The Shame of Ireland
A survivor of one of Ireland's former state-funded, Roman Catholic Church-run children's institutions says some of them were like gulags, where vulnerable minors worked as slave labourers.
"These places weren't care homes, they were gulags," John Kelly, now coordinator of the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) group said, adding that inmates had to make "the instruments of our own torture".
Speaking hours before publication of a major report into alleged abuse, he said children were "rented out to farmers as slave labourers," faced regular floggings and were known by numbers, not names.
For 10 years, a government-appointed commission has probed allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse suffered by thousands of the estimated 30,000-40,000 children who passed through the system.
Kelly described how he lived in an institution run by a Catholic religious order in a former British military barracks in central Ireland.
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