On September 19, 2012, in Child Abuse, by Paddy


Sunday Business Post,

John Burke

Groups representing survivors of institutional child abuse are divided over whether the state should go ahead with a EUR500,000 memorial to honour victims.

Dublin city councillors last week backed a motion by independent councillor Mannix Flynn to halt the erection of the monument in the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square in Dublin.

Speaking during a special council debate last week, Flynn claimed that he had the backing of some wellknown abuse groups in calling on the government to halt plans for the monument until abuse claims by former residents of the Magdalene Laundries and the Protestant Bethany homes had been fully dealt with.

Flynn said Buckley “does not speak for a lot of people”.

The councillor continued: “I respect her right to an opinion, but she’s wrong. I don’t want to get into a row with people who are opposed to this. This monument is wrong.

“It suggests there is closure when there is none. It is pseudo-participatory memorial mania”.

Christine Buckley, founder of the Aislinn Centre and a former Goldenbrige industrial school resident, said that Flynn was “the last person I would take heed of in relation to the needs of survivors of institutional abuse”.

She went on: “This is, in my estimation, a publicity stunt. This monument would be so welcome, and it is terribly important to those of us who were in an institution. This is an absolute disgrace.”

Flynn was not available for comment. However, John Kelly, director of the Survivors of Clerical Child Abuse, said the group was also in favour of halting the project.

Kelly said there were “intensely different” views among survivor groups over whether the monument, which was proposed by the Ryan Commission and has received Dail approval, should proceed or not.

The monument will include the wording of the 1999 apology by the then taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, on behalf of the state for the suffering of those who were abused while in its care.

Its design was announced by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in July following a competition. The winners, Studio Negri and Hennessy & Associates, were chosen by a ten-strong jury which included abuse survivors Bernadette Fahy and Paddy Doyle.
Dublin city council manager John Tierney said that, irrespective of the wishes of councillors, the local authority’s planning staff would have to proceed with the project if the OPW lodged a planning application for it.

“If a planning application comes into us, we have no choice but to deal with it,” Tierney told the meeting.



  1. Yes, I totally agree, that these Aged Laundry Slaves and The Bethany infant child slaves, should be addressed through proper Redress and I mean compensated. One can only imagine leaving Bethany House and no family ever to hold or love you. And to be all alone in a very cruel Irish State, that preached about God, but in reality, broke every one of his Commandments. This Monumental dribble is a lot of hogwash. True, when I found my parents, was somewhat confused, and after a 14 year seperation, that is understandable. Now, in hindsight it is something that I cherish, that love, sincerity and comittment from my parents did wonders for me, not forgetting the lovely food. As opposed to rotten to maggot infested meat and a diet of leaves and grass shoots in those Irish Republican child prisons. We should keep on fighting for the right to Redress for the aged Laundry slaves and our Bethany brothers

  2. Amere-brush-hand says:

    I agree with Mannix on this. There should be no monument until the horrendous crimes committed against the women incarcerated in the Laundry hell holes are acknowledged by the State. It is unbelieveable that these women are still being abused and that very few prominent people are speaking out. What happened in Bethany House needs to be investigated as well. I don’t think that Miss Buckley should be representing any survivors period. She is not an authentic voice for survivors and never has been.

  3. bill says:


  4. Martha says:

    To Victor Stevenson:

    Victor, I’m sorry you suffered as a child. I did too. So, did every other Irish child who was born and raised in HolY Catholic Ireland, and beyond… it takes several generations, and a LOT of hard work, to overcome the effects of that RC tyranny. Sadly, most of us never recover from the dire effects of all such horror. We may survive, but we don’t all recover with our “Faculties” intact.

    Take care, best of luck, Martha

  5. Martha says:

    I just saw and heard our Prime Minister Enda Kenny on RTE 9pm news say, during his present visit to the Vatican in Rome:-

    “We have dealt with our problems fully”.

