Justin Keating was the only politician to write or speak about child abuse at the time of publication of The God Squad in 1988. – Paddy Doyle

Justin Keating (7 January 1930 – 31 December 2009) was an Irish Labour Party politician, broadcaster, journalist, lecturer and veterinary surgeon.
In later life he was President of the Humanist Association of Ireland. (source: Wikipedia)

Justin Keating’s review of The God Squad

I’m shattered

How many people, I wonder, saw Paddy Doyle on the Late Late Show

He was the man in the wheelchair, talking about his life experience, and about his book, The God Squad

I’ve been reading it, I feel too shattered and too close to it to write now. But I will again.

But in the meantime read it. Beg it, borrow it or steal it, but read it. It is not just beautiful and inspiring, about human resilience and the power of human love.

It is very very important, not about him, but about us, about the society that we built and permit to continue.

Paddy Doyle and the disturbing questions to be answered

Raven Arts 1st edition of The God Squad

MY most vivid recollection from recent times was seeing Paddy Doyle on the “Late Late Show”,
and later reading his book, The God Squad. When he was four years old, his mother died of cancer, and he witnessed his father’s subsequent suicide by hanging.

Incarceration in a series of institutions, in which he was not just used with harshness, ignorance and insensitivity, but was also subject to physical and sexual abuse, culminating in brain surgery. He is now permanently crippled in body though not in spirit. Subjected to the same treatment, the vast majority of humans would have been driven mad, and would therefore have spent all their days in institutions.

Paddy Doyle’s internal strength was such that he was able to transmute this ordeal into strength and sweetness and nobility. The story is beautiful and life-affirming.

I hope, before the book disappears from the shops, that everyone who seeks inspiration in the triumph of the human spirit will buy it, and read it and think about it.

Unanswered questions abound. To me the most important are these. The people who very nearly destroyed Paddy Doyle in body and mind, and who may have done so to innumerable anonymous others entrusted to their care, were not subject to scrutiny by our society.

Some of these people, mostly in the religious life but the medical profession was involved too, who were pathetically inadequate individuals, unable to help others but in deep need of help themselves, these people were held up to my generation as role models of how human beings ought to be and act.

The questions are these:

“How did we so loose our wits and our common sense as to make such a monstrous mistake?

And “To what extent are such persons, mentally and emotionally unworthy, and in positions of authority around the country, where they are entrusted with the care of the defenceless young?”

Anyway, please read The God Squad by Paddy Doyle

Justin Keating

9 Responses to “Justin Keating”

  1. Paddy says:

    And I thought I was bound for the fiery furnace of hell………..I’ve changed my mind!

    Enjoy the read Chris, there’s a laugh in there too. Not all gloom and doom.

  2. Chris says:

    Just reading God Squad now.

    I’m sure that if there is a hell it will be full of nuns and clergymen!

  3. FXR says:

    It’s a shame there were not more like him then. It’s an even bigger shame there are not more like him now.

  4. barry clifford says:

    Justin Keating

    Justin Keating recently passed away on the eve of 2010, leaving us with his legacy to humanism to help make the world a better place. His own personal vision for Ireland was a far different one than De Valera’s of comely maidens dancing at the crossroads”. [A long as they remained virgins] One of those hopes of Justin’s was to have an Ireland where we would share in the gains, rights, partnerships, and ownerships of the state, along with full access through the state.
    It is hoped too in 2010 that all people who went through the Industrial Institutions of Ireland will have a similar vision and share in a new bill of rights and ethos that not only describes their new and all encompassing organization but their place in it. One also that is about equality for all members or none at all. With Justin also, there comes a warning from history for like him we have a common threat that has presided over us like fatted monarchs in a despot country, Fianna Fail. They quickly abandoned Justin’s vision of Ireland after he left public office and gave us instead the state we have to-day. His legacy though will live on and lessons will be learnt, and the road will be hard. I am mindful too of Paddy Doyle’s book, The God Squad, in 1988 and Justin’s comment on it.

    This was an Ireland before the outing of Bishop Casey, Michael Cleary, and pedophiles. It was before divorce, and the pill, and a decade before the closing down of the Gulags and industrial prisons of Ireland that had imprisoned thousands of children. Justin Keating’s words back then were more than a comment on Paddy’s book, they were a statement that he was not alone anymore. His stand should be our message now to each other. Very few will stand with us on our journey only the many will join when we win. Until that happens please remember Justin and where Paddy has been, and exactly why we all have to make that stand.
    Justin, you have left us in body but you have not left us at all.

    Barry Clifford
    Email: bgclifford@iol.ie

  5. Anne says:

    Paddy, it was only 3 days ago and we were having a clear out and out fell “The God Squad”…now how strange was that!

    I have it at the side of my bed and will read it very soon.

    God bless you paddy, your a real inspiration.


  6. Hanora Brennan says:

    Justin Keating, Noel Browne, these are just two men that tried to make a difference for the vulnerable in our society and what did they get for their efforts? Vilification! Yes, that’s what we have representing us, newly emancipated peasants with the straw still in their mouths!

    Paddy, on a more personal note, didn’t I always tell you about your ‘sweetness’ – now no more guff outa’ you – it’s official!

  7. Raymond says:

    Thanks for the information Paddy.
    Not “all deceased and departed” are the same, as I am trying to get my head around the “Silences” concerning Cardinal Daly ! Was his reign not the LONGEST, during these Dark Years of Abuse in Irish history ???

  8. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Justin, you will be remembered as a real human being. We need more of your sort. What we have is the opposite. With respect. Charles.

  9. Philip says:

    As son of the artist Sean Keating, he was reared with an independent mind – a rare thing in the priest-ridden Ireland of the 30s – and so could see through guff. He was one of those great people who use their intellect and talents for the good and wellbeing of others. Peace to his ashes and long life to his memory.