Two sides of the same Story
The Irish Times front page story, 10th. August 2017 was “Priests turn to suicide as workload and isolation increase. As many as eight Irish priests have died by suicide over the past decade” Sadly again The Irish Times runs a front page story about our abused, overworked and now suicidal Priests, deeply unhappy and depressing, who are likely to commit suicide. Yes that’s sad, anybody who intentionally reaches so low as to take their own life. But let’s put this story into context, yes many of the Children upon released from the Irish Catholic Institutions committed suicide, for a variety of reasons, not able to cope in their new environment, with life outside the Religious Institutions, mental disorder, depression, substance abuse, alcoholism, stress, financial difficulties, relationships, and from been raped and brutalised by the Religious Orders in the Religious Institutions the children were confined to.Thousands of the Children as Adults upon released from the various Religious Institutions perished by suicide, within a few years of their release.The number of committed suicides was larger than that of attempted suicides.The most common motives of suicides were depressive reactions; anxiety, somatic illnesses, the threat of death; emotional motives; loss of emotional support; beatings, rape and tortures. The most common methods of committing suicide by the Survivors were hanging, poisoning, cutting one's veins, and drowning.
As we now know today, the living conditions in Religious Institutions, like the Industrial Schools, The Mother and Baby Homes and the Magdalene Laundries, were harsh and often than not inhumane, leading many children to commit suicide. Sadly we have no data for my research, but some preliminary data from many sources, like the Ryan Report, and the few Survivor’s Organisations that support Survivors both in Ireland and the UK. The Data clearly shows that the incidence of suicide in the Irish Religious Institutions could be up to 60 times higher than the general population. Most of the suicides of Survivors were committed within the first year or two years of their freedom, and the method employed of the suicide most commonly used was hanging, followed by alcoholism and drugs although other methods included cutting blood vessels, poisoning, starvation, were also used.
The possible motives for suicides or self-destructive behaviours among Survivors would include feelings of shame of their rapes as children at the hands of the Irish Religious Orders, emptiness, alone, no family nor friends. Committing suicide outside the Irish Religious Institutions was a common practice, although precise data may be impossible to obtain.
Survivors are generally more likely to commit suicide than other people, because of a sense of abandonment and hopelessness, specially now, the older Survivors who live alone, again abandoned by both society and their government. Suicide was more frequent in those Survivors who suffered the cruelest of abuses, in the Religious Institutions, suffering from a variety of mental torments and diseases, forced to participate in illegal medical experiments, the suicides generally take place in Autumn and the Winter. Also it is known now, that the Religious Orders that ran these despicable Institutions covered up the murdered children in their Institutions as suicides, and reported them as such, including any medical records if the dead or dying child had to be taken to a nearby hospital, rather than they report a child had been murdered by one or more of their members of the Religious Institutions.This was a common practice, and who was to question them, in nearly all cases the death of child in any of the Religious Institutions was never reported to the Irish Police and if it was, the Irish Police didn’t want to know.
The Religious Orders and the Irish Catholic Church preferred to cover-up any murder to avoid any scandal; and in all cases, data was incomplete, mainly because the Irish Religious Orders destroyed all documentations they had in their Religious Institutions Archives, and especially when the Institutions closed down. In all the Irish Religious Institutions in Ireland, living conditions were primitive and harsh and the children were completely isolated from the outside world. In all these Religious Institutions, there was constant cold and hunger, most of the Institutions buildings were overfilled, and crumbling, all had insufficient hygiene, with very poor sanitation, and add to that, bad nutrition lead to illness and epidemics. Infectious diseases, malnutrition, and hunger were rife in these Irish Religious Institutions. Something else the Irish Catholic Church encroached upon the jurisdiction of the civilian authorities in Ireland on all matters pertaining to the running of these Religious Institutions, and the Irish civilian authorities allowed them to do so.
Another question I ask myself, why did the ordinary Priest, Religious Brother or Sister commit atrocities in the the Religious Institutions?, the simple answer was they simply could. 800 children flushed into a septic tank was easy for the frazzled Nuns who ran the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway. It can be hard for Irish People today to even try to understand how this was possible in Catholic Ireland. We might assume that ordinary Irish citizens were so terrified of retribution from the vicious local Priests that they reluctantly and willingly went along with the abuses by the Irish Clerics. But the truth is far more disturbing than that. In fact, thousands of Irish people, who had lived side by side with these women and girls as neighbours for generations, were quite willing to turn on them and become part of a programme of informing any and all imaginary transgressions, committed by the girls and women, locally, becoming more then nosy neighbours.
