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Report Finds “Endemic” Child Abuse in Irish Catholic Institutions

John on May 23, 2009 at 8:44 am

More bad news for the Catholic Church in the form of a report examining the history of child abuse at Catholic schools and institutions:

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse found that nuns and priests terrorised children and covered up years of brutality, rape and molestation in workhouse-style schools. Ritual beatings were encouraged and paedophiles were shielded.

The investigation found that in most cases the religious orders hid the crimes and protected the abusers, sometimes moving them to different schools where they carried on attacking children.

One serial sex abuser who began his career as a Christian brother was excused his vows after three cases of sex abuse, but was able to teach for 40 years.

He terrorised and sexually abused children in six different schools before he was convicted of sex abuse in the 1980s.

In another case, a monk who abused children in England was brought back to Ireland and assigned a teaching post at Lota School in Co Cork, which was run by the Brothers of Charity. He later admitted multiple sexual assaults on boys.

Many of the worst outrages involved schools run by the Christian Brothers, who were the largest providers of residential care for boys.

At Letterfrack School in Galway, founded on a remote hillside in 1885, levels of sexual abuse were chronic and physical punishment was “severe, excessive and pervasive”. Two sex abusers were present at the school for 14 years each.


There will be no new prosecutions as a result of the inquiry and alleged abusers have not been “named and shamed”.

Victims of the regime, who were barred from the report’s launch yesterday, complained yesterday that the commission’s report did not go far enough and failed to hold those responsible to account.

The Christian Brothers successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report.

There’s nothing worse that can be said about any institution than this. It does strike me though that this is probably not the only place in society where predators take advantage of children. It does seem to be the only one that is ever reported on however.

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Category: Crime & the Law, Religion & Faith |

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