The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

As usual very succinct and to the point email sent by Albert King, this appeared in my Personal Email Account and is reproduced with Albert's permission. Read on and have your say?
Sent: 03 April 2012 17:02
Dear Sinéad Ni Bhroin, Political Adviser,
We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 2nd April 2012 on behalf of Mary Lou McDonald TD who recently raised the Statutory Trust Fund legislation with Mr. Ruairi Quinn, Minister of Education and Skills in the Dáil.
When one looks at the aforementioned it soon become clear that Mr. Ruairi Quinn, Minister of Education and Skills needs to be reminded of the many concerns and issues at home and abroad in relation to the controversial Secret Deal – 2002, the Ryan Commissions Report – 2009, the Institutional Child Abuse Bill – 2009, the Detention Order, the Vaccine Trials, the Redress Board and the Education Finance Board.
May we refer to Mr. Ruairi Quinn, Minister of Education and Skills recent comments to Mary Lou McDonald TD as follows: “The Redress Board operates pursuant to the Residential Redress Act, 2002 to provide fair and reasonable awards to persons who suffered abuse as children while resident in scheduled institutions”?
It should be quite clear to Mr. Ruairi Quinn, Minister of Education and Skills that serious issues have arisen for some time in relation to the Redress Board and we would like to point out that many victims of institutional child abuse have been awarded pittance from the Redress Board.
The Redress Board is one of the greatest abuses perpetrated against victims of sexual abuse in religious run residential institutions, according to a top psychiatrist.
Dr. Michael Corry, founder of the institute of Psychosocial Medicine , said the Redress Board stringent secrecy laws are causing huge psychological damage to victims.
In a letter to The Irish Times dated 19th May 2005, Dr. Michael Corry, Consultant Psychiatrist, stated his firm believe is that the Redress Board contravenes the most basic of human and civil rights.
In short it represents a crime against humanity.
It should be abolished immediately and replaced by an open forum where the victim is not only properly monetarily compensated, but where they can have their perpetrators named, and the scales of justice balanced.
It’s quite clear that many Survivors support groups have received a number of complaints from abuse victims claiming they have received reduced levels of compensation after waiving an initial award by the Redress Board.
The former Minister for Education & Science, Mr. Michael Woods, T.D. in a statement about the Compensation Advisory Committees conclusion he said one of most important observations was that the child injuries were among the most serious kinds of personal injury known to law.
Survivors had lost their childhood much of their adulthood as well.
He also said that because of the complexities of measuring the impact of abuse, the State would obtain its guidelines for the awards from the Irish Courts.
Patsy McGarry, a Religious Affairs Correspondent, reported in The Irish Times dated 15th October 2004, that the former Minister for Education & Science, Ms. Mary Hanafin, T.D. said Members of the Oieachtas Committee on Education, have been assured that awards by the Redress Board were in line of those of the High Court, and that it had an obligation to do this.
This has simply not happened.
Far worse has been going on behind the closed doors of the Redress Board, with pitiful awards being made that come no where near the criteria given by the Compensation Advisory Committee, in 2001, chaired by Mr. Sean Ryan, or in ministerial statements supporting that criteria.
Nor does the Redress Board system of awards meet with the basic principles of natural justice and the requirements for openness in the Convention on Human Rights.
On two critical occasions during the framing and passage of legislation which set up the original Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse over which Honorable Justice Mary Laffoy presided until her letter of resignation dated 2nd September 2003, the former Minister for Education & Science, Mr. Michael Woods, T.D. claimed the awards made for abuse would parallel the substantial awards made in the High Court.
He recommended that the best guidance for the Government should be by reference to the level of awards made by the Irish courts for pain and suffering and loss of amenities arising from serious personal injury.
This has simply not happened.
By comparison with court awards for sexual abuse, the offers and the handouts from the Redress Board have been derisory.
The State has created a legal process based on secret hearings where neither the public nor the media can discover what is being done.
This is an abuse of the European Convention on Human Rights for which Ireland is a signatory.
Openness in public hearings is vital for all parties.
There are around 14, 600 sad army of victims of institutional child abuse including my wife, who made applications to the Redress Board by the deadline of December 2005.
Their weapon of war is a bleak and complicated Application Form; this disgraceful document comes out of the Redress Act 2002.
In order to assist an applicant the former Minister for Education & Science, Mr. Noel Dempsey, TD, stated that a lower threshold of proof is required and the Redress Board will conduct its sittings in an informal manner in order to accommodate the applicant.
