The Horror, The Evil

May 23, 2009 at 10:50 am (Catholicism, Max Dunbar, religion, Slavery)

The week’s revelations about the scale of neglect, slavery, sadism and sexual abuse in Ireland’s church-run children’s institutions are shocking. Read Marie-Therese O’Loughlin’s account of the Goldenbridge rosary bead factory:

I remember clearly, at 6:30 in the mornings, when I was eleven years old or thereabouts having to go to St Joseph’s babies/infants dormitory. I had to dress the toddlers. It was normal for some of them to have slept in their own excrement. When I took them from their destroyed beds, I found it so upsetting as they were always covered from head to toe in excrement. They were shivering and were all colours of the rainbow as they stood there waiting to be cleaned. I had to use the clean corners of the destroyed sheets. The only place to get water was from a very small toilet bowl. I dipped the sheet in the bowl and then cleaned the children. The whole dormitory which was a dark dank cold place stank to high heaven. The head honcho of the Sisters of Mercy at this time of morning was up in the convent saying her prayers.

The Commission into Child Abuse report has triggered an outpouring of Christian sympathy from clerics and commentators – not for the survivors and victims, naturally, but for the priests. This is the new Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols:

I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in Dublin who have to face these facts from their past which instinctively and quite naturally they’d rather not look at. That takes courage, and also we shouldn’t forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did.

The Christian Brothers, one of the main providers of this faith-based welfare, said that: 

We acknowledge and regret that our responses to physical and sexual abuse failed to consider the long term psychological effects on children. As we have come to better understand the impact of such abuse, our goal and best endeavour has been to promote healing for complainants.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor did not address the crimes – perhaps wisely given his history of covering up child abuse. Instead he chose this week to identify ‘the greatest of evils’ as… a lack of faith.

The subtext appears to be: ‘Okay, some children were raped, but what about those poor old bishops?’ Doesn’t it take courage to own up to something under duress and after failed attempts to buy out the victims; to confess with little possibility of repercussions, with the public paying ninety per cent of your fines and under guarantee of anonymity? And also, erm, some priests are not paedophiles. Let’s not forget that, overall, faith makes you a better person. Can’t we talk about those nasty atheists instead? And they wonder why people have nothing good to say about religion!

Read Ophelia, and also here; and here; also Oliver Kamm, and here; and even Madeleine Bunting understands. There are survivors’ accounts on the Guardian letters page.

At Nick Cohen’s blog, Paul Fauvet raises the point that if a secular organisation were found guilty of such systematic and sustained evil – say, St Helens Council or the NCH children’s charity – the consequences for those responsible would be far harsher. Contra the self-pitying talk about the decline of religion, it’s clear that we still hold religious institutions to lower moral and legal standards than those to which the average citizen abides. If they could not condemn the perpetrators and send their hopes and prayers to the survivors and victims, it could have occurred to the pro-faith apologists that they should just stay out of this one. That they have not, illustrates the depths to which they are capable of sinking in defence of religion.

28 Comments

  1. Ophelia Benson said,

    Oh, jeezis – that Christian Brothers statement. So at the time they thought that physical and sexual abuse was harmless over the long term?!? Give me a fucking break! Yes times and customs and opinions change, but when has anyone sane ever thought that physical and sexual abuse was ultimately harmless?! Or that harmlessness over the long term made it okay in any case?

  2. maxdunbar said,

    It’s crazy, isn’t it? They’re essentially saying: ‘Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…’

  3. Bob Williams said,

    Naturally – in an unnatural sense – the crazy cardinal sees unbelief as a greater offense than child rape and abuse. This shows the fear the slave-holder has for free men and women. They set the slaves such a bad example. Bad as the crimes against children are, it is as evil – and as characteristic – to cover up these crimes. Benny the Rat – the current most holy pope – drips with guilt along with all the other clerical gangsters .

  4. Gregory said,

    Hypocrites!

    Many of the complaints are commonly found within the present day Brit education system, and to a far greater extent.

    For example, sex offenders are not barred from schools & etc. So the standards argued for the historic model of Catholicism, are dishonored generally in Britain.

    Put it another way, schoolgirls were always safer in Ireland than in present day Britain.