In truth, the Irish Religious Orders atrocities against the unwed mothers and their children and the disabled children and other undesirable groups in their care, shows that there was nothing that marked the Irish Religious Orders out as sadistic enablers, but decent local boys and girls with ambitions to work in Holy Orders and serve their religion with sincerity and misguided piety. It’s a fact ordinary people wanted to commit atrocities, and more so when they had the cover of their religion. The Religious Orders of Clerics were made up of ordinary local boys and girls, from some of Ireland’s great families. Like the Nazis 'Just following orders’ the Irish Clergy played their part in the atrocities committed in the Irish Religious Institutions, and all said that they had no choice but to follow orders of their religious leaders. I have yet to find a single case of any Cleric being threatened for refusing to take part, sadly as is now known that even when given a choice to opt out, the Irish Religious Orders went on to commit such atrocities, as torture, rape, brutal beatings, even murder in these Catholic run Institutions, all the Irish Clerics were made up of ordinary men and women from decent families, most were from the middle classes. Although some Irish Clerics were prosecuted for some of their crimes committed in these Catholic run Institutions in the Irish Courts, many perpetrators were never investigated. The sheer number of Clerics involved made it logistically impossible to prosecute them, specially after the Ryan Report in which immunity was given to all the Clerics. The Irish Government authorities spent less and less time pursuing perpetrators, even after the Ryan Report, much less the Irish Police who were reluctant and unwilling to investigate, even actively hindering ongoing criminal activities and investigations of the Irish Clerics. Owen Felix O’Neill
Bishop Kevin Doran, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life Questions, said – as part of the research – human embryos were “being deliberately generated under laboratory conditions with a higher than average risk of congenital heart disease”. They were being “deprived of any other purpose than to be used for research and then disposed of”, he told The Irish Times, published on the 4th. August 2017.
Again the Irish Bishops - “These individual human beings are all the more entitled to protection precisely because they do not yet have the capacity to speak for themselves or to give their consent.” Setting out the church’s stance, Bishop Kevin Doran said: “Medical intervention on human embryos should only be permitted if it is designed to protect the life and health of the specific embryo being treated.”
The Vatican said it was “gravely immoral to sacrifice a human life for therapeutic ends”, Bishop Kevin Doran said: That charter stated: “To create embryos with the intention of destroying them, even with the intention of helping the sick, is completely incompatible with human dignity, because it makes the existence of a human being at the embryonic stage nothing more than a means to be used and destroyed.” This, Bishop Doran said, reflected “the consistent belief of the church that ‘a human embryo has, from the very beginning, the dignity proper to a person’.” “Any person on whom a new drug or technology is tested must be fully informed of the risks involved and must have freely consented to participate.
How ironic, the hypocritical Irish Bishops didn’t object when Orphan Children in the care of the Catholic Church’s run Mother and Baby Homes were sold to the Drug Companies for illegal drug experiments, there was no outrage then, the Irish Catholic Church profited financially from this illegal criminal act by both the Drug Companies and the Irish Catholic Church. Many of the babies and young children died as a result, after the illegal Drug Companies experiments went wrong, the battered an brushed baby’s bodies were then sold to the Irish medical establishment.
For over 40 years and probably longer a number of Irish and International doctors conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of vulnerable babies, and their mothers in the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland, and always without their consent. The aim of these illegal drug experimentation was aimed at developing and testing pharmaceuticals and treatment methods for commercial use and sold within the general population.The Drug Company doctors, and scientists tested immunisation compounds for polio, diphtheria, tuberculosis, infectious hepatitis, and other childhood diseases at the time. And worse still, were other gruesome experiments meant to further the Drug Company goals were a series of sterilisation experiments, undertaken primarily on the mothers in the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland. The Drug Company doctors, illegally tested a number of methods in their effort to develop an efficient and inexpensive procedure for the mass sterilisation of women, with the full cooperation of the Irish Catholic Church, again these covert means of killing, both the children and their mothers, with illegal drug experiments, were carried out in all the Mother and Baby Homes throughout Ireland. Children with disabilities also fell victim to Religious Order’s violence in the Irish Catholic Church run Institutions out of frustrations, and the Religious Order’s not understanding the child’s illness or deformity. Using drug overdose and lethal injection was very common in the Mother and Baby Homes throughout Ireland, because many of the untrained Nuns were silent and secretive, injecting the dosage to the babies and children unsupervised, none of the Nuns had any medical training. Death comes quickly, the child’s head is flung back, his mouth open in a last cry of pain, he doesn’t feel anything, he slips painfully into black death.
