Posted by Niall O'Dowd at 5/30/2009 7:19 AM EDT
The Irish Times has a great suggestion in their editorial today (Saturday). The Catholic church in Ireland should pay half of the $1.2 billion in compensation owed to the victims of the industrial school holocaust which saw thousands of kids beaten raped and sodomized by nuns and priests and brothers.
The other half should be borne by the Irish government which I think is fair too -- their decision over decades to turn a blind eye to what was happening to the nation's most vulnerable children was a disgrace in itself.
Any of you who watched the incredible video on this site of an elderly victim of that abuse could not but be moved by his extraordinary account of what happened to him and his family.
Seven children, his one month old sister included, were taken away and separated in various homes across the country. He was raped and sodomized on his second day in one institution -- by the man who the next day gave him Holy Communion.
The man speaking, Michael O'Brien, is a former Mayor of Clonmel, a large town in Ireland and his impassioned plea to the Irish government minister he is addressing wold melt a heart of stone
John Banville was right when he wrote in The New York Times that there was a massive conspiracy of silence, across many sections of society about what was happening in Ireland at the time.
Father Flanagan from Boys Town was the one man who spoke up on a visit to his native country but the establishment ridiculed him.
The whole episode is nothing less than Ireland's holocaust,in the sense that we can be as ashamed of our forefathers who did this as the Germans are about their Nazi forbears. The wholesale brutalization and mass rape and sodomy of generations of the most helpless children in society was carried out with sanction form the highest levels.
It was a disgraceful era.