Amnesty International Ireland commissioned a new report on the abuse of children in Irish institutions run by the state and the church, and it was released on Monday. I shall now read that report.
Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state. Much of the abuse described in the Ryan Report meets the legal definition of torture under international human rights law.
“Children were tortured. They were brutalised; beaten, starved and abused. There has been little justice for these victims. Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardaí and members of religious orders have avoided accountability.”
We know this. I’ve been following it for years, and one of the survivors of all that brutalization – Marie-Therese O’Loughlin – has been describing it to us for years. We only know a little of what there is to know, however.
The Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports tell us what happened to these children, but not why it happened. We commissioned this report to explore that question because only by doing so can we ensure this never happens again.
This abuse happened, not because we didn’t know about it, but because many people across society turned a blind eye to it. It is not true that everyone knew, but deep veins of knowledge existed across Irish society and people in positions of power ignored their responsibility to act.
The blind eye turning – as always – is blood-chilling.
Now for that report…