    It is a bucket & thimble, some Brit schools generated more schoolgirl sex abuse victims than that *entire* report!

    You hypocrites, how many schoolgirls did Graham Conridge get around to doing? Would that balance out with that entire report’s total for Irish schoolgirls?

    You Brits are up to your ears in child abuse as a default state of affairs.

    • Ridley the Monkey Hanger said,

      How disappointing, Gregory forgot to mention ‘yellow teeth’. What would Jesus do?

  5. Franklin Percival said,

    I do beg your pardon, sir gregory, but when I last worked in a junior scholastic environment some six years ago, I could not be allowed alone with either sex (4-13), until my Criminal Record Bureau check came back clean! Luv, f.

    • Gregory said,

      Franklin,

      Thousands of ex-criminals are employed in Brit schools, they apply to work on the same basis as everybody else. So you are being a littler bit smoke and mirrors there.

      There were just over 2000 referrals to List 99 in 2005, that’s when it was a school employee list, what you think for, failing too return library book?

      in two years we had more victims of Brit teachers IN THE USA than all the Irish schoolgirl abuses since records began

      There is not a week goes by in Britain without a school sex scandal.

      Excuse capitals, we had more victims in the USA than all the Irish female abuses combined. That is with Brit teachers as culprits! If they can do so many in the USA, how many are they doing in the UK?

      I discovered 60 pedophiles free passed back into Brit schools. Then I got the full McPoison treatment for my troubles.

      have you read the Irish report?

      Gregory

  6. paul fauvet said,

    Gregory belongs to that particularly nauseating band of catholic apologists who argue that their child rapists weren’t that bad because teachers were doing the same thing in British and/or American state schools.

    Except that in secular schools, when a child abuser is discovered he is not quietly transferred to the other side of the country. He does not enjoy cosy anonymity, and may well go to jail.

    Furthermore, one perfectly good reason to hold the Catholic Church to higher standards than secular organisations is the extraordinary claims that the church makes for itself – it is supposed to be the sole, authentic infallible representative of a loving and merciful God. The Brits that Gregory so detest do not make such claims.

    The book that the Christian faith is supposedly based on, the New Testament, is unequivical about child abuse. In Matthew’s Gospel, Christ declares “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.

    Clearly Gregory believes that Matthew got it wrong, and that what Christ really said was “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, just keep quiet about it, and if you get caught. say it’s no big deal because everyone else is doing it”.

  7. Gregory said,

    “It’s crazy, isn’t it? They’re essentially saying: ‘Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…’”

    Harriet Harman was asking for legal incest when some of the Irish abuses were taking place.

    And with the FBI identified pedophile Paul Reeve, the excuse was

    WE DIDN’T BREAK THE RULES

    They said that ( sound familiar?)

    There were 60 other pedophiles with a free pass to go with Mr. Reeve. How many kids did McConridge victime AFTER he was banned from every school in Bedfordshire, was it three hundred, or more?

    He was allowed to work in Hertfordshire, there are hundreds of examples. Britain has far more sexual abuse by teachers than the Irish abuses.

    Brits are just hypocrites, and their politicians are thieves and liars. Which would be no big deal, but they facilitate child abuse. How many scandals in the last few months?

    It is at least one a week. Brit teachers are camaigning for legal teacher/pupil sex!

    Priests are not allowed to do that. Britain is a far more pedophile friendly place than Ireland ever was.

    Brit teachers are notorious for child sex crime.

    Gregory

    • Eliza said,

      I would love to know where you get “at least one a week”. Also, what is your definition of “sex scandal”? Are we talking about child rape, as in some of the industrial school cases? If we have so many of them, it seems peculiar that as a British person, I haven’t heard of any in years. It is of course, quite possible that despite reading every national daily newspaper ( we don’t have many), I have missed them all.

      Even if it is happening as often as you claim, why does that warrant labeling all British people hypocrites? Does gun crime in the USA mean that you believe in cold blooded murder, and would be a hypocrite to criticise such a crime if it happened systematically, hidden, for generations, somewhere else?

