Whistleblower Paddy Doyle – I walked in, I didn’t walk out…

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Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done!’.

DUBLIN, April 26, 2010 (AFP) –

One of the first whistle blowers in the clerical abuse scandal which has shaken the Catholic Church in Ireland to its foundations can still recall the fear that stalked his wretched childhood. Sent to a Church-run school at the age of four, Paddy Doyle was severely abused. It was not until he was 38 that he was able to open up about the horrors he had suffered.

“For saying anything at all, you would be seriously punished,” he recalls in an AFP interview, when asked why the systematic abuse meted out across the predominantly Catholic country was allowed to continue unchecked for so long. When his mother died of cancer and his father hanged himself in front of him and his two-year-old sister, the Irish justice system in 1955 labelled him as “not being in possession of a proper guardian”. He was sent to the now notorious St Michael’s Industrial School, at Cappoquin, County Waterford, south-east Ireland, where he was viciously assaulted and sexually abused. “They were very serious abusers. We couldn’t even dream of speaking out.You could be deprived of food, of any kind of social interaction with other children.
“So you just went with the way things were. All the children were under the age of 10, so it was very difficult.
“There was a silence,” he said, recalling Ireland at a time when the Catholic Church in Ireland was all-powerful.
“The country was run by religious orders: schools, hospitals and some say even the government.
“The Church called all the shots, decided practically everything. There wasn’t a school that wasn’t run by the Catholic Church.
“In fact, 20 years ago, you couldn’t open a school if no member of the Church was on the board.” Doyle soon developed dystonia, a severe neurological disorder. He was sent to a succession of Church-run hospitals and says he was subjected to”surgery experimentation”.
“I walked in but I came out in a wheelchair,” he said. He never recovered the use of his legs. When he finally felt able to reveal what had happened to him, he was worried how others would react.
He recalled: “I sat in front of my computer and told (it): ‘I want to tell you something’. It didn’t answer me back.” Eventually he poured all the pain of his ordeal into a book, “The God Squad”. The first publisher he approached “said it was a brilliant book but too risky to be published”, but an independent publishing house took it on (Raven Arts Press)and the book went on sale in 1989.

The initial reaction was underwhelming. “It fell on deaf ears. The Irish psyche didn’t want to believe (it),” Doyle said. The disbelief was perhaps even greater because Doyle recounted in the book that he had been abused not by men, but by the nuns who ran the school.
“An awful lot of people couldn’t get their head around the idea of a woman who could become an abuser,” he said. “The God Squad” became a success and showed the way forward for other victims to overcome their fear.

Subsequent government investigations have revealed substantial levels of abuse in many Catholic-run institutions from the 1950s to the 1970s and the Church’s complicity in covering it up. Even the current head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, has faced calls to resign after it emerged that he had required two abused children to sign an oath of silence. Doyle says that despite the progress, and financial compensation for victims, he is still appalled that the “denial” of his country’s dark years continues. “There is no abuser in jail. Why aren’t they in prison?” he asks,dismissing Pope Benedict XVI’s recent apologies for the handling of the abuse scandal as “farcical”.

“From the Pope right down, they should be before the court.”

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Child abuse in the Catholic Church: why Ireland kept quiet
DUBLIN, April 26, 2010 (AFP) – The extent of the unimaginable sexual and physical abuse suffered by thousands of children in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland is becoming clear, but why did it remain secret for so long? Academics and victims say that the Church itself as well as police,teachers and even victims’ families all helped maintain the veil of secrecy. This was because of the huge authority wielded by the Church in Ireland which meant that some parents actually blamed children for bringing abuse on themselves. Until the early 1990s, “it was simply impossible to challenge the Church”, said Kevin Lalor, head of the School of Social Sciences and Law at the Dublin Institute of Technology. To understand the Catholic Church’s central role in society, you have to recognise its role as an “anti-British force” prior to Irish independence in1921, Lalor said. “As the centre of identity, it had an overly inflated status. More so than in any other country, the Church was an official arm of the state,” he added. The majority of schools and hospitals were managed by the Catholic Church, and it even influenced the composition of governments.
“The Church was extremely dominant. People were living through the Church,” said Dr Helen Buckley, senior lecturer in child protection at Trinity College Dublin. It set the moral code and victims of abuse committed by priests or nuns who dared to speak up faced formidable obstacles. “The priest was the ultimate symbol of morality and chastity and was highly respected. The victim might not have been believed by the community,friends and even relatives,” said Sue Donnelly, a sociologist at University College Dublin. A significant breakthrough came in 1990, when a local newspaper dared to print accusations of abuse against a priest in Ferns diocese in south-eastern of the country.
“People reacted in complete disbelief. They gathered in front of the offices of the newspaper, burned some issues and boycotted the businesses that advertised in it,” Donnelly recalled. But the story sparked a huge investigation which eventually led to the government-backed Ferns report of 2005. It detailed serious abuse and the failure of senior churchmen to identify and remove paedophile priests. A fundamental lack of understanding about sexual abuse also helped to keep the lid on what was happening in orphanages and state-run reform schools. “There was a lack of awareness about sexual abuse. Up to 15 or 20 year ago, people thought it was committed by very strange people, living in remote areas, who had mental difficulties or drink problems,” Buckley says. Ignorance of sexual abuse and the belief that the Church could do no wrong meant some parents would even say “you must have deserved it if a child would come and say he was punished by his teacher,” according to Lalor. The police were reluctant to rock the boat. “They felt a quiet word to the bishop was the best option, that it was a moral issue, not a legal one,”Lalor added. Reports into institutional abuse have repeatedly found that priests found to be abusing children were quietly moved to another parish, where they often started abusing again. Donnelly stressed that victims also faced the difficulty of talking about sexuality in the extremely conservative Ireland of the 1960s and 1970s, and those who “told tales” faced being accused of not being “a good Catholic”.

