehall, Drumcondra, Dublin 9
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Glin, Co. Limerick
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Greenmount, Cork
St. Joseph’s Industrial School for Senior Boys, Salthill, Co. Galway
St. Joseph’ss Reformatory School for Girls, Limerick
St. Kyran’s Industrial School for Junior Boys, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow
St. Laurence’s Industrial School for Girls, Sligo
St. Laurence’s Industrial School, Finglas, Dublin 11
St. Martha’s Industrial School for Girls, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
St. Mary’s Industrial School, Lakelands, Sandymount, Dublin 4

Do you notice anything about this list? Of course you do. You notice all the saints, and perhaps, like me, you find it remarkable that all these saints should be associated with places where so many of our children were raped by perverts from religious orders.

Now, there’s no doubt about the amount of violence and stupidity at large today among total skobes. But it occurs to me, and perhaps to you, that at least some of this aggression derives from the industrial schools. Saint this that and the other, where the grandparents of the current crop of skobes were locked up, put to slavery and buggered by the fine Roman Catholic clergy of the day.

However, this doesn’t mean that I’ve gone soft or anything like that. The new plan is nonsense. If a kid commits a crime, the cops are supposed to take him to his parents and alert who?

The Health Board. That’s who.

The Health Board.

Listen, the health board can’t even run a health service properly. How are they going to stop children committing crime? I can see the headlines now: Health Board to Tackle Shoplifting!

For fuck’s sake. Make chav parents take responsibility for their kids, just like the rest of us do. How’s that for a radical idea?


Haircut 100

I was intending to just let this go, but I can’t. It’s too good. There’s so much horse-shit going on among all the protagonists in this thing that I have to say a few words about it.

OK. Let’s be direct.

First. The Principal.

This guy is behaving like a complete twat, I think we all agree. A gobshite. I heard his justification on the radio, where he said that he saw his school’s role as preparing the students for the working world, and that nobody should wear a haircut like that to an interview. Let’s just have a small correction. His role is to educate the children, and if he thinks that this is mainly about getting them jobs then he is a very limited man indeed and should not be in charge of any educational establishment. He should be working in FÁS. His school is not an employment agency.

Second. The Issues.

I don’t know what hair has to do with education. Long, short or in-between, what goes on in the head it covers is the important thing. I haven’t seen this teacher and so I’m not in a position to form an opinion about his own hair, but this seems suspiciously like a fetish thing. Any school principal who expends this amount of emotional energy on the subject of hairstyles clearly has a problem, and as I said already for other reasons, should not be in charge of a school, or anything else for that matter, except maybe a tanning salon. This fellow, I repeat, has a problem and needs counselling.

Third. The Venue.

I always thought that the exam hall was rented from the school by the Department of Education for the duration of the exams, and that it was no business of the Principal what goes on there. But lately I’ve heard different views expressed. Maybe one of Bock’s People would provide the definitive statement on this, and in the meantime, I’ll try to find out the legal situation myself.

Fourth. Pamela the Mother.

Ah come on, for fuck’s sake. Here’s what she said to RTE: I begged him to go and he said no. He was going to try and repeat Third Year next year. I see. So who exactly is the adult in this situation? It appears that the fourteen-year-old makes all the big decisions and the mother goes on radio to justify what he decides. His mind just went blank, Pamela says. You know what that sounds like to me? That’s right: horse-shit. Another parent abdicating responsibility and blaming everybody else. So there’s an injustice. Yes, there seems to be, but what’s the important thing? I would have thought the important thing is to get the kid through the exams and deal with the injustice later. Pamela, however, doesn’t see it that way. In all fairness, he said to me, why should he go to Clara? He didn’t do anything wrong, it’s only a haircut. That’s right, Pamela. It’s only a haircut, but he should go to Clara to do his exams, and you can deal with the stupid headmaster another time. He can sit the exams there, and that’s why he should go, Pamela, you fucking idiot. The more I hear of Pamela, the more I’m thinking Thick Chav.

Fifth. The Child.

I wonder what the little fucker was really up to.