    Note, I’m paraphrasing him, but he was obviously referring to the Catholic Church’s systematic abuse of power in Ireland over the Irish people – not just those who had the misfortune to have been incarcerated in Irish RC “industrial schools” as children.

    I’ll have a pint of what Enda is drinking: if its still working for him, then it must be more powerful than “Holy Water”?! :)

  6. Victor Stevenson says:


    Thanks for that, you are right to make that point.

  7. Martha says:

    Sorry: I meant to say “a lot … of Irish citizens”


  8. Martha says:

    Victor Stevenson wrote:-

    “We are all equal citizens of Ireland …”

    Are we? Tell that to the Banksters and our Politicos (with their big fat pensions etc).

    Also, a lot (most, in my experience) don’t share that view of yours, Victor, sad to say.

  9. Martha says:

    To Veronica O’Brien:-

    Dear Veronica,

    Your post (above) essentially describes my own experience of dealing with the Irish Authorities, such as those on our national school boards – which meetings I attended on behalf of my children (when young). I wasn’t “shouted down”, but my reasonable suggestions (on behalf of the school children) were completely ignored. So, I just carried on being a Normal (read non-RC) mother for my children – often to the chagrin of the school authorities.

    The point is, Ireland is still run by unelected people, aided and abetted by our elected politicians. Which begs the question: are the Irish people (general public) themselves to blame?

  10. Mary Collins says:

    The state involement in the Magdalene laundries to be delayed until records and other information is considered. It would be improper to conclude its work with out examing the additional material say the Irish government. That is exactly the same for the monument it will represent a bunch of lies the industrial schools and laundries were linked together example in 1962 my mother and I were taken by the cruelty men to the laundries. Then I went on to the industrial school Sr Ursula the nun in the laundry told me many years later she remembers the day my mum entered the laundry she was meant to have smashed the place down when they drove of with me in the car. Mr Flynn well done for having the courage to speak up. Christine I am very disappointed in you you. I remember you saying you always felt different so you know what it like to feel excluded and different this is how I’m feeling now and so are the majority of survivors. You might be educated but you one of us and how can you let a monument go ahead with out the whole truth. This just shows the groups are only representing a few. There will never be closure where I concerned we live with the scars every day. No monument without the truth.

  11. Mannix Flynn is correct Mr Divisionary Quinn, No Monumental Cock Up. Its All of The Victims Or Nothing. This piece of Worthless Junk is an Affront to we victims and a downright insul to EXLUDE any of our KIND, Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim. We are God forbid and ashamedly Irish and very unfortunate neglected Citizens. Oliver.

  12. pauline says:

    Firstof all its about people having had thier lives destroyed by inhuman treatment. Protestant or catholic or any other religion shouldnt change that. There are many others like me who grew up with mrs buckley who were treated brutally. Unless thay agree to accept everything she wants no one gets any news from the aisleen center. We all have to take care of ourselves. This memorial is a clear sign that someone wants closure. With an irish bishop claiming that he dident understand what sexual abuse was while he was responsable for dealing with perverts i dont think its time to close this. the memorial is only for show unless the whole thing is sorted ou.

  13. Martha says:

    Having read this article, my feeling is that the age-old “Divide & Conquer” still reigns supreme here in Ireland.

    It seems to be this debate has been reduced to Mannix Flynn versus Christian Buckley. What’s this all about? Some sort of competition, i.e., “My scars are bigger than yours”?

    And then we have this (from the article:-

    “The monument will include the wording of the 1999 apology by the then taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, on behalf of the state for the suffering of those who were abused while in its care.”

