The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Celebs join bid to halt 'insulting' memorial

A CAMPAIGN to block an "offensive" €500,000 state memorial to victims of residential abuse has attracted a string of high-profile signatories.

Almost 300 people -- including Oscar-winning actress Brenda Fricker, historian Diarmaid Ferriter and Bruce Arnold, author of the industrial school critique 'The Irish Gulag' -- have lent their names to a petition to be handed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Those behind the 'stop the memorial' campaign say the proposal is premature and insulting, considering that the fallout from revelations about clerical sex abuse is ongoing.

The state memorial plan follows a recommendation in the 2009 Ryan Report to erect a monument with the wording of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's apology in 1999.

The successful bid for the contract is due to be announced next month. It was commissioned for €500,000 by the Department of Education and administered by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

But UCD modern historian Diarmaid Ferriter said: "The idea of a monument might be good for people who want to draw a line under this -- but it's something of an insult too for those who are still dealing with the horrific things that have happened to them."

Neither the OPW nor the Department of Education would comment last night.

- Mark Hilliard

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Petition for this has been added to the Top of the Home Page The Irish Gulag

For a long time, the Church was blamed for the sufferings of children in Irish industrial schools. The Irish State wanted it this way. This is because the State was culpable. Its exercise of control, through the Department of Education, was negligent to a criminal degree.  It has not been made answerable.

At the time of independence, the State inherited a country-wide network of industrial schools. These institutions were allowed to become a 'Gulag' or prison system for children.  The regimes were universally harsh.  Punishment was cruel and excessive.  The children were deprived of proper food, medical, and psychological care. They 'lost' their education, working much of their time instead as slave labour.  They were abused physically, mentally and sexually.

Their detention by the courts was unspeakably harsh, peremptory and unjust, the children rarely benefiting from defence or proper analysis of their circumstances.  Many of the children spent their whole childhood in industrial school detention, suffering unending trauma as a result.

In 1999, Bertie Ahern apologised on behalf of the State and set in place a reconciliation procedure, its methods secretive and flawed.  It did not reconcile.  This was the final betrayal of thousands of former inmates whose lives had been deeply affected, and in many cases ruined, by what had happened.

This is the story of how 'The Irish Gulag' came into existence, how it was exposed, how those who had suffered were paid off, in secret, and were yet denied proper public reconciliation. In a series of moves charted in this book, the State's main purpose is shown as self-protection, not recompense. Carried out in collaboration with the Church, this was at the heart of the betrayal of innocent children.

I am a victom  of abuse and seen my family sent to greenmount cork and my sisters

to the so  called good shephards when i hear that twat Rory Guinn say that the new

Statury fund  will be great for the abused He is talking through his !!!!

what good is education and counceling to me Im 66 years old I SUFFERED .

for years under these Sadists All that p!!!!k Guinn is doing is impleminting

Biffos propseals and taking the easy  wayout.Mark my words the Washes and Treanor

from RIGHT OF PLACE  will end up on the board of the Statuary fund and bleed it

with there wages AND expenses ,May god forgive the lot of them it was bad enough

what the Religous Orders done to us now we are been abused by our own 

these parisites should be brought to justice and answer where the 34 million

given to RIGHT OF PLACE  have gone I know where it went it paid these parisites

wages and expenses may i add the statment by TREANOR  on there expenses and wages

at there last AGM was unbelievable all he gave was an example of a treasures report

I could go on and on,Survivers for god sake get B!!!!!!S OUT

may the lot of them rot in HELL

I agree with Billy the trust fund is of no benefit to survivors.Education, counceling and family tracking are already in place so what are they talking about.The money from the fund will go on wages and expenses for members of the board, just like the redress board the amount of money spent on SOLICITORS was disgraceful in alot of cases they got more than the survivors how can that be justice.Why dont they do what is right and give the money to the people it belongs to Survivors.

money for survivors should go to survivors. 



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