Abuse victims only want justice

On February 26, 2010, in Child Abuse, by Paddy

Friday February 26 2010

I am 76 years old and I wish to reply to James Kennedy (‘Victims of abuse milk the system’, Letters, February 24).

At the age of 23 months I was taken to a district court in Clane in Co Kildare and sentenced to 14 years in Goldenbridge Industrial School.

Most of the survivors of the institutions wanted justice. It is the leaders of the groups, put there by the Government, who are looking for money — not the victims.

Mr Kennedy is getting sick of the continuing saga of the victims of clerical abuse.

He asks what we want from the Catholic Church.

I want the judicial conviction I received as an infant to be expunged.

I want my medical files for the 14 years I spent in the hellhole that was Goldenbridge and all the details of where I came from and who my family are.

And I want the perpetrators to be brought to account in a court of law.

Mary Henderson



23 Responses to “Abuse victims only want justice”

  1. Robert Northall says:

    The Holy See formally established the congregation in 1820. The Christian Brothers was the first Irish order of men approved by a charter by the Rome.

    Geographically, the Christian Brothers are divided into several provinces that encompass every inhabited continent. The brothers within each province work under the direction of a Province Leadership Team. In turn, the entire Congregation operates under the leadership of a Congregation Leadership Team that is based in Rome (and led by a Congregation Leader). These provincial and Congregational teams are elected on a 6-year basis at Congregation chapters.

    source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_of_Christian_Brothers

    Looking at this they must have have vast overseas assets

  2. Charles O'Rourke says:

    What exactly do The Irish Christian Brothers own in Rome?. Now that is really something to do some research on. For the better part of the last century they have been shipping money from Ireland’s industrial schools to the Vatican Bank and guess what they built there?. Yes their headquarters. Has any one seen the place?. Have they shown this on their audit to the Irish government?.

  3. Robert Northall says:

    Bernadette, I can feel your pain and your outrage in your writing, and I feel for you! AND all the others.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Religious orders profited for the abuse of people like yourself and my wife.

    There is little doubt that funds would have been transferred from these Demonic Institutions to Rome and the “Holy See”; The Christian Brothers where and still are administered from Rome.

    The “Holy See” is a corporation with a Soverign State and if they have profited from the abuse of the young of Ireland are culpable; as they should have made sure that the contributions that they accepted where clean and not covered in “SIN”.

    But who is going to take the most powerful Corporation in the world to the “Court of Human Rights” Who can unlock the secrecy of this Corporation and gain access to their Financial Records.

    The Irish Government have done their task well through the Redress Board in Minimising Compensation now all they seek is half of the cost for doing such a good job of ensuring silence at minimal cost the “Holy See”.

    It is about time that the “Corporate and Religious Veil” was lifted.

    Does anyone know a good Human Rights Lawyer?

  4. Paddy says:

    No need for apologies Bernadette. You’re doing fine. It’s a pleasure to publish your contributions. Paddy.

  5. Theresa says:

    So Mary Robinson has invited the Queen of England to Ireland I am sure NO expense will be spared shouldn’t her first concern be for Survivors of Industrial Child Prisons to be properly compensated and looked after ? Decent homes should be given to Ireland’s Homeless especially those who were detained in child prisons , Do the government know how many Houses in Ireland have been bought by Outsiders as holiday homes? which pushes up house prices way beyond the locals reach and the result of that is it kills off whole communities.

  6. Bernadette O' says:

    Sorry about the terrible spelling and writing .You know who to blame for that. I am trying my best to put my thoughts across as you are well aware we had NO education. We all had to learn ourselves in later years.

