The shameful 800Author: will | Filed under: 2009, crime, Ireland, Irish, memory, news, politics, regret, religion, resolution, social media
The words “Counselling services available” (closely followed by counseling services swamped, contact telephone numbers below) barely cover the horror of the “endemic” abuse suffered by children in Irish Catholic institutions over 60 years. The report details 800 abusers (both men and women) who were given approval by Irish society in their abuse. This is not the complete figure. A separate report about abuse in the Dublin region only is also due.
The full report, all five volumes of it, took nine years nine years to compile and while covering a period of six decades and finding thousands of boys and girls that were terrorized by priests and nuns, it dosen’t show the full picture. Public opinion at the time refused to believe the victims. The victims were vilified while the abusers took their lauded place in society. The victims left, be it through suicide, or through emigration.
The 800 figure is also wrong. Many others knew, and turned a blind eye. Refused to believe that those given the task to watch their morality could be the depraved ones.
To cap off the offense, the victims and the families were not allowed in to the press conference, which gave very little detail in the prepared speech, and permitted no questions.
It took a long time for the stories to emerge, and while the church is still respected by some, others find its protection if the abusers unforgivable (including those to “admire the bravery of the abusers“). I suspect that its the truth coming out behind these tales which have helped the numbers of regular church goers to dwindle.
Its also a national, and international news story now.
RTÉ News – Sexual abuse was ‘endemic’ in institutions
Irish Times – Audio analysis and summary of abuse report
Irish Times – Children exposed to ‘daily terror’ in institutions – Includes audio of Patsy McGarry outlining the report’s main findings
Irish Times – Anger over exclusion from briefing
Irish Times – Systematic abuse in State institutions laid bare
Channel 4 – UK – As a damning report is published into “endemic” abuse suffered by children in Irish Catholic institutions over 60 years, Carl Dinnen accompanies a former resident as he returns to a” reformatory school”. (Includes video embedded above)
Channel 4 – UK – Jon Snow talks to Colm O’Gorman, the Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland, who was a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by a Catholic priest as a teenager. Includes video embedded here. Some RSS readers may need to click through to see the video.
Twenty Major – So what happens now?
Twenty Major – Institutional Abuse report
Granddad – Suffer little children
A growing list of other takes on the subject from Irish Blogs
BBC News – UK – Irish abused ‘cheated of justice – Victims of child abuse at Catholic institutions in the Irish Republic have expressed anger that a damning report will not bring about prosecutions.
Includes video of Victims spokesman John Kelly giving his reaction to the report
Volume three includes the witness statements, and chapter 14, about lay teacher abusing and being defended by the Department of Education, got extensive reviews on today’s Morning Ireland.
Shocked but sadly not surprised,
The HSE offers a free National Counselling Service for anyone who has suffered childhood abuse on 1800 235 234.
The related Connect service, for out of hours contact, is on1800 235 235 from the Republic of Ireland (freephone) 00800 235 235 55 from Britain and Northern Ireland (free from landlines).
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre operates a 24-hour helpline on 1800 77 88 88.
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- Critical report due on child abuse in Irish Catholic schools (guardian.co.uk)
- Thousands abused in Catholic schools in Ireland (guardian.co.uk)
- Ireland’s Church Abuse Scandal (madhavgopalkrish.wordpress.com)
- The Church and child-rape (timesonline.typepad.com)
- Wall of silence about 60 years of child abuse still not entirely broken down (sluggerotoole.com)
- Child abuse: the full story at last? (sluggerotoole.com)
- Some wounds never heal (osocio.org)
Update: 1pm May 21 2009
Irish Times Opinion piece – Mr Justice Ryan’s report does not suggest that this abuse was as bad as most of us suspected. It shows that it was worse. It may indeed have been even worse than the report actually finds – there are indications that “the level of sexual abuse in boys’ institutions was much higher than was revealed by the records or could be discovered by this investigation”.
The Catholic League reaction – 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.