The "euthanasia" program represented in many ways a rehearsal for the Irish Catholic Church’s subsequent genocidal policies carried out within the Religious Institutions, Mother and Baby Homes and the Magdalene Laundries, in Ireland.
—The term "euthanasia" means literally "good death". It usually refers to the inducement of a painless death for a chronically or terminally ill individual who would otherwise suffer.
—In the Irish Catholic Church context, however, "euthanasia" was a euphemistic or indirect term for a clandestine murder program carried out in the Religious Institutions run by the Irish Catholic Church throughout Ireland.
—The "euthanasia" program targeted, for systematic killing, mentally and physically disabled children and other children living in the religious run institutional in Ireland. "life unworthy of life”: was really the secret manna of the Irish Catholic Church.
So to the Irish Bishops, were was, and is your ‘Gravely Immoral’ outrage, when your past and present actions speak for themselves. What about the thousands of vulnerable babies and children with their mothers dumped into mass graves at the back of every Mother and Baby Home, Magdalene Laundry, and Industrial School throughout Ireland. Many raped and beaten to death, many others, with the marks of illegal drug experiments done on, and many others died from slave work exhaustion at the Religious run Institutions, or better still the 800 babies flushed into a septic tank at the back of a Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, in County Galway, and another 1,800 women and children dumped under the children’s playground at the same site, the Convent in Tuam, County Galway. And the religious run hospitals in Ireland selling the Thalidomide, considered the Worst Drug Scandal of all time, in which almost of the Irish Hospitals run by the Religious Orders were bribed to sell and recommended to use. This drug, Thalidomide was sold in the 1950s and ’60s which did great suffering. Children and their mothers ingested this notorious drug thalidomide, they were born without legs or arms or with foreshortened limbs like. Some were born deaf and blind; some with curved spines, or with heart and brain damage, many children and their mothers were abandoned into the same Mother and Baby Homes throughout Ireland, where you the Catholic Irish Bishops gave your blessings to the same drug companies to further use illegal drug experiments on them, many children and their mothers died as a direct result of your, ‘Gravely Immoral’ .
For many years both the Irish Catholic Church and the Drug Company were silent and secretive about this epic tragedy, yet they both earned vast profit. What few people don’t know today, is that the German drug Company which made the drug benefited from Hitler’s Aryanization program. The Drug Company, the family-owned company was in the hands of Hermann Wirtz, aided by his twin brother, Alfred, an engineer and fellow Nazi party member. Many of the illegal drugs used in the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland were administered by ex Nazi Doctors heavily involved in drug experiments in the Nazi’s concentration camps. All were approve by the Irish Catholic Church at the time, the Irish Catholic Church facilitated their escape from Nazi Germany, and give them both a safe haven and Irish documents in Catholic Ireland because they were considered good Catholics.
An Irish Department of Health conference in June 1962 noted that there as “no definite evidence in this country of a connection between Thalidomide and the occurrence of defects in infants”. Yes Thalidomide, which was first sold in Ireland in 1959, came under suspicion in 1961 by Smith, Kline & French, now part of Brentford, U.K.-based GlaxoSmithKline, allegedly knew of the defects as early as 1958. When the UK’s giant Drug Company, GlaxoSmithKline, (the same drug company doing the illegal drug experiments on orphan babies in the Mother and Baby Homes) and German manufacturers suspended distribution in winter 1961, Irish distributors followed suit, asking chemists, wholesalers and doctors to return any stock of the drug they had. Something else, a previously unknown trial of lactose and baby formula was carried out using infants in Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland by Glaxo Laboratories in the mid-1970s. This is now the sixth confirmed illegal clinical trial using orphan children in care in Ireland by a predecessor company of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It has previously stated that only four trials — of various vaccines — were carried out in Ireland in the 1960s and ’70s. These trials were carried out by the Wellcome Foundation.
