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2006-11-22 17:22:50 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

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RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS REDRESS BOARD
Letters to the Editor: Irish Times 19.05.2005
Madam,

The skewed view of evidence referred to by Mary Raftery at the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (May 12th) pales in significance compared to the activities of the Residential Institutions Redress Board. A place of secrecy, exclusion and bewilderment.

I have given evidence to the board on three occasions on behalf of three patients – all victims of layers of abuse, in particular sexual. Two of these have been under my care for over 10 years. All will bring their pain and suffering to the grave.

I was not allowed to be present when they gave their evidence, nor indeed were their partners, a friend, an advocate, no one of personal significance.

They were alone. Alone in attempting to articulate their exposure to regimes of unbridled rape and violence which lasted for years, at the hands of sadistic sexual perverts answerable to no one. Alone in telling about how their chance of a normal life was diminished from the beginning. About how they learned to place no value on themselves, and with their lives totally derailed following their release at 16 years old, drifted from one crisis to another for the rest of their lives.

One patient was left alone, on the verge of a panic attack due to the intensity of his fear, to tell the board of a past littered with criminal behaviour, prison records, substance misuse, dysfunctional relationships, mistrust of authority, and family breakdown.

I found the discomfort of waiting in a side room to give evidence, aware of my patients’ fears and worries, unbearable. They dreaded getting a panic attack, a flashback to an incident of abuse, a rush of uncontrollable anger that would alienate the chairman and jeopardise the outcome.

In giving my sworn evidence I felt under time pressure, and worse, that I was an unwelcome irritation slowing down the proceedings. An atmosphere of minimisation prevailed. It was impossible to present a complete picture.

The “board” consisted solely of a judge and a medical doctor. On two occasions that doctor, having had no experience of working with traumatised or abused children, let alone a qualification in psychiatry, was nonetheless there for the purpose of contributing to a judgment on the compensation deemed appropriate for each victim.

Not being a court, it is held in secret, away from the eyes of the community, and no perpetrator of a crime is ever sentenced to a punishment.

No apologies can be offered as no one is there representing the religious orders responsible. Justice for the victim is not the purpose, only financial compensation, which is capped to a maximum of €300,000. (To date the average award paid out to 2,555 victims has been €78,000.)

The award is conditional on them signing a secrecy agreement and a waiver on taking further legal action. If the victims disclose the amount they were awarded or discuss the facts of their case in public, they face criminalisation.

The wronged now accused of a crime! They can be fined up to €3,000 and can face a summary jail sentence of six months.

After a second disclosure, they face a fine not exceeding €25,000 and a two-year jail sentence. Why the secrecy? It’s certainly not for the benefit of the victim. There is emerging evidence that the Redress Board re-traumatises victims.

One patient of mine used this analogy. “An adult – man or woman – abuses a child. It is their ‘secret’. To make sure the ‘secret’ is kept the adult will give the child money or sweets. They buy silence. By making secrecy a condition upon payment, the board is doing exactly what an abuser does to a child.”

The elements of restorative justice which are required for the restitution of balance and healing are transparency instead of secrecy, formal apologies, the punishment of the wrongdoers, and supreme efforts to compensate for damage done.

The Redress Board embodies none of these.

Its role makes a mockery of the legal system, and of the Goddess Themis, whose scales are the symbols of Right and Justice.

It is my firm belief that the Redress Board contravenes the most basic of human and civil rights. In short, it represents a crime against humanity.

It should be abolished immediately and replaced by an open forum where the victim is not only properly monetarily compensated, but where they can have their perpetrators named, and the scales of justice balanced.

Yours, etc,

Dr MICHAEL CORRY,
Consultant Psychiatrist,
Dún Laoghaire.

#64 2006-11-23 18:47:20 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

Sunday, October 14, 2001 By Catherine O’Mahony. Irish Times columnist John Waters, the new consultant editor of Magill, has accused RTE of mounting a “witchhunt” against him after his controversial suggestion in the October issue of the current affairs magazine that many children sent to industrial schools in the 1950s and 1960s had criminal backgrounds. A debate on the issue on last Monday’s Liveline RTE radio programme ended up as an angry exchange between Waters and presenter Joe Duffy, who accused him of bullying the show’s producers. The debate continued for much of last week as hundreds of former industrial school pupils phoned in to RTE to express their hurt and anger. Waters wrote an editorial in Magill that cast doubt on the Laffoy Commission, which was set up to investigate abuse of children by industrial schools in the 1950s and 1960s. The most contested part of the article questioned the motives of the “alleged victims” of abuse, since “many will have been young offenders with all the baggage and possible motivation that this might imply”. These were people, it continued, “who, as adolescents at least, had a history of disturbance or even criminal activity”. These were surprising — and factually inaccurate — comments to make on an issue that has received overwhelmingly sympathetic coverage in the media. Department of Education statistics show that just 6 per cent of children admitted to industrial schools through the courts had committed any kind of offence. Of that number, half were under 12 and would scarcely be considered criminal by today’s standards. Waters is standing by his argument and alleging that RTE “drummed up hysteria” over his comments. He says Magill magazine received many calls in support of his points, including calls from former industrial school pupils. “I don’t claim to be pious,” he said. “But we are developing a culture where there is an omnipotent victim, an atmosphere where it is impossible for anyone to suggest the possible innocence of the accused.”. Waters’ central point is that people who worked in industrial schools are being scapegoated by the society that sanctioned abuses in the first place. The accused, he said, have a right to have allegations against them treated with “scepticism” in a judicial process. He says the media is guilty of ignoring this right in the interests of “populism”. Eoin O’Sullivan, a Trinity College lecturer who worked on the RTE States of Fear documentary and is an expert on industrial schools, said it was “quite simply wrong” of Waters to suggest that “many” industrial school pupils had criminal backgrounds. The overwhelming majority of children — ranging in age from babies to teenagers — were sent to industrial schools either because they were orphans or because the authorities decided their parents couldn’t look after them. Even the minority who were sent to reformatory schools for more “serious” crimes would scarcely rank as criminals today, O’Sullivan argued. One 14-year-old boy was sentenced to four-and-a-half years incarceration in the 1930s for “larceny of apples and pears to a value of 30 shillings”.”Poverty and neglect — that’s why they were there: 20 to 30 per cent of children arrived at industrial schools before they were six,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s hard to imagine what kind of crimes they could possibly have committed.”. One woman, Mary Norris, rang Liveline from Tralee to describe how she and six siblings were sent to different industrial schools in the area because their mother was discovered by the parish priest to be having an affair. Writer Mannix Flynn, sent to Letterfrack industrial school at the age of 10 for playing truant and stealing a bike, also spoke up. Former Lord Mayor of Clonmel Michael O’Brien, also a former pupil at an industrial school, was the first distressed caller to the programme. Waters has accepted O’Sullivan’s statistics, but said 6 per cent of the total number of children could still constitute “many” individuals, given the thousands of people who went through the industrial school system. He said he was not defending the industrial school system in general or denying that abuses took place. “I have always disapproved of and criticised the [school] system in the past, where I felt it was appropriate,” he said. “That doesn’t mean it’s not right to be mindful of the potential for miscarriages of justice. Waters was invited to contribute to the first Liveline show on the issue last Friday week, but was unavailable. On last Monday’s show, his contribution centred on his anger that Liveline had begun addressing the issue the previous week without his participation.

