The Protestants were in on the “imprison the children” routine too. That’s nice. Very ecumenical, very interfaith.
Abuse survivors of the Protestant Bethany Home care institution are to accuse the State of being complicit in the manslaughter of 63 children at the home when they meet Justice Minister Alan Shatter on Tuesday.
The manslaughter charge now being made by the Protestant survivors represents a major escalation in their battle with the Government for inclusion in the State’s redress scheme for abuse victims.
Bethany Home was a Protestant evangelical institution for unmarried mothers to give birth, before being forced to abandon their children, and was a place of detention for Protestant women on remand, or convicted of crimes from petty theft up to infanticide.
In 2010 it was discovered that 219 Bethany children were buried in unmarked graves in Mount Jerome Cemetery.
The usual. Neglect, indifference, neglect.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act include inspection reports from the time that now reveal the appalling conditions children at the Bethany Home were in. Survivors had been told back in 2000 by the Departments of Health and Education that documents relating to the abuse suffered by victims at the Bethany Home didn’t exist.
However, on foot of pressure from the survivors, documents have since emerged which reveal how reports were censored in the Forties to prevent some of the more damning findings from emerging.
It has been established how a report was altered to remove mention of a child that was dying. “This baby appeared to me to be in a dying condition. As I knew the baby was suffering I had the dispensary doctor telephoned to ask him to call to see the child,” it had said.
The documents show how the reference to dying was amended later by an official to read: “The baby appeared to me in a very low condition. It was dirty and neglected and sore and inflamed from a filthy napkin, which cannot have been changed for a very long time.”
Compassion is at the heart of every great religion.