      “Brit teachers are camaigning for legal teacher/pupil sex! ”

      “Brit teachers”, are not, as a group, campaigning for any such thing. Some teachers believe that criminalizing sexual relationships with pupils over the age of consent is silly. Some members of the public agree; personally I think it should remain prohibited. It is not anywhere near a big national issue.

      Eliza

  8. Jenny said,

    Oh for christ’s sake, can we not do the “your institution is more corrupted than yours” battle? No matter if it’s a secular or religious institution, this type of abuse is horrifying and we should ensure that those responsible are dealt with.

  9. voltairespriest said,

    Wassup Greg, you big-up “victims’ rights campaigner” – not so happy when the shite lands close to ecclesiastical home?

    You hypocrite. You trojan (pantomime) horse for the religious right.

  10. maxdunbar said,

    Paul

    In Matthew’s Gospel, Christ declares “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.

    Clearly Gregory believes that Matthew got it wrong, and that what Christ really said was “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, just keep quiet about it, and if you get caught. say it’s no big deal because everyone else is doing it”.

    Superb.

  11. Marie-Therese O' Loughlin said,

    The voices of the abused emerge from pages 113 to 119 of Volume V of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. Here are sample extracts – unedited – of what the team heard.

    Statements of “worst thing” that happened to participants while living in an institution

    Severe physical and sexual abuse.– Stripped naked by a nun and beaten with a stick and given no supper and humiliated.

    After running away having my hair cut off to a very short length and was made to stand naked to be beaten by nun in front of other people.

    At 6 I was raped by nun and at 10 I was hit with a poker on head by nun.– When I told nuns about being molested by ambulance driver, I was stripped naked and whipped by four nuns to “get the devil out of you”.

    Sexual and physical abuse, no education, and not enough food.– Forced oral sex and beatings.– A brother tried to rape me but did not succeed, so I was beaten instead.– Taken from bed and made to walk around naked with other boys whilst brothers used their canes and flicked at their penis.

    Tied to a cross and raped whilst others masturbated at the side. Severe physical abuse – I was polishing the floor and a nun placed her foot on my back so I was pushed to the floor. I was locked in a dark room.– Having to empty the toilets and being lifted off the ground by my sideburns.

    Put in bath of Jeyes fluid with three others.– They used to make my sisters beat me.– Having my head submerged in dirty water in the laundry repeatedly by a nun. Being beaten regularly. Physical abuse and segregation from other children for no reason.

    A severe beating by two nuns for a trivial misdemeanour until I was bleeding.– Being beaten for wetting the bed and allocated to do worst work like cleaning potties and minding children.

    Tied to a bed and physically abused by three carers.– I was beaten and hospitalised by the head brother and not allowed to go to my father’s funeral in case my bruises were seen; also the head brother threatened to kill me.

    Being accused of sexually interfering with other boys and being beaten until made to write down the names of boys I had touched. In the end I wrote down two names to stop the torture.

    They made me change my surname and beat me until I accepted it. They took my identity from me. The put me through mental torture which is still with me now. They separated me from my sister and sent her to another institution.

    Being physically beaten by nuns and referred to as a number. My head was pushed under water in the bath. The nuns threw food into a group of children and I would have to struggle to get some food.– Being told at 6.30pm on way to bed that I would be beaten next morning at 6.30am.

    It was torture waiting for it.– Being stripped and thrown into nettles and sleeping with pigs for a week.– I was left hanging out of a window for hours with finger stuck in it, and was guaranteed to be beaten every day.– Having my hair cut off in spite and being beaten on the floor.

    Being locked in a furnace room and left, bitten by rats, found by coal delivery man, removed, washed in cold water, bites cleaned and then put back there– Being punished when tired and no one listening to me about the abuse.– Starving and beatings like a concentration camp.

    There were so many worst things. Every day was a nightmare.– My hair was cut short as punishment and I was beaten very badly in front of everyone when I came home late.– We were all lined up naked and slapped in the face a lot. We all had to drink water from toilets and were all washed in same dirty bath water.

    Receiving a severe beatings and witnessing my younger brother returning from a severe beating.– Lashing; name calling (the name “good for nothing” is still with me today); starving while watching pets being fed.– Being beaten until knocked out and my head split.