Ends

#65 2006-11-23 18:51:10 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

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SEANAD EIREANN–VOLUME 76–15th November, 1973. REPORT ON REFORMATORY AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS, 1973: MOTION. Mr. Horgan: Anybody might think on reading the morning newspapers today that the small matter we were discussing in this House yesterday afternoon, the Private Members’ Bill in the names of Senators Robinson. West and I, was the most important social issue facing the country. We all [123] know that while it is very important it is not the most important social issue facing this country. That is why I am particularly glad that this motion is before us this morning. I should like to support this motion and to commend Senators Robinson and West for an exemplification of a very wide social concern that cannot be tied down to matters of detail. There is a crying need at the moment for the kind of codification, improvement and updating of family law that unfortunately is only barely hinted at in this report. When we consider that one of the main Acts under which children are sent to reformatories and industrial schools is a Children’s Act which was passed almost 70 years ago, we should hang our heads in shame as a country and as a parliament—that we have not taken seriously enough the whole range of problems involved, a range of problems which produces the people who are the raw material of this report. When reading this report I was particularly struck by Tables 27, 28, and 29 and the appendices dealing with the background information about the children concerned. On looking at these tables one gets an amazing and saddening picture of the type of child who is likely to find himself in such an institution. He is overwhelmingly likely to be the product of a broken home. He is overwhelmingly likely, perhaps, even to be illegitimate. He may not even know if his parents were ever married or if they are alive. This impression is heightened when one looks at Tables 31 and 32 in the report which relate to father’s and mother’s occupations. On looking at Table 31, one will notice the infinitesimal proportion of children in industrial schools and reformatories who come from families where the father or mother is in one of the higher income groups. The lower the income group, the higher the number of children in these industrial schools. This is true of the mothers as well as of the fathers. 124 The problem we are trying to cope with here is a school system, or a reformatory and industrial school [124] system, which is in effect confined almost exclusively to the children from the lower socio-economic groups in our society. We must face the implications of this. Is the fact that so many of these children come from the lower socio-economic groups an indication that children from this group are much more likely to be wicked than the children of professional people? There may be some people who believe this and I have no time for them. If we accept that this is necessarily the case and that those children find themselves in those schools for a whole complex series of reasons over which they, individually, have very little control, we will be in a better position to understand the situation. I agree wholeheartedly with what Senator Brosnahan said about educational priority areas, now apparently a priority of the present Government, and of the need to create, in so far as it can be created, a fine environment for children at school in those areas. I think it was Senator Brosnahan who told me on one occasion that it is not so very long ago since the same architects were employed by the Board of Works to build both prisons and schools. I hasten to add that I do not think it was under any administration of recent times. There are many schools in this city and in other urban areas, built perhaps around the turn of the century or slightly earlier, which from the outside have all the appearances of prisons and I suspect on the inside as well. Some of them have windows from which small children could look out. We must realise that the whole spectrum of deprivation which puts those children at risk from the moment they are born, and perhaps even before that, is something that cannot be solved by a piecemeal approach. This is why I am calling as a matter of urgency for the Government to take the whole question of family legislation seriously and to codify and update the existing laws. 125 I should like to refer to another matter. We cannot assume, without being inhuman to an incredible degree, that those children are there [125] just because they are bad. We must accept that they are locked into a vicious cycle of deprivation and delinquency and we have got to accept that we, in very many ways, unwittingly have contributed to the perpetuation of this cycle. Senator Brosnahan referred to research about the importance of people who have care of very young children. I am sure he too is aware of research which shows, very particularly in the case of teachers, that children tend to perform in school in terms of their teachers’ expectations of them. In other words, the child who is well dressed, well spoken and clean will achieve more at school than a child of similar innate ability but who is not so well dressed, tends to be late for school, is not perhaps very clean and who has an accent which marks him off as the product of one particular street rather than another. This is part of the cycle which I have been describing. Teachers—it is human nature and one cannot blame them—tend to respond to characteristics in children of which they approve. They tend very often, quite unconsciously, to discriminate against children whose abilities may be no less and whose need may be greater than the favourite ones in class. This is part of the contribution to the vicious circle which I have mentioned. There is another element, and that is the sentencing policy in our courts. I should like to call your attention, first of all to a matter of fact—the statement on page 75 of the report about the rather extraordinary way in which our present policy and system operate. Paragraph 10.19 of the report reads: 126 One anomaly which exists in the present system is that three youthful offenders may receive three different sentences for the one offence, the least guilty receiving the longest sentence. For example, a 12 year old, a 14 year old and a 16 year old may commit an offence which will lead to the 12 year old being committed to Letterfrack, Galway, for three years, the 14 year to St. Conleth’s, Daingean, for two years and [126] the 16 year old to St. Patrick’s, Dublin, for one year. This state of affairs gives a hint that the practice of sentencing is open to careful and sensitive review. What I have said about teachers applies pari passu to judges. One does not have to be very well read to be kept in touch with case after case in the courts where the well-spoken, well-dressed, clean child with an expensive solicitor and anxious parents, both in court, will get a lighter sentence than the working-class child whose parents may not even know that he will be in court that day. When we consider that 80 per cent of the children in the industrial and reformatory schools, according to the report, are there because they have been committed by the courts, we will realise that the whole question of sentencing needs to be looked at very closely. I would strongly suggest to the Parliamentary Secretary that research funds be made available by the Department of Education for an authoritative study, perhaps by a university group, on the practice and consistency of sentencing in our Children’s Courts. One such study was carried out in respect of a totally different matter in Northern Ireland recently by people who studied the differences between the sentencing of Catholics and Protestants in the Northern Ireland courts. This is the kind of research which tells us more about our society and its assumptions than any generalisation can do. I would strongly recommend it to the Parliamentary Secretary’s attention.

Ends.

#66 2006-11-23 23:25:19 Setanta
 Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

==Statement 5.== [LIES AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE MADE BY CHILDREN FROM SAINT JOSEPHS ORPHANAGE KILKENNY CITY IRELAND ]
Would Dr.Michael Corry like to consider the innocent victims,and their innocent families that have been falsely accused by unscrupulous applicants to the Residential Institutions Redress Board ?

Would Dr.Corry like to think, and examine  the suffering that comes to people like myself, an innocent victim ? I can see this learned mans biased, and cruel attitude against me and innocent people who have been falsely accused by unscrupulous applicants to the Redress Board.

A year ago, I supplied Dr.Corry with evidence that some applicants to the Redress Board had lied, and given false sworn evidence, and committed perjury, while alleging that they had suffered sexual, physical and mental abuse while they were resident in St.Josephs Industrial School Kilkenny over thirty years ago.

But ,in kind with the elusive Irish Health Board Social Workers, and the crooked Gardai, and the crooked solicitors, Dr.Corry has chosen to remain silent on the matter.

Why all this Secrecy ?

I too am under threat of imprisonment, and financial loss, from the very crooked Redress Board should I reveal the vile proceedings that I have seen there.

I am at a loss to understand as to how so many Honorable,Astute , Learned and highly educated professional people can operate, and work in the Residential Institutions Redress Board ,while knowing that it is fundamentally flawed, and unconstitutional,and in violation of our Civil, National and International human rights.

And these people who are supposed to be the pillars of our society, are Judges, Solicitors, Barristers, Doctors and their staff.
And they are  all working, and operating in a system that is crooked.

I believe that it is wrongful of Dr.Corry to imply that any person named by a Redress Board applicant was “a perpetrator of a crime”.

I have been named by lying applicants to the Redress Board,and I have not committed any crime. I am not a perpetrator of a crime. I am Innocent.

I have seen statements to the Redress Board that are unsafe,and untruthful, and  I am sure that there are more suffering innocent victims that have been falsely accused by unscrupulous lying applicants to the Board.