  7. Bernadette O' says:

    Hanora I am with you there We children were used for slave labour The church made a fortune out of our free labour as children They neglected our health,we were on a starvation diet,for breakfast we had Half a slice of often mouldy bread with a scraping of Margarine and half a tin mug of watery coco,many children often Fainted from lack of proper diet ,many including me had Boils and scabs, the shoes were kept on shelves in a locked room ,we would line up and be handed a pair weather they fitted or not mostly NOT as the Nuns would mark the shoes and hand back the ones we wore the year before,and we had to wear them , all year again we all suffered with blisters on our Heels and toes from being squeezed into ill fitting shoes (I am sure that many of us in later years suffered with bad foot problems, and Arthritis from very worn unsuitable clothes for the winter we were always freezing ,with only one blanket on our beds and no heating life was unbearable,The Estate in Rathdrum which consisted of an enormous Manor House, Rows Of Cottages, and a Huge amount of Woodland and farming land was Bought with the Proceeds of Slave labour around 1957 through the Blood Pain and Tears of children working day and night in the ROSARY BEAD Factory and glueing Brown paper bags for outside shops,Knitting socks ect all for outside .sewing blue underwear all of which the nuns sold outside,I wonder if the shops around the Vatican sold our rosary Beads to The religious Tourists who would have been unaware of where they came from,The proceeds of the sale of Rathdrum should have been divided between the children in Goldenbridge who worked for that place between 1930 to 1957.and should Not be counted in the or any following compensation payout ,should be kept separate,In most cases when survivors got older were sent out to work on farms ,convents hospitals on the pretence that they would get training as an auxiliary nurse? ),many sent out as cleaners and maids and dogsbodies in the big houses of priests and nuns, and Rich Good Catholics Large Houses,Survivors were not ever paid ,and treated like Slaves who were less than human, what I have written is a tiny fraction of the rest of the horrors we had to go through in Goldenbridge,> May I know and understand your terrible pain. We must stay strong and all stick together as one and fight on .My name should NOT be on anyone’s list I don’t use any services ,I stayed in Hotels often when in Dublin when I wanted to go to the National archives and records Office for births Deaths and Marriages looking for my Relatives,and to find out my background ,That had been stolen from all survivors of Industrial Child Prisons ,as well as our Identity’s ,But in 2008 I found my many Cousins and Two elderly Aunts and Uncle’s I hadn’t seen since I was a baby ,They had no Idea I was being detained by the court in Goldenbridge Prison,so now I stay in one of their houses,As for someone saying its about money TO RIGHT, Its also about our JUSTICE,Does that person believe the Greedy Lawyers took on cases out of Caring and Love ,NO>would be spent on us children NO < and what about the so called Leader's of Groups weather its family tracing which is Non Existing >I have experience of that,NO HELP> No Help Offered in finding and reuniting Siblings NONE <to Making sure all survivors are in Proper Housing <fat chance of that< All Survivors should be giving a house of their own which is DISGUSTING and the Government should be ashamed, To Getting funding to set up a house or houses in the pretence its for survivors when they have to go to Dublin or Cork for one reason or another which is again to line their own pockets,they don’t give a shit about survivors they are there for the Funding>MONEY. OUR MONEY. ITS SURVIVORS MONEY. its that battered starving lonely bruised shivering frightened raped Flogged childs MONEY.

  8. Charles O'Rourke says:

    It is to be read in all chuches across the land sometime this month and put all things right. It is a piece of magic and in his infinite wisdom the German gentleman will disperse any doubts as to his special relationship with No 1, his boss. When we hear this letter we will be transformed in to good catolics again and there will be peace in the valley. That is what I was told by some body.

  9. Charles O'Rourke says:

    The author is the well known German gentleman in the Vatican, that much is known. As to the contents ,well it,s any ones guess, but my bet is that it will be mumbo jumbo faith, mumbo jumbo healing, mumbo jumbo reconcilliation, mumbo jumo henious crimes and more mumbo jumbo about forgiving them and move on and be kind to my bisops mumbo jumbo. Then there is the purpose of the letter and really Robert I can,t answer that. I,m not sure any one can.

  10. Robert Northall says:

    Charles you refer to a “letter”, can you enlighten me as to the content and the author of this “letter”.

  11. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Hanora, at last a person who calls a spade a spade. You do not do mumbo jumbo and this we are about to see and hear as the “Letter” arrives to The Legions of Rome to be read to the laity. The more mumbo jumbo we are to witness these coming weeks the clearer we must speak. This is about compensation for the wrong done to the most vulnerable people by the most vile organisation in operation in the world today. We are not served by clouded thinking. The Vatican has its priorities right, to preserve its assets. They are very clear about this. No mumbo jumbo there, that is a dish for the laity. We must know this and act accordingly.

  12. Hanora Brennan says:

    When justice is meted out in our High Courts, believe me it’s financial in nature. Therefore, the survivors should not be ashamed of expecting financial compensation! Get real! In the short term, it’s about the money and why not? Lawyers and other personnel drafted in to work behind the scenes were well paid from OUR MONEY and to demand payment is our right. Some are well advanced in years now and when their ‘award’ was made it mostly went on debts and kids with little or nothing left for themselves. This time, they should be able to pass on to the next level with a few bob in their pockets! Not only that, they should also have a living pension to ease their miserable (materially) lives! So those of you that perhaps don’t need the money, keep your comments to yourselves and pass the money to some hundreds of survivors who NEED not WANT the money.

  13. Bernadette O' says:

    The loving husband I should have had and never even had the chance to meet him because we were both detained in Industrial prisons as young children so we missed ever meeting each other in this lifetime. Its very possible.

