The Irish Times – Friday, March 12, 2010 (Letters to the Editor)

Madam, –

Why has clerical abuse has taken such precedence over institutional abuse when many of the reformatories and industrial schools were managed and staffed by members of religious congregations? Over 165,000 children were incarcerated in more than 200 institutions by comparison with small pockets of survivors of clerical abuse throughout the country.

The most vulnerable children of society incarcerated in these hell-holes were not only subjected to sexual abuse, they endured sadistic and brutal violence, constant starvation, emotional abuse, had to work like slaves from morning till night.

They also faced repeated assaults on self-esteem, evil name-calling, repeated isolation and loneliness?

Many survivors of institutions were deprived of a basic formal education, leaving with minimal skills or no academic knowledge.

It is important to remember that bishops had total control over these religious-run institutions. We have been silenced long enough. It is high time that survivors of institutional abuse were treated with the dignity they justly deserve instead of been kept in the dark all over again while clerical abuse is the topic of debate every single day.

It is very upsetting for survivors of institutional abuse to be put on the back burner again, particularly when they were vindicated in the Ryan report – that seems to have vanished into black abyss never to be seen or acted upon again.

I hope that we strive to understand the psyche of survivors of institutional abuse once and for all before we have a huge catastrophe? I feel if something radical is not done soon to understand our deep pain we will have a huge suicide problem on our hands. –

Yours, etc,

CARMEL McDONNELL-BYRNE,

(Survivor of Goldenbridge),

Dublin 24.

 

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