I submit that the Redress Board encourages these lying applicants to lie, and destroy innocent men ,women and children, by what they have said,and they ,and their vile applicants can then hide, while being protected by the Boards draconian rules and its Secrecy.

And to add insult to injury, the Redress Board then pays the lying individuals and their legal council large sums of money, as their reward for doing their vile damages to our innocent and unsuspecting society.

Dr.Corry, your patients analogy “An adult-Man or Woman” is inaccurate, and fundamentally flawed. With your qualifications, I think that you should be aware of all the facts, and then use them to guide your patient in a balanced, informed and right direction.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

Furthermore, your biased opinion states “They can have their perpetrators named”

Are you really in favour of this witch-hunt opinion which accepts guilt without a fair trial?

Have you even got the slightest idea of what can happen to an innocent person and an innocent family ,when  Witch-Hunt neighbors find out that he or she has been accused of child abuse ?

If you are suggesting a fair and level playing field ? Then are you prepared to name your patients who are applicants to the Crooked Redress Board ?

Will any Solicitor name their client who is an applicant to the Redress Board ?

Will any Solicitor show their clients statements made to the Redress Board ?

Will the Redress Board show any statements ?

Will the Redress Board pursue lying applicants  ?

Has any member of the Irish public ever seen any statement of application to the Residential Institutions Redress Board ?

The Gardai know about the unsafe statements that they have written for some  lying Redress Board applicants.  Who will pursue the Crooked Gardai ?(The Irish Police Force)

Crooked Solicitors have presented statements on behalf of their unscrupulous clients to the Redress Board, and claimed redress, while destroying innocent people.  Who will pursue them ?

Barristers have presented statements for redress that are known to them as being unsafe and untruthful.  Who will pursue them ?

And what about the Redress Board Judge who sees, and knows all.
Who will pursue the Crooked Redress Board Judge ?

Regards, Setanta.

Last edited by Setanta (2007-09-22 15:34:22)

#67 2006-11-24 16:24:22 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin
 Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

ABUSE VICTIMS/SURVIVORS AND THE RESIDENTIAL REDRESS BOARD

Madam,
Dr Michael Corry’s heroic stance in relation to the activities of the Residential Institutions Redress Board (May 19th) must be commended. Dr Corry wrote that in giving evidence to the board on behalf of three patients, two of whom had been under his care for over 10 years, he “felt under time pressure, and worse, that [he] was an unwelcome irritation slowing down proceedings. An atmosphere of minimisation prevailed. It was impossible to present a complete picture “.

If this is how a psychiatrist felt, one can only imagine the anguish that victims of institutional abuse must feel as they try to regurgitate their years of hellish abuse, behind closed doors, to a board which clearly doesn’t wish to know the full extent of their painful pasts.

Might it be that the redress board is concerned that if it hears all the gory details in their entirety, perhaps it would feel morally compelled to compensate victims with amounts equivalent to High Court awards for similar types of abuse? Raymond Noctor, a victim of institutional abuse, is a classic example. He was recently awarded €370,000 in the High Court. To date the average award paid out at the Redress Board is €78,000.

Before accepting an award, victims must sign a conditional secrecy agreement and a waiver on taking further legal action. If victims publicly disclose amounts awarded or the facts of their case, they can face fines of €3,000 or €25,000 and/or six months or two years’ imprisonment. In contrast, Raymond Noctor had no such constraints. He spoke openly and eloquently on the Joe Duffy radio show about the facts of his case and the award made. Discrimination is another form of abuse.

Raymond’s partner, friends, and counsellor were all permitted to be present at the High Court, if he so wished. The media too, were allowed. Alas, the Redress Board does not operate this equitable practise. Instead, victims are prohibited from bringing a spouse/partner, a friend or a counsellor into the hearing. The media too, are prohibited.

Victims are alone and defenceless as they try to articulate their stories, worrying all the while whether they will be believed or not, and feeling helpless to respond to disparaging remarks made to them, about themselves and their parents, by some members of the board. Victims feel alone, unprotected and isolated, feelings they experienced during their years of abuse in institutions.

Is it any wonder that Dr Corry “found the discomfort of waiting in a side room. . .aware of [his] patients’ fears and worries, unbearable”?

It is no surprise that Dr Corry believes “there is emerging evidence that the Redress Board re-traumatises victims”. The National Counselling Service appears to hold a similar view. Recently it wrote to the Redress Board, expressing misgivings and concern about the damaging effect of board hearings on some of their clients. It would appear from the board’s response that it is unwilling to change.

It should be apparent that a full time counsellor at the Redress Board would be of enormous support to victims – and might encourage victims who have not yet used the service to do so.

Given that the Government pledged €10 million towards counselling following the Taoiseach’s apology in May 1999; and that the Commission of Inquiry into Residential Abuse has an excellent victim impact support system in operation, the question needs to be answered: why has the Redress Board decided to adopt such an unsympathetic approach?
Yours, etc,

CHRISTINE BUCKLEY, Aislinn Centre for Support and Education of Victims of Institutional Abuse, Jervis House, Dublin 1.

Last edited by Marie-Therese O’ loughlin (2006-12-10 19:16:08

 #68 2006-11-24 16:33:42 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin
 Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS REDRESS BOARD

Letters to the Editor – Irish Times
Madam,
Dr Michael Corry’s letter of May 19th highlighted many of the reasons why I took the decision to go on hunger strike for 22 days in April 2004.

I read his letter with keen interest and waited in hope to read replies from the professional bodies involved with survivors of abuse in relation to the Redress Board. I expected replies from Dr Corry’s professional colleagues – psychiatrists who, like him, attend the Redress Board, where some of them have had their professional integrity undermined.

I hoped to read letters from survivors’ solicitors and barristers. These professional people have witnessed at first hand what Dr Corry outlines in his letter, ie the humiliation and intimidation visited on their clients when they appear in front of the board. I expected letters from survivor’s counsellors, who listen to their clients tell of their degrading experiences in an atmosphere that renders many of them too frightened to talk.

Alas, Dr Corry is a lone voice among the above-mentioned professional bodies. Questions arise. Are these professional people sworn to a similar kind of secrecy to that demanded of survivors when they sign to accept the financial pittance offered to them for the drip-feed devastation of their childhoods and the brokenness they continue to suffer in their adult lives? Is it a case of “Terms and conditions apply”? Is there another layer of reasons for the professional people’s silent response to Dr Corry’s letter?

I feel I talk for many survivors when I say: my entire life has been blighted by the abuse I experienced in my childhood. When a person’s childhood is systematically abused, day upon day, year upon year, be the abuse emotional or physical, a person’s entire humanity is abused; no part of a person’s integrity escapes this degradation.

We survivors of institutional abuse, whose childhoods were annihilated, are today’s broken adults. We survive in a state of continuous bewilderment; we are drifting, to quote Dr Corry, “from one crisis to another”, in hope that somehow, somewhere, some day the atrocities committed against us as children might begin to make sense.

However, there is one way to protect survivors from further abuse by the Redress Board. This one way is for the professional bodies mentioned in this letter to join Dr Corry in his struggle to bring about change in the tyrannical atmosphere that prevails in the board at present.

The above mentioned professional people have one kind of power. The power to insist – indeed they have a moral duty to demand – that their clients, survivors of institutional abuse, be afforded the respect and dignity denied them as children.

Maybe then the Goddess Themis will smile on her scales of right and justice, as they begin to balance with dignity and respect for one section of the most vulnerable adults in Irish society today.