When a person makes an application to the Redress Board they are required to establish to the Board firstly, their identity, secondly that they were resident in the institution during their childhood and finally that they were injured while so resident and the injury is consistent with the abuse that is alleged to have happened.
In the event an applicant is dissatisfied with an award he/she may reject the decision of the Redress Board Committee and pursue the matter through the Courts.
According to the former Minister for Education & Science, Mr. Noel Dempsey, TDs conclusion the aim of the Redress Board is to provide victims of institutional child abuse with an alternative avenue to pursue their claim.
That was the theory.
The practice has been entirely different.
Depending on the award made by the Redress Board and/or the Redress Board Review Committee, claimants would have to give serious consideration to their options to proceed with their High Court Action.
Apart from the time factor, the claimant may be held responsible for all costs and outlay from the date of the lodgment (the pittance amount awarded to the claimant by the Redress Board).
After giving the above mentioned options serious consideration, we do not think any claimant would be stupid enough to instruct their Solicitor to follow any further down the same road in a corrupt process which leaves the claimant to consider the consequences.
It’s quite clear that part of the redress system itself, as in so many other State approaches to legislative commitments, has been taken from the UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Board system.
This has broadly the same purpose as the Redress Board, and that is to by pass litigation.
Instead of a back injury or loss of a finger earning £7,500 or £10,000, it is rape or assault that is measured in hard cash.
Although this disgraceful and complicated application form is posited on the idea that an applicant could fill it out on his/her own, the complexities demand assistance from an early point.
It’s quite clear that this kind of work of making representations on behalf of the claimant before the Redress Board had been proving lucrative for many law firms.
Details of the offending institutions have to be given in the form, and the offences, even down to the point of providing a number, given to them in the institution.
This, together with grim details of past suffering, all of it called evidence, together with medical and psychiatric reports, is made available to any person and to the representive of any institution in this application.
This represents hugely excessive disclosure.
But the punitive situation is far more extensive.
Including the claimant taking responsibility for everything stated.
It includes agreeing to the Redress Board requesting any person to produce to it any document which may relate to this application.
It goes further.
It asks the applicant to make prior judgments to whether he/she will consider the possibility of settling this application without a hearing, having on the same page answered comprehensive questions about other proceedings or actions for damages or for criminal investigation.
No comparable circumstances are to be found; on the UK Criminal injuries Compensation Boards work on which the Redress Board is modeled.
The Redress Board is free to call in its own medical advice.
It is free to submit documentation to all named parties.
And dare one say it, the claimant is already a deeply damaged victim, their lives ruined by illness and continuing medical treatment, and in many cases they are still attending further education classes which they were attending even before the present Education Finance Board.
We should surely be dealing here with the circumstances where the claimant has been wronged.
It is the State and the Religious Orders who are suspected, with wide evidential support already, of having committed the acts complained of.
Yet they do not have to fill out any comparable form.
They do not have to submit their documentation including all records and documents exchanging between the State and the Religious Orders and Pharmaceutical Companies pertaining to drug trail/tests and proposed drugs trail/tests of children in the care of the said Religious Orders.
Many institutional child abuse victims including my wife face a conspiracy of silence and total absence of records when they attempt to discover their true identity.
It’s quite clear that the State and the Religious Orders do not have to give undertakings about their truthfulness.
Do not have to promise not to give false information.
Are not required, to give the Redress Board full assistance in conduct of this (or any other) application.
This is short summary of just some of the wrongs, indignities and illegalities we, have faced.
We now fear that the so-called Statutory Trust Fund will be foisted on people who were abused while in institutions irrespective of their concerns and issues.
It’s quite clear that the so-called Statutory Trust Fund will operate in much the same way as the Redress Board and the Education Finance Board resulting in many complaints.
Such a situation should not be tolerated.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Albert King on behalf of Mary King. (victim of institutional child abuse).