    Having my finger placed in boiling water until all feeling was lost; the finger swelled up, skin wore away, and the nail fell off.– Being thrown and ducked in scalding hot baths; being taken to hospital and anaesthetised with ether when getting my tonsils out.

    I have awful memories of feeling like being smothered with ether, similar to being ducked in the bath; I came as near death as you can imagine.– Being whipped and humiliated in front of the other children.– Being abused; once my tongue was almost cut out.

    Constant beatings; I was forced to sit on potty until my rectal muscle popped out.– Beaten by nuns with cat-o-nine-tails that left deep cuts.– Beaten and scarred with hurley.– Kicked down the stairs.– Being hit on my back by a brother and sustaining a lifelong injury.

    I was beaten in the shower naked, and not allowed to say goodbye when leaving.– Whipping.– Beaten until I had bones broken.– Being stripped and flogged and locked in room for 2-3 weeks.– Beaten.Severe sexual abuse – Sexual abuse – molested at night.

    Oral and anal sexual abuse on one occasion.– Molested and masturbation– Rape.– Sexual abuse and made to feel so insecure.– Sexual abuse, starvation and secrecy in an institution that wasn’t fit for habitation.– Gang rape.

    Sexually molested by a priest visiting the institution on 6-8 occasions.– Sexual abuse perpetrated by gardeners, a social worker and other male convent employees.– Being left out in the cold one winter and staying out near the boiler where older boys who had been sent by the courts tried to molest him and I had to fight them off.

    A Brother sexually abused me.– Child sexual abuse by older boys (not the brothers).– Sexually abused in a toilet twice, and mental abuse, shown horror movies.

    Sexual abuse and witnessing violence. I had a rubber hose stuck up me and I had to watch my carers beating the youngest most vulnerable children.– Being raped by the director of the school.Severe emotional abuse – When my mother first came to visit after six months, she cried lots at how much weight I and all the kids had lost. She cried lots saying “I didn’t put ye here.”

    Watching other boys who had just been beaten for wetting the bed coming out of the office in pain, hearing the crying and seeing other boys trying to help.– Father prevented from seeing me.–

    They told my brothers I had died. I was hit for crying in response and told to stop.– Not being loved.– Neglect. Craving love but getting none.– After a disagreement with a nun, my long hair was cut off in my sleep as they knew I loved it.– Living in fear.

    Being painted with a paint brush.– The night I entered the institution, my clothes and teddy thrown away.– Getting chilblains, frostbite, and sores so deep I could see my bones on my hand from working in the fields was worse than the beatings.

    The fear, starvation and hard labour.– Deprived of chance to go to my grandmother’s funeral.– The first day I was told my mother didn’t want me.– Seeing a young boy die. He was 12 years old, beaten by brothers on landing and fell over bannister.

    Told to say I was the devil and had to wear a “devil’s tongue” hat.– I had my identity taken away. I was known by a number only.– Having pubic hair shaved off and a nun telling people about it at dinner. She said, “I shaved the monkey”.

    I can take any abuse, but the worst thing was having no one. Seeing other kids going out with their families and not knowing why I had no one. I was lied to: told that my parents were dead. I only found out in my 50s that they were alive.– I could stand the beating.

    The worst thing was the mental abuse: being put in there in the first place and not understanding why.– At age nine I was sent to pluck turkeys in a coal shed in the cold and had freezing fingers.

    The worst thing was the emotional removal of self: it still has a huge effect on my life. Lack of education: not being taught how to read or write. That’s the most hurtful thing.– It was threatened that my father would lock me in a mental institution if I didn’t stop causing trouble.

    Punishment was meted out repeatedly for the same misdemeanour. Constantly being threatened with punishment. Listening to them talking badly about my mother and being taunted about my physical appearance.

    I was called “four eyes”.– Loneliness at Christmas time.– Public humiliation about my mother being unmarried.– Loss of finger through gangrene due to lack of medical attention. She loved to play the piano and this meant loss of hope to become a music teacher.

    We were children and we did so much hard work. We were up at six o’clock in the morning. We have no childhood memories. We knew no better.– The worst thing was the overall effect of breaking my spirit; the violence; and the constant blanket of terror.–

    The constant fear. I was called into the office and told my mother had died. I actually felt relief that it wasn’t a punishment.– Feeling alone and unloved.– Witnessed my sister being whipped until she bled, then made to kneel in the rrefectory for three months.