  14. Robert Northall says:

    The only people that truly support “Survivors” are their loving Wives and Husbands. Why? “Because they are worth it!”

  15. Paddy says:

    Through this website many, many people have said they too have contacted “Groups that are representing Survivors” and like you they haven’t received a reply………ever. Most, if not all groups that claim to represent survivors of abuse don’t even have a website. One that has can at best be described as a ‘pathetic offering’.

    It’s a very sad day when people reduce the debate to “MONEY”. Shame on them!

  16. Robert Northall says:

    Oh! and the source of these “Rumours”?
    The Groups that are representing the Survivors; I have contacted them and have not had a reply to date.

    What makes me write?

    The love I feel for my wife and the anguish that she goes through daily means that what ever I say I want to share with those who are interested.

    Strange that! Others seem to think it’s all about the “MONEY”

  17. Robert Northall says:

    Dear Paddy,
    I am writing with regards to the current “Rumours”; that abound that in light of the publication of the Ryan Report that there will be additional payment in compensation for the Victims of the Industrial School System. These “Rumours” are causing me a great deal of personal anxiety as they have reached the ears of my wife.

    My wife is a survivor of one of these institutions and the act of applying to the redress Board opened mental wounds that she can’t close; I am sure that this is the case for the majority of victims.

    The closure of these institutions’ was recommended by the Kennedy Report 1967-70. The School in Artane was closed in 1969 before the report was completed; showing that the Irish Government were already acting on the finding of the Report before its conclusion. Yet they didn’t finish the closing of the schools until 1990. This implies Complicity in the abuse that took place.

    People were still being sentenced to terms of imprisonment in these institution during the time that the Kennedy Report was being compiled; the very fact that the Kennedy Report was Commissioned; indicates that the Government had grave concerns about the suitability of the Industrial and Reformatory School system and should have suspended admissions until the findings of the Report.

    The Department of Education should have been more vigilant during the time that the Kennedy Report was being compiled yet they did nothing; this is a dereliction of the “Duty of Care” by the State.

    Victims were held in these institutions after the publication of the Kennedy Report; this is negligent; and in breach of “Human Rights Legislation”.

    It has taken the Ryan Report commissioned by the Irish Government to highlight the abuse; published 4 years after the Irish Government finished paying out compensation to the victims of this abuse. This combined with the fact that the deal in 2002 and the terms for accepting payment from the redress board was designed to deliberately minimise compensation and protect the Catholic Church.

    The Redress Board instead of paying out Compensation; became protectors of the “Public Purse”.

    The Irish Government now want compensating for the money they paid out averaging 69,000 Euros per individual; if the deal hadn’t been struck with the Catholic Church in the first place the Victims would have been properly compensated and the Catholic Church would have paid out Millions; and it wouldn’t have cost the Government as much.

    The Act of setting up the Redress Board and its “modus operandi” was and is now prejudicial to victims of abuse receiving full and proper compensation for the endemic and systemic abuse that was committed by the Catholic Church and its Associated Organisations.

    A “Class Action” should be taken out against the Irish Government, and the Irish Government should sue the Vatican.

    The “Rumours” of a future payment are fuelling her Anxiety, and because of the Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that she is left with; questions are daily.

    She constantly asks my opinion as to whether or not there will be any more money?

    Whether or not she will have to go through the terrible ordeal of remembering again; the fact that she has asked this question; means that she is dwelling once again on the past.

    It is time that something was done to give victims a sense of real peace and closure.

    Yours sincerely

    Rob. Northall

  18. Paddy says:

    Christy. How one becomes a member of Irish Soca is a subject that has baffled the best brains that I’ve come across. Perhaps it should be a “specialised chosen subject” on MASTERMIND!!! I know of many, many people that have tried to email Irish SOCA and didn’t even get a response. Sometimes I wonder if SOCA is a figment of someone’s imagination embedded in their subconscious! Best wishes. Paddy.

  19. Eddy Lyons says:

    Well said Mary.
    They can never give us back our childhood. What does James Kennedy know about it. It is very easy for anyone to just sit and read about what happened, but for us that lived through the hell, can never never forgotten

  20. christy says:


    Can you tell me how one becomes a member of SOCA, I was given the name and phone no by the Redress Board of S.0.C.A. Does that make me a member????


  21. FXR says:

    I think all perpetrators and all those who engineered the cover up should be brought to court including Herr Ratzinger and Bertie.

  22. Catherine says:

    Well said Mary.

  23. mmaguire says:

    Well said Mary, and I can only hope that you and all others too, get your wish.


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