One of the “darkest chapters” in Ireland’s history is how the Irish Deputy Prime Minister refers to the abuse of children in Catholic- run institutions.
Thousands of children were abused over 60 years according to a report which took 9 years to produce but will NOT be used for criminal prosecutions.
The Christian Brothers successfully sued the commission who produced the report to keep the names of the guilty anonymous.
This is John Walsh from the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse , who says :
“I would have never opened my wounds if I’d known this was going to be the end result. It has devastated me and will devastate most victims because there are no criminal proceedings and no accountability whatsoever.”
It’s not the first time people in the Catholic church has been implicated – and indeed found guilty of – child abuse.
Compensation has been paid, apologies have been offered, procedures are said to have been tightened up and vetting is now more rigorous.
This Archbishop even praised the pervert priests for facing up to their actions.
So is it time to trust Church run schools and institutions with the welfare of your child ? Here’s one famous Catholic writer- Mary Kenny- arguing that these cases are aberrations and the vast majority of priests and teachers are decent and upstanding.
This writer – Laura Canning – argues that lessons still haven’t been learnt.
When the BBC put up a debate about this story we received thousands of responses from all around the world highlighting what took place during their education, and some of them vowing not to send their children to similar institutions.
Here’s a sample :
“I was born in the USA to Irish immigrants who thought I would get a better education back in Ireland rather than staying inthe USA when I was a teenager. By the time I left Ireland I was totally at a loss as to how to function in society. I spent most of my young adult life very dysfunctionally.”
“This happened to me, both by Christian Brothers at Public school in the UK and by a Father in Trinidad . Sadistic treatment and sexual malpractices appear to be normal amongst certain clergy. As young boys we never mentioned to our peers.”