    The worst thing was the sense of being an orphan and being incarcerated and criminalised: the monotony; the ball-aching mind-aching hopelessness.

    Feeling like a “nobody” and that everyone was better. Always feeling insecure.– Constantly being told I was worthless and shouldn’t have been born.– Seeing my brother being beaten.– Being taken into the office and told my foster mother had died and then immediately sent away again.– I overheard someone say that my mother had died the night before.

    When I asked about it I was ignored and dismissed. My friend was beaten so badly for wetting the bed that I watched her die. I was constantly starving. I had to bribe my carers with bread so I wasn’t beaten.– I was put naked into a coffin as punishment.

    Fear of everything. Fear of God. Fear of the Christian Brothers. Fear that I would go to hell.– It was all bad

    * Sexual assault, including forced sexual intercourse between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge;* Forced oral-genital or masturbatory contact between men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge;

    * Sexual touching by men or women in authority and girls and/or boys in their charge;

    * Performing private pseudo-official inspections of genitals of girls and boys;* Arranging or inducing abortions in female children impregnated by men in authority;

    *Inserting needles into other regions of children’s anatomy; Burning or scalding children;

    * Beating children into unconsciousness; beating children to the point of drawing blood; beating children to the point of inflicting serious permanent or semi-permanent injuries, including broken arms, broken legs, broken ribs, fractured skulls, shattered eardrums;

    *Forcing sick children to eat their own vomit;

    *Unprotected exposure (as punishment) to the natural elements (snow, rain and darkness,) occasionally prolonged to the point of inducing life-threatening conditions (e.g. frostbite, pneumonia);

    * Withholding medical attention from individuals suffering the effects of physical abuse;* Shaving children’s heads);

    Psychological/Emotional Abuses

    * Administration of beating to naked or partially naked children before their fellow students and/or institutional officials;* Public, individually directed verbal abuse, belittling, and threatening;* Public vilification of all aspects of Detainees family life;

    * Racism* Performing public strip searches and genital inspections of children;

    * Removal of children from their homes, families, and people;

    * Cutting children’s hair or shaving heads (as policy);

    * Withholding presents, letters and other personal property of children;

    * Locking children in closets/coal sheds/etc (as punishments);

    * Segregation of the sexes;

    * Eliminating any avenue by which to bring grievances, inform parents/guardians, or notify external authorities of abuses;

    * Forced labour

    To this list we must also add

    * Proscription of contact between siblings;

    * Forcing children to participate in the beating of their peers;

    * Forcing children to clean up the aftermath (blood and vomit) of beatings they had witnessed;

    * Forced sexual acts between children, while authority figures watched;

    * Forbidding children to ask questions or talk about children who had `disappeared’;
    * Forcing bedwetters to parade in public wearing soiled bedsheets over their heads (extremely common);
    * Denying young women sanitary pads at night, then beating and/or publicly humiliating those who bled on their sheets;
    * Deliberate destruction of children’s personal property.

    The implements with which children were beaten also bears mention; the following were in common use at various schools and times:

    * Leather and rubber straps (used on children as young as four years old);

    * Straps with tacks, nails, or wires embedded in them;

    * Boxing gloves

    * Wooden boards;

    * Studded belts;

    * Bunch of five belts;

    * Sticks and pointers;

    * Whips;

    * Switches;

    * Knotted rawhide, knotted horse harness straps;

    * Cat-o’-nine tails.

    Children were frequently beaten severely with whips, rods and fists, chained and shackled, bound hand and foot and locked in closets,
    basements, and bathrooms, and had their heads shaved or hair closely cropped. And numerous cases of severe abuse in which no action was ever taken against the perpetrators in spite of protests by inspectors; Hundreds of children ran away from the conditions of neglect, mistreatment and abuse.

