Ryan Report: Media Snippets

Betrayed by us all: Sustained abuses at nine religious orders exposed 

By ALAN SHERRY

The behaviour of the members of nine religious orders in the Irish Republic towards youngsters in their care was exposed in a report.

In some cases it amounted to casual cruelty, in others, sustained and organised brutality, the report by the Commission to inquire into Child Abuse revealed.

Yesterday some of the orders apologised unreservedly – but others maintained their decades long silence.

The abuses of the often-appalling regimes revealed by the Commission are outlined here.

The Cross

Decades-long brutality: Cases of sustained and organised abuse at Church-run schools in Ireland have been revealed by the report by the Commission to inquire into Child Abuse

SISTERS OF MERCY

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The Sisters ran 26 industrial schools including Goldenbridge, Clifden and Cappoquin. Children were beaten for no apparent reason and many suffered serious neglect, humiliation and harsh regimes.

Many of the institutions were understaffed and children went hungry, however, this was not as prominent in schools run by the Sisters. The report said the order acknowledged the criticisms of individual schools, but has not addressed the question of why these schools were so uniformly bad.

The report adds: ‘Although the Sisters have accepted that the religious vows they took had an impact on the way in which they cared for children in institutions, they do not explain the level of neglect that was found in the 1940s.’

˜ REACTION:
In a statement yesterday, the Sisters said: ‘We accept that many who spent their childhoods in our orphanages or industrial schools were hurt and damaged’. They said: ‘We renew our unconditional apology to all who suffered while in our institutions.’

THE ROSMINIAN FATHERS

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The Fathers ran a number of industrial schools including Ferryhouse and St Patrick’s in Upton where the extent of sex abuse was ‘serious and disturbing’. Over almost all the period covered by the inquiry, there was at least one abuser in Ferryhouse.

The report noted: ‘The living conditions in both schools were inadequate although conditions in Ferryhouse did improve from the late 1970s.

When dealing with the Commission the Rosminians sought to understand abuse, in contrast to other congregations who sought to explain it. They accepted that the Order must bear responsibility for what occurred.

˜ REACTION:
The Rosminians were unavailable for comment last night.

THE PRESENTATION BROTHERS

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The Presentation Brothers ran Greenmount industrial school in Cork which closed in 1959. It operated a harsh regime with beatings commonplace. The report noted there was systematic use of excessive corporal punishment in the 1940s. Neglect was also a serious issue at Greenmount. There were also allegations of sex abuse against two brothers, one of whom went on to abuse in other schools, in the 1950s. The report said the allegations were insufficiently dealt with.

˜ REACTION:
The Brothers said they will study the report in detail. They also said they again wished to apologise ‘to all who were hurt in any way whilst under our care’.

THE DOMINICAN SISTERS

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The Sisters ran St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls in Cabra where expupils made allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and emotional abuse.

The report said: ‘The complaints included allegations of punishment for using sign language by being slapped and having hands tied behind the back.’ Allegations were also made of sexual abuse by visiting priests.

˜ REACTION:
THE Sisters said they will not be saying anything until they have read the report.

THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CROSS OF LIEGE

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The order ran Mary Immaculate Convent, Beechpark. Pupils complained they were slapped for using sign language and forced to talk. They were lined up in the morning to go to the toilet and expected to ‘perform on demand’. And many ‘complained of being given laxatives for this purpose’. Most complaints were against one nun described as a ‘strict authoritarian’.

˜ REACTION:
The order was unavailable for comment last night.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
More than 700 complaints were from former residents of the Christian Brother institutions. They ran six industrial schools: Artane (1870-1969) for 825 boys; St Joseph’s in Tralee (1870-1970) for 140 boys; St Joseph’s in Salthill, Galway (1871-1995); St Joseph’s in Glin, Limerick (1966-1972); St Joseph’s in Letterfrack˜ (1887-1974) for 165 boys; and Carriglea Park in Dún Laoghaire. They also ran St Joseph’s School for the Deaf in Cabra.

Sex abuse was a ‘chronic problem’ in their institutions, and steps taken by the Brothers to avoid scandal protected perpetrators. Offenders were transferred to avoid detection. Safety of children was not a priority, physical punishment was excessive and led to a climate of fear amongst the boys.

There were three abusers in Letterfrack at the same time, two were present there for periods of 14 years.

St Joseph’s in Tralee was ‘a secret enclosed world, run in fear’. Brothers with a known propensity for sex abuse were sent to Glin, indicating indifference to children’s needs.

REACTION:
The Brothers said last night that they ‘apologise openly and unreservedlyto all those who have been hurt either directly or indirectly as a result of the deplorable actions of some Brothers’, or by the inaction of the Congregation. They added: ‘We are ashamed and saddened that many who complained of abuse were not listened to.’

SISTERS OF CHARITY

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The Sisters ran two industrial schools in Kilkenny; St Patrick’s and St Josephs. At St Patrick’s men employed in the school appeared to have ready access to the boys. Three men described their abuse at the school but said they were afraid to confide in a nun. St Joseph’s was well run but there was serious sex abuse on two occasions.

˜ REACTION:
They were unavailable to comment.

BROTHERS OF CHARITY

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The order ran Lota residential school for boys with special needs in Glanmire, Co Cork. There were ‘deeply disturbing accounts of sex abuse of vulnerable children. Indifference by the Brothers facilitated the abuse.

A Brother known to have abused in England, who was known to police, was brought assigned a teaching post in Lota, where he worked for more than thirty years.

The brother admitted to multiple sexual assaults of boys in the school. The congregation kept records about sexual abuse allegations concerning lay people and routinely involved the gardaÌ. But allegations against Brothers were dealt with internally and no records were kept.

˜ REACTION:
They were unavailable for comment.

OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE

˜ WHAT THE REPORT SAYS:
The order of priests and brothers ran the Daingean Reformatory School in Co. Offaly. Children were flogged and beaten. Gangs of boys were allowed to form an alternative government, victimising those who did not obey them. Sexual abuse of boys by staff took place. But the congregation, in its submission to the inquiry, has not admitted sex abuse took place or even considered the possibility.

˜ REACTION:
A spokesman welcomed the report and said: ‘We wish to reiterate the shortcomings on our part acknowledged to the Commission and the serious consequences for some of the boys in our care. We unreservedly apologise for these.’

H/t Daily Mail Online.

Read Ryan Report here

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