Views: 355

Comment by jack colleton on May 31, 2012 at 21:17

all part of the same club



Newspapers in Ireland. Irish Press & Media Online



Comment by jack colleton on May 31, 2012 at 21:20
Comment by Patrick Rice on June 1, 2012 at 15:41

For five long years I cared for my wife alone in our own home who was terminally ill with Alzheimer's. During that period I learned of the Redress Board and decided to put my case (as I understood it) by correspondence through a solicitor. It was not the best manner in which to present my case. The nuns and Christian Brothers were in denial of all the facts I presented. As I was unaware as to why I was in 'State Custody' I could only present the facts as I experienced them.

Imagine the shock to discover to that both I, a two year old and a seven year old girl appeared in front of Judge Cussen at Dublin DC, charged with 'receiving alms' and that the father had deserted the family. She was sent to an Industrial School in Dublin and I learned for the first time that my school at St. Patrick's in Killkenny was an Industrial. I described the Sisters of Charity nun's habit as all black with a white contraption that concealed the upper forehead, ears and lower chin and was joined at the chest with an all white bib. They insisted that their habit was all white and not black. When I managed to send them a picture (via email attachment) of the Sisters of Charity as I described them, they changed their tune and said that they wore black out doors and white in doors!

One lie after another I could no longer keep up the fight as my wife passed away and just wanted to end the fight and settled for a small sum which I still have and will not spend.

In the past two years when I was told I had stomach cancer and required major surgery to remove the whole of my stomach I decided to research my background and that of my family. The results have left me in shock and for the sake of my family I wrote my story and published it. For the reader I let them draw their own conclusions. Why send one child to Killkenny, enter his incorrect name in all the records and also record him as illegitimate, then send the girl to a school near her home in Dublin?

It then transpires that the father did not desert the family, rather did he in agreement with his wife place three children in the care of his family. It was the 1930s depression and he was offered a job (vehicle mechanic/driver) in the UK. On return to Ireland he was arrested and appeared in court and found not guilty of desertion. His wife admitted under cross-examination that she had lied at the original court appearance that resulted in us two children being detained. For a number of years he fought to regain custody of his children. The best he could manage was to get the girl out on license. When instructed to return her, he refused and because of that refusal he was denied access to me. The story contains the lies and blackmail used to keep me in custody. For over sixty years I knew nothing of what was going on in the outside world.

If I have broke the rules of the Redress Board and named names in my book; I say good, let they try and prosecute me, I can promise they'll look silly with all the evidence I've gathered. No longer am I afraid of that Church/State. My last wish would be to visit the grave (some where in Dublin) of the man; my father I never got to know and pay my last respects.

Comment by james moy on June 1, 2012 at 17:29

Patrick, sorry to read of your sad and tragic life, and your terrible experiences.But you can be assured you are not alone in your efforts to expose the evils within the R/C/Religion, and their treatment of the Children of  Ireland.

For them to take any action against you regarding their gagging orders, would only entail them bringing hundreds to court,and exposing a bigger can of their disgusting worms,  and lets face it ,they are the gangsters

the abusers,  and have a lot more to be ashamed of than we would ever have. From  where im standing the only crimes we ever committed were being born in Holy Ireland, under a corrupt Government and their partners in crime, the religious! The entire RIRB was designed and set up by very devious legal people with the priority to protect the Government and Religious,  With their gagging orders, which in itself is a crime ,and an infringment of basic human rights, as has been well highlighted to date. 

Yes Patrick, there are thousands of folk, men and women ,who had their Childhoods ruined by the Religious and Governments of Ireland, all with their own sad stories,and despite the fact that this present Government seem no different,and want to inflict further abuse on us in our elder years, as long as i can still breath air, i will do my level best to expose their shame, and i admire you and anyone else that takes the same action.

Our life was,  and in many ways still is, Irelands  own Houlicost.





Comment by pauline jackson on June 1, 2012 at 21:19

I feel very sorry that you have had to face so much. I dont know about you but throughout my life when i spoke of my childhood people ask questions like but what did you do. it gets worse the more i try and explain where i come from. religions have caused so many broken lives that its a tragedy. our splintered familys arent able to undo the damage caused by such treatment.I think you will understand what i mean as so many of us had to make a life somewhere.You know James i agree with you that its religion that blinded people but its not the case anymore. the church is feeling abandoned.

Comment by Andrew Brennan on June 5, 2012 at 17:45

We're supposed to be a Republic.  Basically one of the organisations that abused us is writing the law that determines compensation - and this Abuser-Written-Law will be under the control of the people who turned their backs on us when we were children.

What next for the Republic?

Burglars and car thieves to write laws on theft and breaking and entering!

Bankers to write laws on financial corruption!

Developers to write the laws controlling local planning!