Paddy Doyle, one of the first victims to lift the lid on the scandal with his 1990 book “The God Squad”, says that small children also lived in fear of being “punished even stronger” if they tried to denounce their abusers. “For saying anything at all, you would be seriously punished, beaten, you could be deprived of food, of any kind of social interaction with other children,” he recalls of his childhood in a Catholic-run institution where he was sent as an orphan aged four in 1955. Then, in the 1990s, people gradually started to talk about their experiences, encouraged by various counselling services set up around that time.

Lalor said that “all of a sudden, we went from a total absence of the subject” to the start of the chain of events that led to the resignations of a succession of Irish bishops for failing to stamp out abuse. The latest to stand down, on Thursday, was James Moriarty, bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, who recognised that the “long struggle of survivors” had revealed an “un-Christian” culture within the Church.

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9 comments on “Whistleblower Paddy Doyle – I walked in, I didn’t walk out…

  1. first and formost, the people who ‘attacked’ each other on liveline, and elsewhere, such as the government buildings…and it’s ‘secret meetings subject to strong forces’ are the very people who should not be trusted…..secondly….why has this site, so professed itself as a piece mouth for the abuused, are unwilling to exert the same for those that were abused in ‘Mental hospitals’ specifically when, the ‘so called’ leaders of the so called mandaters…of the so called support groups ‘misled’ the ‘system of law, education, justice, health and others (as in ‘INTERESTED THIRD-decieving- PARTIES’) who, have been “OUTED; this, the ‘system of law’ is very much aware of; END

  2. A lot of people were frightened of loosing their own children if they said anything as the church had more power than god himself . and so they saw but could not look.

  3. Letting the cat out of the bag is not enough. Yes it will release the pressure – temporarily – but won’t turn off the heat. And “ruthless self-honesty” implies that the Victim has to do all the work and in some ways might be less than honest. That is NOT being on the Victim’s side.

    Alice Miller spent the last thirty-five years of her life writing about this. The letting-out-of-the-cat must be done in an environment of Trust and Understanding, of Being-believed and Felt-sorry-for, of Total Empathy and Unconditional Condemnation (without ANY But’s or Justification). This is the person she (Alice) calls the Enlightened Witness.

    This quality is not something that can be learned in books, courses or schools, not even while In-Practice. It comes from one’s OWN experience, WHEN it was heard and received in the way described above.

    This is a rare, holy-grail-rare quality in our society. Despite the fact that it is Free and Freely-available, and that it is in ANYONE’S grap to BE such a Witness. However – and in ALL cases – this quality is not something which can be mimicked or faked: the Victim (the client, the Child, Anybody) will just KNOW when his/her story is received in this way, and when both sides are STANDING IN THE TRUTH. This is the ONLY honesty which matters: T R U T H. And this is when the Heat is reduced, where some Healing can take place.

    And if there is no-one on the other side (the abusers are dead, or just refuse to admit), a Victim can even BE that witness for himself or herself.

    And for me, there is ONLY one place where these words are spoken, one space where I always find that Witness, ON MY SIDE, and that is in Alice Miller’s books. And at alice-miller.com It’s all there. Here is even a link where For Your Own Good can be read for free: http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm

    Wishing some of that Healing for Every Single One here, still hurting, sick of being sick, bewildered and betrayed.