On behalf of all survivors of institutional abuse, I would like to thank Dr Corry for the compassion and heartfelt concern he shows for us all in his letter. – Yours, etc, TOM SWEENEY © Irish Times – 20.06.05

Last edited by Marie-Therese O’ loughlin (2006-12-10 19:19:35)

 #69 2006-11-24 16:43:22 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin
 

Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2

Abuse was widespread. RONALD McCARTAN, FRESHWATER ROAD, DAGENHAM Mr John Fitzgerald (Letters, June 14) indicates quotes and remarks made by men and women who as children were sentenced to serve terms of detention within the Irish industrial and reformatory system are groundless and in some cases downright lies. Whilst I cannot make comment on events which occurred in day schools or national schools in the 1940s to 1970s I can, without fear of contradiction, remark on the outright brutality perpetrated by so-called Christian Brothers and others on defenceless children sentenced to terms ranging from as little as one year to sixteen years or more within the confines of institutions such as Artane, Letterfrack, Dangean and other such places. One only has to read the tracts published each day, resulting from evidence given by representatives of the numerous different religious orders to the Commission to enquire into institutional Child Abuse to find acceptance of statements of survivors in relation to physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuses which occurred in these places. Whilst Mr Fitzgerald may well have received reasonable education at the hands of similar Christian Brothers in order to prepare him for his place in society most of us confined within the four walls of these institutions were forced into manual labour at the expense of similar reasonable education. Whereas he had a home to go to each evening we remained at the mercy of these monsters twenty four seven the whole year round. It is apparently acceptable to renounce those who attended the Commission to Enquire and the Redress Board as fabricators of untrue stories or lies but I would remind him and other correspondents that only two people have been found to be lying out of a total of some thousands who have given evidence to crimes perpetrated against their persons by those responsible for their care. Namely, Christian Brothers, nuns and priests. Acceptance of your religious beliefs is acceptable to me, even without positive evidence of their origins. Acceptance of the brutality and indifference which pertained within the Institutional and Reformatory System in Ireland in those years and which has been clearly outlined in numerous enquiries and reports established by governments of different persuasions cannot be all inaccurate. 

Redress is open to abuse Tuesday June 27th 2006
In reply to Ronald McCartan (Letters, June 21), I want to say that I have no argument with his contention that many inmates of Irish industrial and reformatory schools were most horribly abused by the people to whose care they were entrusted.

The ill-treatment of all those victims was, and remains, a crime against humanity that all right-thinking people must accept was perpetrated in a so-called “Christian” society. There should be no attempt to minimise the effects of the abuse on its victims.

I also accept that any person guilty of committing that most detestable crime of sexual abuse should be subjected to the heaviest penalties..Where I have a problem with much of what has been broadcast and written is that it often comes dangerously close to tarring ALL careworkers who happened to serve in those archaic and unhappy institutions as fiends and monsters.

They were not.

Many of them were decent, caring, compassionate human beings who did everything in their power, allowing for the adverse social and economic circumstances of their time, to ease the plight of inmates.

Even in the cases of institutions where a number of care workers have been rightly and effectively exposed as abusers, former inmates have gone to considerable lengths to clarify that other carers, religious or otherwise, in those same institutions were blameless and have commended their stewardship. Whether a carer is nun, a priest, a brother, or a lay worker, I believe that he or she ought to be entitled to a good name and unblemished reputation unless and until convincing and compelling evidence is produced to substantiate an abuse allegation against them.

I have a serious problem with a redress system that literally permits the stigmatising of people who have not been convicted of any crime in a court of law.

A person who comes before the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB) and makes an allegation concerning abuse can be taken at his or her word in the absence of third party eye-witnesses… and compensated for the alleged abuse.

The person who is the subject of the allegation, though not found guilty in a legal sense, is then inevitably perceived to be guilty of a most heinous crime, simply because another person, who may or may not be telling the truth, has been compensated for the alleged, though unproven, offence.

The Irish redress system is based on a similar scheme launched in Canada in 1984 to compensate victims of institutional abuse.

Hundreds of Canadian careworkers filed legal actions claiming they were falsely accused, and only last week newspapers reported that eleven of these have been awarded a total of $7.5 million for having been wronged by false accusers. Many other cases are in pending in the Canadian courts.

I predict that a large number of such cases will surface here in Ireland too after the redress board has completed its hearings and deliberations. And the tax-payer will be footing the bill.

So I say, with the greatest respect to Ronald McCartin: There should be no hiding place for sexual abusers . . . or false accusers.

JOHN FITZGERALD,
CO KILKENNY

© Irish Independent

“The Irish redress system is based on a similar scheme launched in Canada in 1984 to compensate victims of institutional abuse. Hundreds of Canadian careworkers filed legal actions claiming they were falsely accused, and only last week newspapers reported that eleven of these have been awarded a total of $7.5 million for having been wronged by false accusers. Many other cases are in pending in the Canadian courts”……………………………
Mr. Fitzgerald, ‘the abused’ in this case were awarded over 50 million dollars……. Lee Keating and his gang lobbied the Canadian Progressive Conservatives saying they were falsely accused. SUBSEQUENTLY they held meetings with the soon-to-be government (meetings, suffice it to say, which were not held with ‘the abused’) and got a Commission and a Report – which even a justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court said was politically motivated. They then launched a class action lawsuit on the basis of it and got a settlement, mysteriously, just a couple of weeks before another provincial election. A demand of Keating and his gang throughout all this was that the police stop investigating them. So they were never proved to be wrongly accused. They just had more clout. Mr John Fitzgerald, among the people you call – “wrongly accused”, are ‘abusers’ who just got themselves rewarded a nice pension. ‘The abused’ never asked the Canadian police to stop investigating THEM. How many of them, Mr. Fitzgerald, were actually charged with making false allegations? And how “many other cases are there in pending in the Canadian courts”?…… Name them……. Like I say, Mr. Fitzgerald, you’re full of wind!……………..Comment from: a Canadian victim/survivor of institutional abuse.

Last edited by Marie-Therese O’ loughlin (2006-11-25 15:36:10)

 #70 2006-11-25 00:07:00 Setanta
 

Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

== Statement 6.== [LIES AND FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE MADE BY CHILDREN FROM SAINT JOSEPHS ORPHANAGE KILKENNY CITY IRELAND.]

And is it to be believed,that because of what I have said about being falsely accused by unscrupulous lying applicants to the Redress Board, that I am full of wind too ?

You appear to imply that applicants  have been honest and faithful in completing their applications and statements to the Residential Institutions Board since its inception in 2002.

And I have noted that there are other statements ,signed and witnessed by the Gardai in 1995 which were also submitted by lying applicants to the Board for redress.

Do you really believe in fair justice ?

I submit that the evidence is already there which may,or may not substantiate   your implied beliefs.

Our Crooked Solicitors hold this evidence in secret.
The Gardai (Crooked Irish Police Force ) hold this evidence in secret.

And what about the thousands of statements being held in total secrecy by The Crooked Residential Redress Board in Dublin.

Why are all these statements kept in secret ?

How can any innocent citizen of Ireland challenge a  statement that is being held in secret, that is never shown to him or her ?

When an innocent person is about to be shot dead by a firing squad under the command of a vicious dictatorship,they will know the reason as to why they are about to die.

But in Ireland, an innocent person can be falsely accused of child abuse, and be condemned to a life of misery and devastation, while being denied his or her Constitutional, Civil, National and International Right to view what has been said, and to defend himself/herself.
Regards Setanta..

