(Reuters) – Priests beat and raped children during decades of abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland, a report said Wednesday.
Orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were places of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse, the report said.
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, established by the government in 2000, blasted successive generations of priests, nuns and Brothers for beating, starving and, in some cases raping, children in Ireland’s network of industrial and reformatory schools between the 1930s and 1990s.
The religious orders investigated in Ireland include the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge who ran Dublin’s Magdalene Laundry — the subject of the 2002 film ‘The Magdalene Sisters’.
Also investigated were the Christian Brothers, who delayed proceedings through a successful court action defending their members’ right to anonymity.
The action led to the commission dropping its original intention to name the people against whom the allegations were made and only those who have already been convicted can be mentioned in the report.
The commission, originally set up for two years, was also delayed by what it described as the “adversarial and legalistic” approach of religious orders and by the resignation of its first chairwoman Justice Mary Laffoy a year later after a clash with the Department of Education.
(AFP)- “There is nothing by way of justice in any means significant in this report, nothing,” said John Kelly of the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) group, adding that victims of abuse “will also feel that the scars are still left open.”
“The state doesn’t want the world to know… that it abdicated its responsibility,” he added, saying survivors felt “deceived and cheated.”
I went a Christian Brother school in the UK, but it wasn’t a boarding school (thankfully), I got hit but no rape. What has been pointed out in coverage of the report is the huge number of people who after being abused left Ireland, the suggestion is they no longer felt safe in a country that colluded with the Church in covering up and thus enabled the abuse to continue. This report is a faltering step forwards but clearly the religious orders are not approaching this with contrition and the government has not stood up to them. Trying to present this as a closing chapter in the history of the abuse and torture would be a dishonest attempt at continuing the cover up under the guise of recognising it was wrong and then making insulting recommendations such as
… a memorial should be erected to all the victims of abuse in institutions and recommended that national childcare policy be reviewed on a regular basis.
Er, no. There need to be prosecutions and the Church has to compensate victims while the government provides the healthcare to help them. I’m sure St. Peter’s would fetch a nice sum even in a depressed housing market.