    Further Violations:

    * Enforcing Unsuitable Living Conditions

    * Starvation (as punishment);

    * Inadequate nutrition (i.e. nutrition levels below that needed for normal growth and subsistence AND ABSOLUTELY NO OVERSIGHT OF THE DIETS

    OF THE CHILDREN BY THE RELEVANT GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT;

    * Providing food unfit for human consumption;

    * Exploiting child labour;

    * Forced labour under unsafe working conditions; (sometimes leading to permanent injury or death)

    * Inadequate medical services, sometimes leading to children’s deaths or illness.

    I haven’t covered ALL the ABUSES we SUFFERED But I believe we could each write a chapter or more on EACH of the ABUSES listed here

    The Impact of Abuse

    loss of innocence

    loss of meaning

    loss of family

    loss of connection

    loss of childhood

    loss of feeling

    loss of community

    loss of pride

    loss of identity

    loss of trust

    loss of confidence

    loss of spirit

    loss of skills

    loss of life

    These losses constitute a massive amount of grief which up until recently, has been denied.

    # Loss of self respect; We were taught to feel inferior, and less than human;

    # What was Learned in Those Places; submitting to authority; maintaining power and control in social relations, and a military style of discipline;

    # Going Back Out; We went out unable to cope with freedom, without and Life or Social Skills. We were unaware of our human/social/political rights in the community and we lacked coping skills; The impacts of these losses include, and are identified as having lead to

    # suicide

    # alienation from family and community

    # learning that violence and other victimised situations are acceptable

    # learning to accept high tolerance of abuses

    # god fearing, if bad would go to hell

    # being deprived of being me and who I am; individuality

    # being angry and misdirecting this anger to the ones we love

    # difficulty in making decisions and saying “no”

    # fear of losing own children

    # passive or aggressive personalities

    # learning to punish others by belittling them

    # anger at parents

    # insecurity and lack of trust

    # feelings of guilt due to living in a shaming environment

    # ashamed of being in Care; made to feel unclean

    # recurring nightmares

    # unhappiness

    # blackouts and memory blocks

    # addiction to alcohol, drugs, food and gambling

    # fear of intimacy

    # development of harsh discipline methods

    # development of mental and physical illnesses

    # creation of self-conflicts leading to a feeling of non-entity

    # inability to relate when returned home

    # change in our own value systems; alteration of beliefs and values; forced to believe in Catholicism

    # inability to communicate

    # apathy

    # problems with authority figures

    # not knowing how to nurture self and always putting self last

    # lack of positive parental role models in …those places

    # anger towards churches, dominant society and self

    # feelings of hatred

    # feelings of hopelessness, despair and loneliness

    # daily stress as each day we try and continue to heal

    # passing on of all negative traits to our children.

  12. Ophelia Benson said,

    Not to mention the fact that Gregory is overlooking the population differential between Ireland and Britain, and Ireland and the US.

  13. Ophelia Benson said,

    Marie-Therese tried to post a comment but couldn’t so I’m posting it for her.

    —-

    Thank you for highlighting the issue of Institutional abuse in Ireland. Nigh on 150,000 children passed through these dark dank diabolical religious doors. Those who did not die at young ages or commit suicide are acutely damaged because of the dismal memories they have to carry with them for their rest of their lives.” The British government did away with away with industrial schools in 1933, but alas, the Irish government was still running these Dickensian institutions up to the mid-seventies or thereabouts.

  14. Ophelia Benson said,

    A follow-up comment by Marie-Therese –

    Thank you for posting the butterfliesandwheels.com article about institutional abuse on your site. It is heartening to know that there are people out there who are cognisant of the atrocities that occurred in Ireland’s industrial schools of yesteryear. “It took great ‘courage’ on OUR part to have to face up the damaging facts from OUR past. Which ‘instinctively and quite naturally’ WE would rather not have wanted to look at in the manner we subsequently did – but we were left with no choice.. If we had not been treated so badly as adults by the religious when we pointed out to them their failings of the past, they would, more than likely, not be in this mess they so evidently find themselves and looking to the world to console them and give them courage,. They compounded the abuse by trying to ignore us and by telling us that we were not telling the truth. We were even accused by some religious apologists – in some shady off-shoot religious quarters – of suffering with FMS. i remember the first poem and lesson that i learned in Goldenbridge from the age of five and the food I ate and the daily slave labour and all the religious miracles and parables and catechism as there was no outside world to distract me from life in the hell-hole.