    Let’s get real her: Bertie Ahern doesn’t give a “shite” (to use the vernacular) about his fellow Irish men or women. He lives in “Celeb World”. FFS …

  14. Mannix Flynn’s call to halt the erection of the monument in the Garden of Remembrance, is no “publicity stunt”-indeed the monument would be an icon of public shame, embarrassment and an affront to natural justice, if it does not encompass ALL victims and survivors of abuse, and naming ALL the nstitutions where these crimes took place. Including Bethany Home, and the 219 children dumped in unmarked graves to this day, and Westbank, and all other Protestant institutions where abuse took place. And Magdalene Laundries, and Artane and Madonna House and Trudder House, every last hell hole one of them.

    In the name of all that is decent, as survivors let us not divide and forget each other, too many have done that to us already. No matter if we are Catholic, Protestant, black or white, as survivors we share a common bond, we should be as one. We are all equal citizens of Ireland, as survivors we have all shared the same experience, let us share the same memorial.

  15. veronica obrien says:

    Dear Paddy,
    I attended a meeting today at the Camden Irish Support Centre with the belief that I would receive information and support with Counselling , Housing, Education and Finance but instead of the support promised on the leaflet we were ushered from table to table only to be told there was no support available and only advice could be given. Whilst in this meeting a conversation was overheard between two individuals arranging to setup yet another group and the party wishing to set up the group was promised all the support and financial help they needed but they should I quote “keep it between themselves”. How can us survivors be offered nothing whilst secret deals are being done right under our noses? It seems the purpose of the meeting was to allow individuals to meet and discuss how best to benefit from the fund by setting up more useless groups who serve no purpose except keeping themselves in employment. One elderly male survivor had the courage to stand up during the meeting and ask what the purpose of it was and who was paying for it?
    He was abruptly told to sit down and shut up by hecklers who did not appear to be survivors and I found this behaviour sickening and disgraceful.
    When we entered the building for the meeting we were asked to write our details into a book and I now fear that this information will be used by the groups to claim more money on my behalf when I have no desire to be represented by an unelected group who have no purpose or goal but feathering their own nest.
    I also spoke to an elderly female survivor who said that she had been traveling from the west country for years to attend these meetings and had yet to receive any support or decent advice, when asked why she still made the epic journey she replied “I live in hope”
    That just about sums up my feelings along with many other survivors, nothing gets done for us but WE LIVE IN HOPE.

  16. Christina says:

    I seriously question Christine Buckley’s suitability for the position she holds.

    She turned a survivor of abuse away from her offices in a most cruel fashion because he was not reared in an institution, like she was. In doing so, she showed an extreme lack of empathy, maturity and professionalism which should be essential requirements for her job. She sat in a church and allowed another human being to demean himself by washing her feet in a supposed act of forgiveness. She did not utter a word against the harsh treatment of her fellow survivors who were excluded and barricaded from the (awful) ceremony. It is evident that the only person she represents is herself.

    Now I see she is making peculiar statements such as those above about Mannix Flynn. What is she implying? Is she saying that she knows of some serious defect in Mr. Flynn’s character? One surmises from such utterances that Mr. Flynn is either a dreadful human being or a very stupid one.

    That Mr. Flynn disagrees with Christine is not a disgrace. What is a disgrace is that Christine has a temper tantrum when someone disagrees with her. What is a disgrace is that someone wants to spend 500,000 euro on a monument when there are survivors struggling to survive. The monument is not important, what is important is that the financial aid is there so that all survivors get the psychological support and aid they desperately need.

    I was reared in an industrial school (institution) and I don’t want this monument. I would appreciate though a written apology to all survivors of the Catholic Church on permanent display at the entrance of every Catholic building in Ireland at the Catholic Church’s own expense.

  17. No Quinn Monumental Cockup. Its Bethany Infant Child Victims compensation, OR BUST. For my Bethany Brothers and any Sisters of my brothers. Twisted Oliver.

  18. pauline says:

    Its the only way to include the workers of the laundrys. it would really be awfull if we from the industriel schools forgot these women. it is too early for closure. its not only about money. its about the loss of children the loss of the rightto live freely. many would have been loving mothers in a different climate. sadly we will never know what thier lives could have been.

Leave a Reply