Last edited by Setanta (2007-09-22 15:37:14)

 #71 2006-11-25 16:22:04 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

Setanta: Why don’t you contact organisations out there that are sympathetic to your cause. No doubt they will guide you through the many ‘procedures’ open to you to pursue a class suit action against the STATE, EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, REDRESS BOARD, RYAN COMMISSION, FERNS REPORT, AND THE UPCOMNG MURPHY INQUIRY INTO THE DUBLIN ARCHDIOCESE, ETC. Perhaps you could also send a missive to the religious WHO DONATED ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT MILLION EURO AS A GESTURE OF ‘goodwill’  TOWARDS THE MANY THOUSANDS WHO ENDURED HORRENDOUS TORTURES OF EVERY NATURE IMAGINABLE IN THE INSTITUTIONS OF IRELAND. F YOU HAVE A GRIPE, TAKE IT UP WITH THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES AND KINDLY DESIST FROM LABELLING ‘THE ABUSED’ AS YOUR ‘TORMENTORS’. I see nothing of relevance in your posting, other than an emotional rant directed more at the abused than at the Redress Board. AN IRISH VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE, NOW DOMICILED IN GREAT BRITAIN

PS:
Re above posting but one it should  have been signed off with: “CANADIAN” VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE, MY APOLOGIES!

Three more comments = not mine!

And remember too ‘setanta’ {I note that SETANTA contains the word SATAN} that EVERY CHILD incarcerated in these INSTITUTIONS was in there ILLEGALLY …. and nobody … not even the EDUCATED ELITE that you harangue, did anything to rescue these children …. some estimates of how many children were incarcerated by the “religious” orders go as high as 150,000 … YES, 150,000 children — completely innocent children who had their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS ripped from them … as did their parents …. a REDRESS BOARD for the parents is  the NEXT STEP in the process of exposing the corruption of these “religious” orders … AN IRISH VICTIM OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE.

Can you explain “blatantly  BIASED ”  WHY there are many ‘abuse’ victim’s/survivor’s who have gone through the “REDRESS” procedure and came out feeling further abused and insulted? …. Yet in ALL CASES before the “Redress” Board, the named “religious” orders and their members (former and present) have had their chance to REPLY ,,,,, In MOST CASES these orders and their members have refused this chance. So if there are complaints about those allegedly ‘wrongly accused’ from these orders they have ONLY THEMSELVES TO BLAME. AN IRISH VICTIM OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE.

RE: The Residential Institutions Redress Board.
1. We have the witchunters, the begrudgers, very sick attention seekers; people who got on the redress bandwagon in order to gain notoriety; failed ex-religious; the religious who think ‘denial’ is in Egypt as opposed to in their hearts and minds; we have the wannabe ‘spouting’ journalists and the Sister Breda’s who are an absolute pain in the jaw.

2. We have a fast track method of redress in which the actual survivor never gets to present his/her case in reality and in the main is left with only a vague description as to what the solicitor presented or the Redress Board Committee accepted as evidence as to his /her suffering.

3. We have a Redress Board composed of personnel who have not the remotest idea of what an Industrial or Reformatory School was/is like.

4. We have a Redress Board composed of the silver spoon brigade. Educated at the very finest institutes not Institutions such as Letterfrack, Artane Daingean or Goldenbridge.

5. We have a piece of legislation accepted as law by the Irish Parliament but treated as a pet project by the Committee set in place to manage the financial redress of the survivors of some of the most iniquitous atrocities ever perpetrated upon children in captivity.

6. We have a piece of legislation which has determined that the Law in Ireland is as open to abuse today as it was when they imposed a criminal conviction on each and every child ordered to be detained within the confines of the Industrial and Reformatory Institutions.

7. We have a piece of legislation which the Redress Board feel they can amend every and any time it suits their agenda.

8. We have a piece of legislation which no Group Leader or Solicitor who claims to be representing the victims has sought to place before the Courts of Justice for verification of its different aspects.

9. We have an illegal bond of silence placed upon every victim who seeks redress for what they endured. It is a fact this ban on the imparting of what occurs within the Redress Board would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world and the Redress Board Committee and the Irish Judicial System know this only too well. I have in my possession a letter indicating that what I have just said is true. Special advantages which the Redress Board have in Ireland would be considered illegal outside the boundaries of that God forsaken Country. Try to get any Solicitor representing Survivors to test its legality in court.

10. We have victims reduced to tears having been awarded paltry sums of money for their years of torture, physical, mental, emotional and finally spiritual abuse. Yes! Spiritual Abuse.

11. We have a Redress Board determined to reduce the amount of average awards as cases continue, and indeed will, in the final analysis, reduce the amount of awards to nothing unless survivors take some form of positive action.

12. We have individuals feeling very bitter as they consider their situation after being compelled by their legal teams to accept the token awards as full and just compensation for what they have endured under threat. If people appeal against an award imposed, the Redress Board in an effort to stifle such application will invariably reduce the original amount awarded.

13. We have people taking their cases to the courts and who are achieving awards up to three time the largest amount offered to survivors for infinitely less suffering than that endured by victims of the Industrial and Reformatory School System

14. Sadly we have an ever growing group of people wishing they had taken their cases to the civil courts where they would have at least sampled some sort of Justice.

15. And finally we have the constant threat from the Redress Board chairman that he will take punitive action against any survivor who dares to relate events of what occurs within the confines of the Redress Board. This indicates to me that the personnel of the Redress Board believe they alone are the individuals upon whom the worst publicised abuses were ever inflicted on…………An Irish victim of institutional Abuse.
MY COMMENT.

Setanta,
Please desist from tarring all victim’s/survivor’s of institutional abuse with the same brush. By all means make your views known about St Joseph’s, Kilkenny, and the wrong you assert was visited upon you; just as I do vis-à-vis the mother and baby unit, {Regina Coeli}, Legion of Mary, Nth  Brunswick St. Dublin and Goldenbridge Industrial School, late of – Inchicore, Dublin. My advise is: do not waste fundamental oomph, vigour and time on issues that distinctively do not relate to your state of affairs. By all means fight the injustice that you contend occurred…..But do you at all cost have to find an ex-institutional whipping boy/girl – man/woman to channel it, and allow it to obscure and dominate your mind?  Blameless innocent victim’s/survivor’s whose lives were worn and torn to shreds by the vicious, callous, merciless, uncompromising  and heartless regime that existed in the institutional industrial school organism of the past are notwithstanding easy targets……………You are transferring all your pent – up anger, {which I entirely empathise, if there was a miscarriage of justice} in the erroneous direction.‘
Nonetheless, One institution = ‘bad apple’ from your {perspective} basket should be held answerable and {from ’your acuity’} be cast aside. From ‘your prerogative’ yes, yes, yes – that should be so.  Nevertheless, it only causes contamination,= unfathomable antipathy, confrontation and mar if the ‘bad apple’ is assertively, and aggressively {by the beholder – who is devoid of focal point, vision or insight} hurled in the midst of the whole of the institutions = basket of apples, ……all therein are thus undeniably bruised and held responsible, through no fault of theirs for the rottenness of the alleged ‘one bad apple’ – for no absurd rationale……………………………………….Casting aspersions, and making unfounded rash judgments about people whose lives you know nothing about is not going to change one iota the circumstances in which you find yourself. Victims/survivors of institutional abuse in general are not the perpetrators of the dreadful deeds that you allege were bestowed upon you……OVER 14,500 have applied to the Residential Institutions Redress Board, for ‘AWARDS’. .At any given time there were ONLY 80 detainees in St Joseph’s, Industrial School, Kilkenny. There is a vast difference between both figures quoted. In your summation, 95% of those who have, or who are in the process of attending the RIRB are LIARS. Sounds utterly and outrageously ludricrous. To round off, 95% of victim’s/survivor’s, of whom, by the same token, and the mere fact of having been illegally incarcerated in those dreadful child friendless prisons and gulags could easily point the finger at you and cast doubts. I wonder how that would feel!
Irrespective of the order of the rest of the apples, you ought to only worry about the state of ‘your own apple’……namely, St Joseph’s Kilkenny.