    Marie-Therese O’Loughlin

  15. maxdunbar said,

    That’s true courage.

    Please send Marie-Therese my thoughts and hopes

  16. Jim Denham said,

    Yes, I’d like to join Max in sending my thoughts and solidarity to Marie-Therese.

    Sean Matgamna wrote (in 2005) about another victim:

    http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2005/02/09/savage-violence-irish-schools-why-did-they-stand-it

  17. luke said,

    slightly off-topic, but related to one of the many nasty religious groups that certain leftists fawn over:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,626412,00.html

    New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder

    But now there are signs that the investigation has yielded new and explosive results. SPIEGEL has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn. Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah (“Party of God”) that planned and executed the diabolical attack. Tribunal chief prosecutor Bellemare and his judges apparently want to hold back this information, of which they been aware for about a month. What are they afraid of?

    So, when people say “We are all Hezbollah” at rallies, does that mean they also support the Hezbollah-backed murder of Hariri? I understand Hariri was relatively “secular,” so the answer is probably an affirmative.

  18. Gregory said,

    “Wassup Greg, you big-up “victims’ rights campaigner” – not so happy when the shite lands close to ecclesiastical home?

    You hypocrite. You trojan (pantomime) horse for the religious right.”

    On the contrary the work to stop the Church shredding the detailed records at the nudge of New Labour was left to me and a small group of politicians and journalists.

    So there you go, yet again, I’m virtually one hundred percent of the cover. I also warned the Scottish govt. years ago that hiring James Rennie would turn into a disaster.

    He was a pro-prostitution fanatic, also a rapist of babies and leading gay rights activist & etc.

    I’d expect a few records to be shredded there.

    Gregory

  19. Gregory said,

    .” The British government did away with away with industrial schools in 1933, but alas, the Irish government was still running these Dickensian institutions up to the mid-seventies or thereabouts.”

    The Botany Bay ( style) child exports, care homes, borstals, mental institutions & orphanages, and Haute de la Garenne?

    Britain as a matter of record has considerably more child abuse scandals than the Irish, there is (still) no end in sight to it.

    For example, Brit teachers victimize more schoolgirls in a year than the Irish Catholic religious victimized since records began. That’s reflected i9n List 99 referrals & etc. of which there were over 2,000 in 2005.

    I might also add that unlike the NASUWT, Catholics are not demkanding legalization of teacher schoolgirl sex.

    The NASUWT intend to legalize it for foster parents, which relates directly to a core problem in Ireland.

    Brit teachers victimi9zed more AMERICAN children than the Irish total re; sexual offending, including ( Irish) foster parents.

    That is presumably why the perverts in Britain are unionized!

    Gregory

  20. Jim Denham said,

    Gregory: when and where does the NASUWT (or, come to that any other reputable British educational organisation) demand the “legalization (sic) of teacher schoolgirl sex”? Please cite chapter and verse.

  21. voltairespriest said,

    Not that I’d doubt any of your stories, Greggers old bean, but secret squirrels don’t generally blurt out their business in blog comment boxes. You’ll forgive me therefore if I reach for a hearty pinch of salt until I see some corroborating evidence.

  22. Emmy Five said,

    Our telephone intercepts and listening devices reveal Gregory to be nothing more than a deluded fantasist who advises nothing more significant than a packet of Cocopops.

  23. voltairespriest said,

    Ah. You see, you can’t escape the long arm of the spooks.

  24. maxdunbar said,

    Watch this. You will never hear a more powerful speech – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jHqndf9Kx4;ref=nf

  25. Red Maria said,

    Oh Y’shua, what was that Ophelia Benson statement again?

    If you ever hear Black people ranting at you about stop ‘n’ search and meat vans just cite Jean Bedel Bokassa … Mike Tyson ….Idi Amin ….

    If you ever hear Moslems ranting at you about the Iraq War just cite Osama bin Laden … Richard Reid ….Mohammed Sadiq Khan …

    If you ever hear members of the NSS ranting to you about religious privilege just cite the Vendée …La Violencia ….Tomas Garrido Canabal.

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