The Shame of Ireland
Offaly abuse survivor taking hunger strike to gates of the Dáil
William Gorry, who is originally from Daingean, Co. Offaly, has taken his hunger strike to the gates of the Dáil today, Friday, November 3.
He has joined with five fellow survivors of institutional abuse on hunger strike in a dispute over what he calls the "ill-treatment" of survivors by the government and the body set up to offer redress to survivors, Caranua.
William is the only survivor on strike outside the Dáil. He plans to stay there from 8.30am to 7pm each day.
Mr Gorry described to us in April the horror of his experience at the Mount Carmel Industrial School in Moate, Co. Westmeath, run by the Sisters of Mercy, in the 1970s.
He commenced and later cancelled a hunger strike earlier this year, but as of October 25, he is back on strike, taking just water along with five others.
In April, William told the Offaly Express about the physical, sexual and mental abuse he suffered at the hands of priests, nuns and lay staff at the school having been placed in the institution as a young boy.
In recent years, William has been dealing with Caranua, an independent State Body set up to help people who experienced abuse in residential institutions in Ireland and have received settlements, Redress Board or Court awards.
It was initially set up as the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board in March of 2013 under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, but the name was changed to Caranua in October 2013.
According to Caranua, they offer support, information, advice and advocacy to survivors, as well as providing funding for services that survivors are entitled to as they try to rebuild their lives. They claim that, "the needs of individual survivors will be at the heart of everything we do."
William Gorry has told the Offaly Express that Caranua has treated him like a "beggar." He says the body "hurt him and other survivors" and "ruined his chances at education." Mr Gorry, who now lives in Dublin, is on a blind person's pension, and remarked to us that one of the stipulations of much of that payment is that he live alone.
He has also aired grievances with the State itself, suggesting he is being effectively barred from further education or employment as he sees his applications turned down continually due to what he calls "red tape" by the Social Welfare.
William has informed the Offaly Express that he has written to the Taoiseach's office requesting a meeting with Leo Varadkar to address his concerns with his current treatment.
William has set up a campaign on uplift.ie, in which he calls for a meeting with the Taoiseach. He wants something set up to enable survivors to meet with each other and have their voices heard and funded by Department of Education.
He has also called for the CEO of Caranua to step down immediately, for the current limit of €15,000 to be removed and for survivors to be supported by Caranua.
He says he hopes his petition, which can be signed here, can result in some small happiness, respect, healing and help to survivors in order for them to move forward in their lives.
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SIGNED I want to Join him and the others but if i did i would not manage to make it out alive Cheers Rob .
I am very sure you Rob know just how ILL i am I am too weak for this but i do wish i was there, they removed Our LEGAL RIGHTS that is how Caranua fund got this POWER over us.
William, thank you for highlighting the plight of Survivors regarding the treatment by Caranua - If you are going to be outside the Dail during the week I will try and get there to support you and all the others. I am caring for a special needs child and it can be hard to get away. I signed your petition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There has to be another way to get attention. Harming themselves is Dangerous. None of the services for survivers were anything more than clubs for those closest to the group leaders who got everthing for themselves.Bullys pretending to represent us all. Most never heard from them. Listes of names is all we were.
So true Pauline we don't want another survivor injured because of the bullies that run Caranua or the Government that are afraid to stand up to the religious in order to protect the survivors. We as survivors must remember the religious orders are and will get back every penny given to survivors some way some how not one of them have ever apologised to one of the survivors of their abuses. Many of the so called clubs set up to help survivors are only helping themselves I have not had one ounce of help from anyone other than a solicitor that duped us. And remember many of the so called people running these special little click clubs could be the same bullies that were in the institutions and were the run and tell gangs.
A Sobering Thought Barbie!
Signed Message At Above Link