May 20, 2009

Irish children abused too

A report on Irish reformatories, orphanages, and industrial schools gives us an idea how horrific such schools were for Indians.

Children abused at Catholic-run schools in Ireland, report says

An Irish commission finds that students at more than 200 schools were molested and subjected to excessive punishment over a six-decade period while the church covered up misdeeds.

By Henry Chu
The commission found that corporal punishment and other forms of physical abuse were standard practice at many institutions for dealing with any perceived misbehavior.

"Extreme punishment was a feature of the boys' schools. Prolonged, excessive beatings with implements intended to cause maximum pain occurred with the knowledge of staff management," the report says.

Girls also were subject to "ritualized beatings," often administered by the nuns in a way calculated to "increase anguish and humiliation," the report found.

"One way of doing this was for children to be left waiting for long periods to be beaten. Another was when it was accompanied by denigrating or humiliating language."

Some victims told the commission that seeing or hearing other children being beaten was a terrifying experience that has haunted them ever since.

"It's something you never forget," Tom Sweeney told Irish television, referring to the five years he spent in industrial schools, including two years at Artane, a facility run by the Christian Brothers in Dublin.

"Things didn't happen in your life after that," said Sweeney, 63. "Your life fell apart. Your marriage fell apart. Your communication with your children fell apart, and it all stems [from] being in Artane. We never got closure, and we never will get closure."

Sexual abuse was also rife, especially in boys' facilities, the report says. The religious authorities knew that such misconduct was a persistent problem, but children who complained were ignored or blamed for what had occurred.
Comment:  The report covers the 1930s through the 1990s. It's incredible that these abuses were going on only 10 years ago. Assuming they've even stopped, of course.

Catholic school abuse has become a worldwide scandal. Most people know about it and scorn it. But the same things happened to Indian children in the US and Canada. That scandal deserves as much publicity as this one.

For more on the subject, see Pope Feels Sorrow, Not Sorry and 150,000 Kidnapped Children.


dmarks said...

Good catch. I was thinking of forwarding this one on to you before I saw you had used it for a post.

Rob said...

Including this item was borderline, since there's no direct Native connection. Posting the residential-school videos item the same day tipped the scales in its favor.

I await Stephen's response to this posting. I suspect he'll tell us that all cultures have child abuse, so "it's a bit unfair" to single out the Irish.

Ananda girl said...

Hummm. I saw this a few days back and have known about it for a time to a lesser degree. I think everyone would agree that no child should endure such things no matter what culture or race they come from... even Stephen. And yes, what happens and has happened to Native American children along these lines should be taken very serriously with equal concern. I think the children being Irish here is more a point of fact and location, than singling out.

Stephen said...

"I suspect he'll tell us that all cultures have child abuse, so "it's a bit unfair" to single out the Irish."

That's not what I was going to say at all, I don't think this counts a s 'singling out the Irish' on the contrary this greatly angers me.

"I think everyone would agree that no child should endure such things no matter what culture or race they come from... even Stephen."

Of course I agree with this, but it's also worth pointing out that this sort of thing is not at limited to Catholic schools.'_Home

One of the residents of kincora was Michael Stone who went on to become a loyalist terrorist. I'm not defending the church (unlike most of my relatives I'm not catholic) simply pointing out a lesser known scandal.

Stephen said...

Of course Rob isn't exactly very informed about Ireland, for example:

"And Adams didn't hypothesize the other possibility: that Hitler attacked Christianity and Christians for political reasons. Don't think that's possible in a Christian country? Look at the battles between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland."

In reality religion had very little to do with (it was normally just used to justify hate crimes Paisley's speeches are an example of that) sectarian catholics hated protestants because of the discriminatory NI government (gerrymandering and so on). Whereas protestants looked down on catholics the same way members of the KKK looked down on blacks, some also blamed republican atrocities (ie the enniskillen bombing) on the catholic community in general. Watch the documentaries 'loyalists' and 'provos' you'll find that the people who joined such terrorist groups were not motivated by religion. It's more accurate to describe the conflict as loyalist vs. republican. Also it's hitler was a christian please explain these quotes:

"One can either be a christian or a german one can't be both."

"You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?"

But carry on with this delusion that you're informed and educated Rob, it's highly amusing. And in case I didn't make myself clearly I absolutely condemn this case of abuse, it's goram stomach churning.

dmarks said...

I don't think it's that borderline, since the "boarding school abuse" subject, in my reading, is usually about Natives. So here's another example with a lot of parallels.

Stephen said...

Also getting back to sectarianism if you do some research you'll find it started with the british divide 'n conquer strategy; prior to that cultural genocide was exercised against catholics and presbyterians in the form of the penal laws. NI terrorist groups - the UDA, UVF, IRA, INLA and so on - were very secular (the IRA was very marxist just read Eire Nua) so like I said it wasn't really about religion.

Stephen said...

One more thing, that pic of the kid with the celtic cross tat is a mite stereotypical.

Melvin Martin said...

Why I have a problem with my early Catholic upbringing -

Has anyone here ever seen a middle-aged nun punch a pre-teen male in the stomach with a rosary wrapped around her hand like a set of knucks or slap his face so hard that he's almost knocked out or kick him so violently in the testicles that he's bent over in pain and then she karate chops the back of his neck and he hits the blacktop like a watermelon?

Or you're a ten-year old Indian kid whose mistaken for Mexican by a bull-necked priest who likes little brown boys and this fucker drools everytime he sees you? And sometimes he even grabs your arm as you walk by and he stares crazily into your eyes, the yellowed orbs glowing with the fires of barely restrained lust?

Or sometimes he grabs you by both arms on your way to class and won't let you go as he pulls your face close to his and his breath reeks like dogshit and he laughingly inquires repeatedly: "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?"

Ask me about it sometime...

Stephen said...


Rob said...

Re "In reality religion had very little to do with": Learn to read, Stephen. I didn't say Northern Ireland was an example of Christians attacking other Christians for religious reasons. I said it was an example of Christians attacking other Christians for political reasons. Your stupid mistake if you missed the phrase "political reasons" in the previous sentence.

Re "Also [if] hitler was a christian please explain these quotes": In the first quote, Hitler doesn't explicitly say he isn't a Christian. In the second quote, he implicitly admits he is a Christian. He may resent aspects of Christianity, but he talks as if it's his religion.

Since your egotistical sense of superiority knows no bounds, you explain the following Hitler quotes:

"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." (Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter II)

"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter." (Speech delivered April 12, 1922)

Good luck with your answers,'ll need it.

For more on Hitler's religious background, see Adolf Hitler:  A True American.