Archives: Forum

2006-10-04 21:10:42 Marie-Therese O’Loughlin

Re: From the Guestbook {2)

Comment to Setanta.

Setanta arrived at Culainn’s house and the hound bayed like thunder and immediately sprang at him. Setanta, who had only his hurling stick and sliotar with him, hurled the ball with colossal force at the hound. The ball went into the gaping jaws of the huge animal and down into its throat. The hound was forced back by the pain of the blow. Immediately Setanta grabbed the hound by its legs and smashed its head on the stone courtyard. When Conor heard the hound baying he remembered Setanta and he rushed outside expecting to find him torn to pieces. He was overjoyed to see him unharmed. Is this what you metaphorically want to do to the 90% of victims/survivors of institutional abuse whom you ascertain are purportedly not telling the truth? The King’s hound made a leap at Sentanta and in order to live to tell the tale the latter went for the kill, – which was acceptable given the undesirable circumstances in which he was found. It was fundamentally, survival of the fittest! Nonetheless, subsequently, in no way did Setanta turn his indignation/wrath on other invited guests at the King’s party whom had entirely nothing got to do with the dreadful life-threatening incident, as you are so doing with respect of victims/survivors who have/are appeared/ing before the Residential Institutions Redress Board. It is well documented the abuse that was systematically meted out to children of the industrial schools in the past. In addition, “Sexual Abuse” is monstrous. however, In not wanting to belittle it – it is only ‘one’ form of abuse that is being ‘covered’ by the RIRB Boards sphere of activity. So please, in your expedition for justice do not smudge all victims/survivors with the equivalent brush. The respective victims/survivors did not ask to grow up in these despicable child – friendless institutions; the judiciary, the church & state and the ISPCC, the ‘Cruelty’ Men, the Legion of Mary, Barnardo’s, and unwilling poverty-stricken parent/parents foisted this life upon them. Target the person/s whom you ;allege’ wounded you but please do not rope in others of whose lives you know nothing. You ostensibly have tunnel vision on such a gargantuan issue {judging by your postings}- that has rocked not only this country, but also that of Europe and the United States of America. I do not mean to be denigratory, but you evidently haven’t a bull’s notion as to how the institutions operated in the olden days. As you mentioned the Health Board I instantaneously assumed your alleged debacle is from a more recent era. Since the seventies, the Kennedy Report, despite it not being implemented in the manner with which the report laid out. Nevertheless, life in institutions then began to change for the better.
I noticed particularly that you honed in on the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which does not deal in adversarial detail with applicants claims. Should you not be concentrating on the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, investigative arm, as this was the forum for telling ones story in a more adversarial mode? – not the former {RIRB}. The Redress Board only pays out compensation, it does not act as judge & jury as you are already aware. There is no fact-finding mission. The average payment/award is comparable to a solicitors five years experience annual wage. For a lifetime of suffering. From what I’ve gathered it has been speculated that it is supposedly coming from over-seas accounts, so that won’t be directly affecting the Nations purse-strings it is not too much to quibble/write home about. Given the fact too that the coffers of the state are full to over flowing. When one considers also those children who from as young as six and seven years old until sixteen and seventeen years, worked daily in a sweat shop, a classroom was illegally used for this slave labouring job – making rosary beads piece-work as well as scrubbing and cleaning without ever receiving a wage, with the exception that is of an annual sum of 2/6d = half crown old money; a tuck-shop was set up in the recreaction hall (wreck for short) and children invariably spent their hard earned cash. Does this not smack of prison – type goings-on?. However, one defines home, as a high percentage of victims /survivors never to this day required social, emotional, skills or wherewithal to set up a decent home. It was stated- quite emphatically to Judge Ryan at the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in May 2006 that six ex-inmates from Goldenbridge Industrial School had prematurely died; some had not even reached the fifty mark. Compare that with the longevity of the Religious, some of whom reach a century. I know a few more whom have since died. Since the outset of both the investigative/confidential Commission and the RIRB, 75 victims/survivors of institutional abuse have committed suicide. That figure also in May 2006 was quoted to the Commission! I dread to think what the current figure is! It is in my book is a sad indictment and is not acceptable. Setanta, indeed, fight your own corner but there are two sides to the coin. Dr. Woods took a great risk when he set up the Redress Board. Unfortunately, there were going to be losers, all round and that too includes victims/survivors of Institutional abuse who also never got a look in. In saying all this there is no other system in the world that can beat it. The concept of the Residential Institutions Redress Board is absolutely fantastic. I personally thank Michael E Hanahoe Solicitors, Sunlight Chambers, 21, Parliament St, Dublin 2, for sticking with and putting up with victims/survivors of institutional abuse. The dedicated staff have done trojan work and on behalf of institutional contemporaries I fully & wholeheartedly thank the firm. It is indeed not before time. “Never look a gift horse in the mouth!”


Last edited by Marie-Therese O’ loughlin (2006-11-17 16:45:47)


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