Comment by Patrick Rice on June 6, 2012 at 10:42


Please don't feel sorry for me as I've been one of the very lucky ones to have not only survived, but to have followed my dream and achieved more than many that came from a privileged background. When I met my wife, a young clothing factory girl who started work at 14, and she accepted me in marriage we had no money. My promise to her, was to one day own a large house in the country side with plenty of land for children to run free. By age 54 I had achieved that dream and retired in comfort with 9 grandchildren. Some of them I helped to set up in their own business. None of my family are Catholics.

Yes, there were drawbacks along the way and like you say when people ask questions about my background I attempt to change the subject. I've had to educate myself and tell a few lies along the way, to cover my Irish background, but most of all, I've kept myself apart and never made a friend. My attitude at times, has been misconstrued as aloof or stuck-up. As I reflect on a position I attained in high management with one of the world's largest American firms, I smile to think 'what would my co-workers have made of my background if they only known the truth?'

Now the truth that has taken so many years to be revealed, it doesn't make it any easier to become involved with other people in conventional society, when every day subjects come up. Like: "Do you remember school days when.....?"

Imagine asking anyone: "What's it like to enter a house you call home and not to share a bed room with 160 other boys?" ( There were over 800 boys at Artane when I was there in 1941-47)

"What's it like to be greeted with 'hello son' as you enter a house?"

"What's it feel like to say: 'Hi Mum, Hi Dad' and to be embraced?" All you knew was to back away from adults for fear of abuse.

"What's it like to have a birthday party, or to even know when your birthday was?"

"What's it like to attend a Christmas family gathering and receive presents?"

These are just some of the many questions you wouldn't dare ask anyone, for who other than those who experienced being locked away their entire childhood could understand being asked such questions? It is better to avoid such subjects I feel and to maintain your distance.

Their philosophy was to treat us like mushrooms; keep is in the dark and feed us manure. Had they educated us at Artane we would have seen the light and realised that we vastly outnumbered the Brothers and could easily have taken over the place and meted out the same punishment to the Brothers using their own straps they used on us. Such action may well have ended the 'school' system as it then existed.

One of the biggest tragedies was the total waste of a large part of the country's assets that lay in the thousands of children future that passed through a hopeless and short sighted system. Finally it sure didn't enhance the the country's image.   

Comment by pauline jackson on June 6, 2012 at 15:13

hello patrick. i understand exactly what you mean. If we had been cared for at all we would have memories like others. My two brothers finished thier sentence in Artane. we were in the same city but had i met them i wouldnt have known them as from the time we left the courts untill 17 years later. i feel very  touched by your comments as you say others from the outside just wouldnt understand. people ask why dident you run away. i did but i was taken back the first time by police who we had expected to help us. that the whole state seemed in agreement with the church that we were lumps of walking shite. i have never really taken part in family celebrations because i dont know them nor do thay know me.. its improvising all throughout life. also never having a haven to go back too. i dont feel sorry for you you have done a great job of leaving all that behind you. i am envous i wish i had a house of my own . even two rooms would do me as long as i have room for my books and a cat or two. i discovered the joys of being able to read and understand the references. so i have always enjoyed learning. i am not a full catholic any more as i am on the list of those who protest about the lack of honesty in dealing with all of this especally the sexual abuse. thay are discusting. i like keeping an open mind about things

Comment by Geraldine Jackson on September 20, 2012 at 3:37

The Federation of irish societies  have decided  (now that the Statuary Trust Fund )? has been undemocratically passed into law  no doubt with their help ,they are now going to put up a website for survivors , Are they using the Statuary Trust Funding for that????  how much FUNDING are they receiving in the Survivors names. or should I say using Survivors names.  WHY didn't they put up a website many years ago after all they have been claiming to provide services for Survivors for many years, Rob Northall got this site going for survivors  it provides a platform for survivors to communicate with each other , express  freely how they feel ,  tell their story without been silenced,  Vote, And a lot of information is  provided here .  It's Robert who should be getting Funding to keep this much needed Site going for the benefit of Survivors and Families and Friends.  NOT those who claim to Represent Survivors > What have they done for survivors for the last 20 years with all the funding they have received over the many years. ???????  We are not Sheep that they can keep Dictating to.

Comment by Geraldine Jackson on September 20, 2012 at 3:40

Further to that comment , It is far to late for them thinking of putting up a website , why didn't they put one up 20 years ago ,

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