BY THE WAY, IF ONE PLACES A BAD APPLE UNDER AN APPLE TREE IT CAUSES HUMUS AND THE TREE FLOURISHES ON IT..AT HARVEST TIME, THE BIRDS OF THE EARTH FLY TO IT TO FEED OFF ITS RICHNESS. IN THE AFTERMATH. IS THAT NOT A POSITIVE THOUGHT?.
Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

Last edited by Marie-Therese O’ loughlin (2006-11-26 15:55:45)

 #72 2006-11-25 21:05:57 Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

Re: From the CrookedLawyers.com Guestbook {2}

The Institutions left victim’s/survivor’s with the following Legacies.

For those of you who have already gone through Redress, and those yet still to do so the following paragraphs will be of enormous interest, horror, bewilderment and anger. Of interest to you since a lot of you, until recently, were not aware of the consequences of a bad diet when we were growing up in Institutions. Horror due to what is foreseen to occur in later life as a consequence of Malnutrition. Finally, anger. For those of you who have signed the document which disbars one from taking any Court action in the future, it is only then that you will realise why. It will become clear to you when you are in agony from Arthritis or some other debilitating disease which was just waiting to appear as a direct consequence of the really bad food we were given in early life by the religious people, anger at the state for hiding these facts from you, fully knowing what would happen in later life and finally, anger at oneself for not stopping to ask the question – If I am being held equal before the Law – why is there a need to (1) not disclose the settlement figure, and (2) Why sign away any future litigation? People held equal before the law do not need to sign away their rights.

You are signing away your right to future litigation for 2 reasons. 1, you were short changed in the monetary sense at Redress, and 2, it is going to cost the individual and or family or both an absolute fortune in Doctors, Hospital visits and drugs etc, the government have known this for some time and want to save the enormous expense that this will incur. Of course, there will be those of you who are already incurring these costs.

The bottom line is the government, in giving Redress is not actually living up to the true meaning of Redress, since at some point in the future you will actually give the money back (via Doctors etc) to the state in some form or another.

Read the following paragraphs on Malnutrition, a few of many from an 83 page document on just that subject.

Malnutrition: Causes, consequences

Violates children’s rights in profound ways

Compromising their physical and mental development

Sound nutrition can change children’s lives, improve their physical and mental development, protect their health and lay a firm foundation for future productivity.

Malnourished children often suffer the loss of precious mental capacities. They fall ill more often. If they survive, they may grow up with lasting mental or physical disabilities.

This human suffering and waste happen because of illness – much of it preventable. Its ravages extend to the survivors who are left crippled, chronically vulnerable to illness – and intellectually disabled.

Malnutrition is not, as many think, a simple matter of whether a child can satisfy her appetite. A child who eats enough to satisfy immediate hunger can still be malnourished.

Research indicates a link between malnutrition in early life – including the period of foetal growth – and the development later in life of chronic conditions like coronary heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, giving the countries in which malnutrition is already a major problem new cause for concern.

Among children, malnutrition is especially prone to strike those who lack nutritionally adequate diets, are not protected from frequent illness and do not receive adequate care.

Illness is frequently a consequence of malnutrition.

There is no one kind of malnutrition.

Vitamin A deficiency, which affects about 100 million young children worldwide, was long known to cause blindness. But it has become increasingly clear that even mild vitamin A deficiency also impairs the immune system, reducing children’s resistance to diarrhoea. At its most basic level, malnutrition is a consequence of disease and inadequate dietary intake, which usually occur in a debilitating and often lethal combination. But many more elements – social, political, economic, cultural – are involved beyond the physiological.

Malnourished children, unlike their well-nourished peers, not only have lifetime disabilities and weakened immune systems, but they also lack the capacity for learning that their well-nourished peers have.

In young children, malnutrition dulls motivation and curiosity and reduces play and exploratory activities. These effects, in turn, impair mental and cognitive development by reducing the amount of interaction children have both with their environment, and with those who provide care.

Robbed of their mental as well as physical potential, malnourished children who live past childhood face diminished futures. They will become adults with lower physical and intellectual abilities, lower levels of productivity and higher levels of chronic illness and disability.

And investments in basic education by governments and their partners are compromised by malnutrition’s pernicious effects on brain development and intellectual performance.

Some 67 million children are estimated to be wasted, which means they are below the weight they should be for their height – the result of reduced dietary intake, illness, or both.

The effects of malnutrition also cross generations. The infants of women who are themselves malnourished and underweight are likely to be small at birth.

The power of good nutrition.

The devastation of malnutrition is hard to overstate, but so is the countervailing power of nutrition. Not only is good nutrition the key to the healthy development of individuals, families and societies, but there is also growing reason to believe that improving the nutrition of women and children will contribute to overcoming some of the greatest health challenges facing the world, including the burden of chronic and degenerative disease, maternal mortality, malaria and AIDS.

The most obvious proof of the power of good nutrition can be seen in the taller, stronger, healthier children of many countries, separated by only a generation from their shorter, less robust parents, and by the better diets and more healthful, nurturing environments they enjoy.

Stronger children grow into stronger, more productive adults.

Well-nourished girls grow into women who face fewer risks during pregnancy and childbearing, and whose children set out on firmer developmental paths, physically and mentally. And history shows that societies that meet women’s and children’s nutritional needs also lift their capacities for greater social and economic progress.

The right to good nutrition.

However far-reaching the benefits of nutrition may be, ensuring good nutrition is a matter of international law, articulated in variously specific language in international declarations and human rights instruments dating back to the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924 (Panel 4).

Under the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, for example, States parties must ensure that women receive full and equal access to health care, including adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation. And the 1990 World Summit for Children, with a Plan of Action that recognized the devastating effects of malnutrition on women and their children, set specific nutritional goals for children and women, including access to adequate food during pregnancy and lactation; the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices; growth monitoring with appropriate follow-up actions; and nutritional surveillance.

But the right to nutrition receives its fullest and most ringing expression in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, whose 191 ratifications as of late 1997 make it the most universally embraced human rights instrument in history.

Under the Convention, which commits States parties to realize the full spectrum of children’s political, civil, social, economic and cultural rights, virtually every government in the world recognizes the right of all children to the highest attainable standard of health, to facilities for the treatment of illness and for the rehabilitation of health – specifically including the right to good nutrition and its three vital components: food, health and care.

Under the Convention’s pre-eminent guiding principle, good child nutrition is a right because it is in the “best interests of the child.”

Article 24 of the Convention specifies that States parties must take “appropriate measures” to reduce infant and child mortality, and to combat disease and malnutrition through the use of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate, nutritious foods and safe drinking water.

The world is obligated to ease child malnutrition on the basis of international law, scientific knowledge, practical experience and basic morality.

The ravages caused by malnutrition on individuals, families and societies are preventable. The measures needed to reduce and end it are becoming increasingly well understood. And the gains for humanity from doing so – in greater creativity, energy, productivity, well-being and happiness – are immeasurable .VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE’


Fighting sexual abuse with a dose of self-hate.

Dr. Michael Corry looks at how sexual abuse leads to self-loathing.

The emerging self, with its inherent potential, needs to be protected and, like a seedling, nurtured in fertile ground.