    ON YOUR SIDE.

    Respectfully

    Raymond

  4. As regards the ‘Irish Psychology’, any Nation or group of people that suffers a trauma, and is unable to metabolise or resolve that trauma will pass it down, generation after generation, as a series of learned behaviours, forbidden feelings and the justifications that arise become the culture.

    In effect they become the learned neural pathways, and that is one of the reasons they are so difficult for so many to come to terms with. However once the cat is out of the bag, it becomes easier…. though that’s not the best word to describe the difficult process of ruthless self-honesty that is required.

    Sinead O’Conner noted this dynamic in her song about the Famine, as does Damien Dempsey in his song ‘Colony’.

    Alice Miller explores this in some detail in her work, especially “For Your Own Good” and “The Body Never Lies”.

  5. Maybe Mr Alan shatter would like to back survivor’s with their truly elected, chosen spokesperson and air all our views in Oireachtas until we have the compensation in full that is well overdue and the proper support of all government offices regarding homes welfare and community support.
    and dismantle these self chosen groups. He would be surely remembered by one and all survivors and their families and friends. as our saviour from any further abuse and neglect. We need a strong person and voice in politics.
    I have listened to this guy and he seems honest if there is any honesty in politics.

  6. Our Government Justice dept Rubberstamped these children into the care of the RC cult and used OUR MONEY to pay the priests and nuns.

    So, quite simply, the RC cult answers to the Gov and the Gov answers to the people.

    Both RC cult and Dept of Justice are in the dock as both are guilty or ODERING THE CHILDREN INTO KNOWN ABUSE.

    That is a horrific though.

    Sadly, it still exists today in family law courts and HSE.

    People are also unable to get the truth out now due to various rules and regulations put in place to keep the truth hidden re- the money making child industry of 2010.

    Alan Shatter is the only minister I see bothering to seek the truth and do something for thise generation of children and break the cycle of STATE ORDERED CHILD ABUSE.

  7. all this government is doing now is to take on the religious attitude of neglect and denial.
    NEGLECTING THE NEEDS OF SURVIVORS AND DENIAL OF THEIR PART IN THIS ABUSED STATE THROUGH PROPAGANDA
    OF THE MEDIA.
    USING THE TAXPAYER’S NAME IN SHEER VAIN TO DO WHAT THE CHURCH DID WHEN THEY WERE TRUSTED WITH THAT TAXPAYERS MONEY WHO ( THE TAX PAYER )THOUGHT IT WAS FUNDING THE VERY CHILDREN BACK THEN, THIS GOVERNMENT IS NOW STEALING WELL DESERVED COMPENSATION FROM WHERE THIS COMPENSATION IS WELL OVER DUE BY YET AGAIN GIVING ONLY LOOSE CHANGE TO THEIR SELF SUPPORTING GROUPS NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT.
    OOPS THEY DID IT AGAIN
    FUNDING THOSE SAME KIND OF PEOPLE, LIKE THEY DID BACK THEN, “THOSE MEN AND WOMEN”.
    THERE IS A SIMILAR TRACE HERE JUST AS BEFORE.
    ABSOLUTE SHEER ROBBERY IS THIS GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENT OR SOMETHING. GOD HELP US ALL.

  8. there is no punishment without the consent of the government that is why there is a change in the law today.
    please do not give the excuse about the so called dark ages as if we were talking of hundreds of years ago.

    the government were educated weren’t they?
    or is it only now the government realized men and women have sexual desires, bad tempers, unsocial behaviour etc, etc, in the church.
    how lame and stupid can they be?
    or is this the reason the country is in a mess?
    maybe they should keep the education fees for themselves
    just in case they claim these days are the dark days in the future.
    if the government had any sense they would put their hands up and pay the full cost to all abused because they are intellectual clever and honest leaders who want to do the right thing for the people.
    after all what the religious have offered is a very small sum for the length of time this abuse was going on
    never mind the 50/50% cowen just put it all where it all belongs survivors and their families who were destroyed

  9. Resignations. Were these matters really a matter of resignation?

    Shouldn’t these Bishops be in jail for their perversion of the course of justice?

    Paddy makes very incisive comments in the article above concerning the psychology of the Irish people. A psychology cynically placed there and encouraged by that rotten organisation the catholic church.

    If it were down to me that cult wouldn’t have a pot to piss in, the papal nuncio would be back in Rome with a flea in in his ear and at least four Bishops and two Irish Cardinals would be finishing their days in the new Mountjoy church wing- in the cell next to the traitor Michael Woods.

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