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