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Shameful Ireland: Enough is Enough

Posted May 21 2009 12:00am
Like Lisadom , I can't ignore this. I want to write about it, I don't want to write about it..... or maybe that should read I "can't" write about it.

But I have to say something.

I've also read Sharon of the Voyage , Boc k and Nick Mc Givney . All brilliantly written. As usual. Sorry for not commenting. I just don't know what to say.

I tried, really tried to read the report but I just can't. Too upsetting.

I watched States of Fear all those years ago and , was it Dear Daughter, about the Abuse at Goldenbridge? I remember being horrified at the time.

I can't watch "Magdalene Sisters" nor could I watch "Song for a Raggy Boy" last week. No way.

Saw Prime Time tonight and was mesmerised by Don Baker ( I remember watching this clip) and Paddy Doyle. Paddy remembers how it felt to be beaten from the back of his neck to the heel of his feet. He remembers the pain of it and, no doubt, the humiliation. So upsetting. I can't link you to his blog because in order for me to do that I'd have to open it .... I'm not quite ready to read that yet.

Watching Prime Time I was also horrified by the "Christian" Brother and Barry Andrews TD. How on earth can they say they're horrified, or "it's unconscionable"? They've known about it ..... and covered it up for years. When did they suddenly feel this way?? When they saw the Report yesterday? And are now trying to appear understanding and.... well....Christian?? And as for the Dept Of Education and Science? Well now, why does it not surprise me how they've dealt with these cases. Threatening them with having to pay their own costs if they dare to challenge them. Just like they do to parents of Autistic children... like the O'Cuanachains. They sure know how to hold a grudge. Against vulnerable and defenceless people.

As for the deal made between State and Church regarding funding the compensation payments? That is even more appalling now then it was when first announced. And we didn't know the half of it then. But they did. They knew all of it.

You know, I'm just sick to death of this country. We, the General Public , AKA "The Great Unwashed" (at least that's how we're treated) are taken to be fools of the highest degree.

Only in Ireland would Bankers and Developers get away with bringing this country to it's knees. Will anyone go to jail over it? Doubt it.

Corrupt Politicians get away with it too.

And serious Tax Evaders.

There is the token few who get a jail sentence. Just to appease the General Public.

Will anyone go to jail for the Systemic and Endemic abuse of vulnerable children?? How can they.... they can't even name them. And most of them are probably dead.

This, above all other things , sickens me. Enough is Enough. They should be tracked down and jailed. So should those who covered it up. They're still chasing down perpetrators of the Holocaust atrocity aren't they? Is this any different??? No it's not.

Well, actually it is. Because it happened in Ireland.

Shame on us, the citizens, if we let this go.

It's true that those we're different times, but they weren't that long ago. Only today I was telling my 9yr old boy, because he asked, that we were slapped by Teachers in school. Usually over the hand with a ruler. I told him it was worse when my parents were in school. They got such beatings. I went to the same school as my Mother and had one Teacher who also taught her. She was a sadistic bitch.

Corporal Punishment was accepted all across Ireland at the time. Indeed it was OK for parents to hit their children too. Still happens now, sadly.

The reasons children were sent to these Industrial Schools were trivial . My mother was one of 9 children, in a 2 bedroom house in Whitehall, Dublin in the 1940's. My Grandfather died when she was 4 years old. So life was very tough for them and for my Granny. She did her best. They all played truant though. The boys especially. In particular Uncle P and Uncle K. Uncle P was hiding, in the attic I think, when the Inspector came to call. Uncle K ratted on Uncle P. Uncle P ended up in Artane Boys Industrial School . For truancy.

I never knew Uncle P. Think I only met him once. As soon as he left Artane he went straight to England. He never forgave Uncle K. He also had serious misgivings towards my Granny. None of which was truly comprehended by any of us at the time. I get it now.

Uncle L was deaf and dumb (Special Needs), caused by meningitus at age 6 months. As was the general recommendation of the professionals at the time, he was sent to St Joseph's School for Deaf Boys in Cabra. At age 4. The family visited him and every Sunday the school was brought for a long walk and they paraded the children past my Granny's house. The family would all line up to see him. No contact allowed.

Uncle L I've seen over the years. A lovely man...always smiling. He too went to England, married and had 2 children. He had been given the necessary skills, in the cruelest of ways, to survive. All he says about those days is that they were very hard. Not sure if he suffered any sexual abuse there, but I've no doubt there was serious corporal punishment involved.

Uncle P on the other hand never married. He made a few visits home over the years. He died some years ago, in Ireland. He had returned here about 5 years previously, and never contacted his family. How sad. His neighbours found another uncle's contact details in his possessions and that's how some family members went to his funeral. His neighbours said what a lovely man he was. We didn't know, never having had the pleasure of his company. I dread to think of the abuse he suffered. I doubt very much that he came forward when others did.

Ireland as a whole, has a lot to do to right this wrong. The Catholic Clergy has the most work to do. The least of which is to discover what kind of person is attracted to religious life in the first place. Sexual Abuse is not restricted to the Irish Clergy. It's world wide. What makes an abuser want to be a priest or nun?? What kind of vetting is involved???

Just a simple start to a very complicated situation.

I seriously don't know what else to say. It's simply horrifying. I hope those who were abused have gotten some solace from the Report in that there can now be absolutely no doubt that they suffered serious abuse by people held in high regard in this country.

xx Jazzy
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