Sexual abuse, like no other trauma, eclipses this natural unfolding with an impact of such magnitude that is rarely appreciated. Upwards of 150,000 adult women and men in Ireland have experienced statutory rape in childhood. Five times that figure experienced other forms of sexual abuse, ranging from inappropriate touching to the forced witnessing of exposure.

Picture an infant, whose window on the world is the rim of their cot, whose cry or smile elicits the unqualified, unconditional attention of her mother and father, their watchful eyes holding her gaze completely, making her feel, for those moments, the absolute centre of the world. In the infant’s tiny mind an inner knowing is forming – “I have made this happen.”

Now put yourself in her tiny shoes and fast forward to a time when the same apparently loving father is gradually beginning to express his ‘love’ in a sexual manner involving you in sex games, which evolve over time into full sexual intimacy such as that shared by consenting adults. Your protestations are mollified, your co-operation validated and your secrecy rewarded. Variations of this premature sexualisation occur. Not for some fathers the process of seduction, but rather sadistic brutal intercourse instilling terror and pain, where every orifice is violated. You have no escape.

Drunk or sober, day or night, he has access to you. Your reason for living has been reduced to being a sexual object, a sex slave. Once again, and in both examples of fathers, the belief holds – “I have made this happen.” The same interpretation will be formed if the attentions are those of a grandfather, uncle, sibling, neighbour or babysitter.

Fast forward again. You are now a teenager, perhaps at this stage no longer being actively abused, you now live a secret life besieged by guilt, shame, depression and self-loathing. School life becomes meaningless. Recreational drugs and alcohol bring anaesthesia. Suicide – the ultimate escape – is always on the agenda.

Frequently, early sexual abuse can be of such overwhelming intensity that the immature mind buries it beyond awareness in the deepest recesses of the unconscious. However, this powerful energy cannot be fully sealed off. The mental turmoil within may see you engaging in complex obsessive-compulsive thoughts and rituals – hours scrubbing your body in the shower, frequently washing and changing your clothes, engaging in checking routines and endless mental scrabble, without knowing why. The imposition of order and self-discipline quells your anxiety. You may withhold food through calorie counting and starvation rituals, and engage in self-mutilation practices for release of tension.

In adult life, abuse may express itself primarily as depression. It is depressing to have intimacy problems, to fear touch, to feel confused about your sexual identity, to repress and feel shame of the self as a sexual being. It is depressing to be haunted by images and sensations that you can’t explain; such as feelings of stubble against your face, the pressure of body parts against yours, and the pervasive smell of alcohol and sweat.

Over the years you come to loathe and despise yourself for these peculiarities, holding your personality responsible. Why wouldn’t you? There doesn’t seem to be any other explanation. “It must be me, I must have a sick mind.”

Boys do not escape. Those who were incarcerated in industrial schools have borne witness to this. Many were exposed to regimes of unbridled rape and violence which lasted for years, at the hands of sadistic sexual perverts answerable to no one. Their threats of unspeakable violence ensured availability and silence.

The majority of survivors – their chance of a normal life diminished from the beginning, with their lives totally derailed, and their humanity denied – learned to place no value on themselves. They drifted from one crisis to another, their past littered with criminal behaviour, prison records, substance misuse, dysfunctional relationships, mistrust of authority and family breakdown.

Powerless to bring stability to their lives, many suffered from depression and other serious psychiatric orders, beginning a life-long relationship with mental hospitals.

The greatest tragedy of all is that this population feel robbed not just of their innocence, but of their inner light, as if their very soul has been taken away. I have worked not just with survivors of abuse in the industrial schools but also with those who fell victim to the predatory behaviour of priests in certain boarding schools who lured them in, on the basis that they were intelligent, ‘special’ boys with spiritual potential, needing guidance with their sexuality.

The ‘guidance’ offered was in fact a gradual seduction process, which commenced with the exploration of things sexual, stimulating their curiosity, providing skewed answers and finally grooming them towards the acceptance of mutual touching, masturbation and penetrative sex. To this day, married or single, many are haunted by flashbacks of their abuser’s body odour, the taste of their sperm, the very touch of their fingers, the sound of their voice and the image of their presence. The experience was encoded not just in consciousness but in cellular memory where it can be triggered into life and relived in an instant, such as, paradoxically, during sexual intimacy with their partner, when the image of the first seductions by their abuser intrudes, causing avoidance and sexual dysfunction.

The sexually abused are truly the walking wounded, living out private hells, their lives irreparably shaped by the experience. Behind the mask of many a so-called ‘biological’ or ‘clinical’ depression lies a history of sexual trauma which cannot be dissipated by a pill or a course of electric shock treatment. This is the domain of psychotherapy. The painful process of peeling back the layers of trauma within a psychotherapeutic relationship, so that they can be truly seen, verbalised and integrated, is a lengthy one, sometimes without any satisfactory resolution, so all-pervasive is the damage.

To compound matters, there are numerous and formidable barriers put in the path of the abused in their quest for recognition, the result of which is to protect the perpetrators, minimise the extent of the abuse, and its life-long and far-reaching effects. This denial and disbelief not only re-traumatises victims, blocks restorative justice, but also impedes their healing process. Another more subtle obstruction to this healing is the failure on the part of doctors in so many cases to link depression with trauma of this kind, diagnosing it as a ‘new’ illness, the treatment of which bears no witness to its root causes.

Just on a lighter note to quell the brain after reading the two above very STRESSFUL articles

As the fella/lassie says – THERE IS NOW’T SO GOOD AS A RESTORED EQUILIBRIUM

I was trawling through the indymedia site, and a
poster therein was seeking the full recitation verse
of the Spider Rhyme. SO HERE GOES:

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain
So the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

There is a second, less well known verse.

Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the tree
Down came the snow and made poor Incy freeze
Out came the sunshine, and melted all the snow
So Incy Wincy Spider had another go.

I KNOW THAT A LOT OF THE INDYMEDIA
VIEWERS SUPPORT RYS FORUM. SO IF YOU
ARE LOOKING IN ON THIS SPECIFIC ONE
I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PAST
SUPPORT. KEEP UP THE REPORTING. SLAN!
Do not ever let the child within go astray as
it is a big particle of your psychoanalytical
and spiritual life-form.
Marie-Therese.

MEDIA ALERT!
By: Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin
On behalf of a myriad of perturbed victim’s/survivor’s of institutional abuse I would like to ask the Irish media, explicitly – The Irish Times, and the Irish Independent why they only print verbatim, statements, from leaders of the government funded abuse groups? I might add again, why is it that a vast majority of the ex-detainees of the Irish institutions are being denied by the media, access? I wonder is this because the press like so many other Institutions wish to refute the facts of Irelands fierce historic past? I find it very ominous, baleful, malevolent, menacing and malignant indeed!……………………..
Geraldine Kennedy, Editor, Irish Times, in my casing of accepted wisdom is an old ‘poison dwarf’ brawny, stalwart supporter and ought, presumptuously to be more ‘progressive‘………Cronyism stinks and is not acceptable. We had perpetually in the past to live with same
Ms Kennedy has repetitively been reminded that we were in the past the most taciturn, voiceless citizens of Irish society. She ought not in the first occurrence needed to have been told THIS SAD FACT! I PLEADED WITH HER ON COPIOUS OCCASIONS TO FURNISH ME WITH A RIGHT OF REPLY TO LETTERS WHICH I SENT – AS INDEED WERE OTHER LETTERS FROM VARIOUS INSTITUTIONAL VICTIM’S/SURVIVOR’S.. I told her that I had cultured myself from having absorbed daily doses of ‘her progressive’ paper………………….And still she continued to turn a blind eyes to pressing, important, and righteous concerns. Forthwith, nothing albeit has given way, she will not move from her cosy perch………….She refuses outright to entertain the ordinary victim’s/survivor’s of institutional abuse. In her view, and in that of her brother and sister media contemporaries; we are purely inconsequential, irrelevant and insubordinate. In her/their mind’s eye, I ascertain, from their non-actions and non-co-operation, that we are from the lower echelons of society and merely not a force to be reckoned with.. We have no clout, so why should the media waste invaluable energy on nonentities. The MEDIA, LIKE SOLICITORS, ETC, ARE ‘IN BUSINESS’ AND THE LATTER RULES. If we were professional solicitors etc, the media shoe would be a glass slipper and it would be put on the weary foot. The media would be tripping over the glass stiletto heel to get to us…We would be handled with great care and dignity. Instead the latter merely whacks the forlorn and media preceived inarticulate victim’s/survivor’s with a worn dog-ragged slipper, thus trying to keep us down and in the right place the – gutter. It wants to keep its distance as it does not do ‘gutter!’ Stop Press!
I am also convinced that Geraldine Kennedy and her cohorts are just puppets on complicated entangled strings, and that the powers-that-be from the government are behind the curtains pulling the Residential Institutions Redress Board, and the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse media strings. While jerking frustratingly the twisted and knotted strings in the process as the ‘movers and shakers’ try desperately to maintain control of the wayward muppets/puppets, who naturally have the propensity to fly off in all directions, with all the manhandling……. PRECISE COORDINATION IS NEEDED AS IT OTHERWISE SENDS THE MOUTHPIECE VENTRILOQUIST INTO A FRENZY, THE PUPPETS CAN NOT BE SEEN TO BE SENDING OUT CONVOLUTED MISUNDERSTOOD MESSAGES/DIATRIBE/DRIVEL TO THE ALREADY UNINFORMED/MISINFORMED PUBLIC.

LIFE FOR Geraldine, AND THE REST OF THE BESPOKE – CLAD MEDIA WHO IGNORE US, IN ALL PROBABILITY, HAS ORDINARILY ALWAYS BEEN A PLAYGROUND. HAVING/HAD FUN MUPPETS/PUPPETS, ARE JITTERY, WOBBLING AND BOUNCY ARTICLES THAT CAN BE PLAYED ABOUT WITH -TO THE DETRIMENT. SO BE CAREFUL, THE FASTER ONE GOES UP AND DOWN ON THE PUPPET SHOW, THE MORE DIZZIER/CONFUSED ONE GETS WHEN IT FINALLY STOPS… INEVITABLY.’WHAT GOES ROUND, COMES ROUND’ – AS WELL. I hope the curtain of life never abruptly COLLAPSES ON YOU.

LIFE FOR US ON THE OTHER HAND UNFORTUNATELY HAS ALWAYS BEEN HELL. IT HAS NEVER BEEN ‘THE FUN OF THE FAIR’.

‘NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET’.

IT IS MORE THAN THE MEDIA’S JOB IS WORTH TO HAVE TO empathise. Self preservation – not self contamination is the media motto, I surmise.
It will not pay the media off in the long run to continue to view VICTIMS/SURVIVORS OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE WITH their tunnel – vision eyes!
Laser treatment is thus available and if the media invested heavily in it would be very rewarding.

“Prophets are never welcome on their own territory.”

GERALDINE KENNEDY,

CONTINUE PLAYING IN YOUR FUN-LOVING PLAYGROUND WITH BERTIE. AFTER ALL IT IS HE YOU ‘DIG’ NOT US!

YOU MAY BE UP IN THE AIR IN YOUR CUSHY JOB, BUT YOU COULD AS SOON AS ONE SAYS ‘MEDIA’ BE DOWN ON THE GROUND. YOU WILL THEN FIND THAT IT WILL BE VICTIM’S/SURVIVOR’S LIKE US WHOM YOU WILL SUDDENLY RECOGNISE! DOGS ALWAYS GO BACK TO WHERE THEY LEFT THEIR CALLING CARD. WE MIGHT FIND YOU FRANTICALLY HANDING US YOURS. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…WHO KNOWS! DOES IT EVER OCCUR TO YOU THAT ALL THIS VOMIT THAT HAS BEEN REGURGITATED  BY US WILL BE GOING DOWN THE ANNALS GULLET AND WILL BE A PART OF IRISH HISTORY WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR KITH AND KIND OF THE UNFORESEEABLE FUTURE TO READ IN PRINT THAT YOU TURNED YOUR BACK ON THEM, ALBEIT THE MOST VULNERABLE OF THEM. Those of whom by a long chalk, {excuse pun} were not given the chance of an education….Which is 99% APPROXIMATELY. The media does not want to know the real truth from the real victims. We are thus deemed too BACKWARD.

WE WERE EMOTIONALLY BURIED by the Irish media IN THE PAST, AND YOU AND YOUR CONTEMPORARIES WANT US TO REMAIN UNDERGROUND.
BUT WE HAVE RE-EMERGED ABOVE THE MURKY SOIL TO SHOUT ABOUT THE TOIL, SLAVERY, STARVATION AND GROSS ABUSE THAT WE HAD ON A DAILY BASIS TO ENDURE IN IRELANDS INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS IN THE PAST. THE WORMS DID NOT SEEK US OUT WHILE WE WERE HIDDEN WE WERE TOO MANKY FOR THEIR LIKING. THEY ONLY GO AFTER RICH PICKINGS, LIKE THE MEDIA!. AND DARE I MENTION, CRANKY AND STUBBORN SOLICITORS WHO MAKE A SONG AND DANCE ABOUT NOWT.

THE MEDIA, LIKE THE RYAN COMMISSION TO INQUIRE INTO CHILD ABUSE IS PARTIAL TO SAMPLING AND GATHERING STORIES FROM THOSE WHO ONLY SPENT A ‘WET WEEK-END’ IN AN INSTITUTION OF INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL /REFORMATORY DESCRIPTION.

THANK YOU, RYS FOR GIVING ME A FORUM TO EXPRESS THE WRONGS OF HUMANITY AGAINST MAN.

If the media take the humannity out of humanity..it is left with the choice of is that?……I ponder!

BELLIGERENT, BELLICOSE, PUGNACIOUS, QUARRELSOME, CONTENTIOUS mean having an aggressive or fighting attitude, this may be so but what other means do we have to get our point of view across.

The Media

To his credit a former editor of the Evening Herald, Brian Quinn, stated the following in an article in the Irish Times on May 15th: As for journalists, we failed in our basic duties in the 1940s and 1950s. We allowed a strident Christian Brother to burst into the office of the manager to demand that a District Court case involving Artane be ‘spiked’ and not used in the Evening Herald. He would also invade the editorial room to announce the manager’s decision. He got away with that one more time.

To what extent was the media complicit in suppressing information about clerical abuse in industrial schools?
Was the experience of the Evening Herald unusual or was the media as a whole reluctant to probe stories which might cast the Catholic Church in a bad light?
How does the Catholic Church influence the media today? Are there important informal channels of communication between the Catholic Church and the important media organisations like RTE and the Irish Times? Is there or should there be a formal mechanism through which Church concerns can be conveyed to the media?

These matters deserve investigation as information does not become ‘public’ in contemporary society until it has been released through the media. Society cannot grapple with questions like the abuse of children in institutions unless the media report on them. As the media failed to perform its duty in the past, a mechanism of some sort should be put in place which would completely allay public fears that the Catholic Church enjoys a position of special influence.

ALL QUESTIONS FORMULATED BY AN IRISH SOCIALIST MAGAZINE.

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