So to the Irish Bishops I ask, Where were your “gravely immoral” outrages then in the Catholic run Mother and Baby Homes, Industrial Schools and the Magdalene Laundries. ??? You preach about the sanctity of life;- In Catholic Religion and ethics, inviolability or sanctity of life is a principle of implied protection regarding aspects of sentient life which are said to be holy, sacred, or otherwise of such value that they are not to be violated. Does it apply equally to all Children and their Mothers, or only to married Parents and their children …?? Please tell me what went wrong?? Owen Felix O'Neill
Forgotten Mass Graves in Ireland
The murder of Orphan Children did not begin in Tuam, in County Galway, but instead started in St. Patrick’s, Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road in Dublin and spread to over two hundred similar Institutions throughout Ireland. Today there is the “Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation” and other groups who are working together to help unearth the forgotten graves of thousands of child victims and their mothers who were directly murdered by the Nuns, and other Religious Orders, aided by International Drug Companies and their local collaborators, across most of the Counties in Ireland. Today there are over 220 secret mass graves yet to be identified in Ireland, now to be led by “Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation” Still today there are many eyewitnesses, survivors alive, to talk about the deaths and many survivors have documented their own testimonies, many of these same survivors have lost, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters in these shameful places in Catholic Ireland. Sadly all of these graves are unmarked, and untended, some in remote sites throughout the country, while others are close to town centres and villages. The graves are in various states of decay, some buried under grass and soil, others in septic tanks, and in some cases, bones could be found right at the surface.
There is a tendency in Irish society to forget what happened, or a sense that they don’t want to know, that orphan children’s lives and their mothers were extinguished in these forsaken places, the Mother and Baby Homes run by the Catholic Religious Orders, for profit. The Irish Catholic Church authorities were indifferent to this mass death because they considered most of the children and their mothers as vermin "unwanted" or "dangerous" to Irish Catholic way of life. The Irish Catholic Church particularly targeted unwed mothers and their children, and also targeted ethnically Irish Travellers families and their children. Also children with mental or physical defects (disabled children). The Irish Catholic Church and their collaborators killed children for ideological religious reasons, the killings were encouraged by the blessings Irish Catholic Church in provable actions with the Drug Companies where children healthy and with disabilities were used for their untried drug experiments.
Those deaths of unwed mothers and their children started decades ago, almost from the inception of these Religious Institutions and grew steadily throughout the years, but many warning signs were ignored and already present in Ireland well before the 800 children in Tuam's mass grave in their septic tank was found. The fact is the Irish Catholic Church believed that unwed mothers and their children to be impure and must be wiped out or make them slaves. This is how the Industrial schools and Magdalene Laundry came into been. Children going to these Institutions were the bi-products of the Mother and Baby Homes, first, the women, the mothers ended up in the Magdalene Laundry and their children ended up in the Industrial schools. Handicap children were considered useless and were kept in appalling conditions and soon died, from neglect. It’s also a proven fact that there were also many drug experiments done on both healthy children and the handicap children. The Irish Catholic Church authorities also incarcerated a number of children and their mothers in the notorious State Mental Hospitals, where physicians and medical researchers used a number of these children, for illegal medical experiments which often resulted in the deaths of the children.
It is also known that thousands of babies were kidnapped, from the Mother and Baby Homes and sold or transferred to the illegal Catholic Church Adoption Agencies to be adopted by suitable wealthy Catholic American families for cash. If again we take for example the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, up to 1,000 children and babies were illegally adopted and were trafficked from the home, in Tuam, Mother and Baby Home, alone, according to the Health Service Executive of Ireland, illegally sold into the United States of America, without their mother's consent. There were 'headage payments' of up to $3,000 for each child sent illegally to the United States, paid to the Nuns.
Also the Commission of Investigation found a "significant" quantity of human remains, aged from 35 foetal weeks to two to three years, interred in "a vault with twenty chambers." a few hundred bundles in each chamber, stacked. The Commission's statement reported that "The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water. The Commission has also not yet determined if it was ever used for this purpose." Carbon dating confirmed that the remains date from the time-frame relevant to the operation of the Mother and Baby Home by the Bon Secours Order of Nuns, Between 1925 and 1961.
The Commission stated that it was shocked by the discovery and that it is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way. The Irish Police, an Garda said there was no criminal investigation, because there was no evidence of a crime, this is even before the Irish Police looked at the evidence, how extraordinary.
Many handicap children and healthy children were kept naked, with no covering. When typhus or polio and diphtheria broke out, the Drug Company Doctors ordered the transfer of infected children to other wards, which caused increased mortality among the children. The Drug Companies only wanted to observe the effects on other healthy children and tests their new drugs. Tens of thousands of orphaned children, now grown men and women, have returned to Ireland to this day, many of these survivors, now adults continue to searched throughout Ireland for their missing Mother’s, Brother’s and Sister’s. The legacy and bequest of the Irish Catholic Church rule, run amuck, all these children were displaced in the various Industrial Schools, Orphanages, Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundry and even the legal and illegal Adoption Agencies that operated in Ireland. In addition thousands of Irish babies were sent to clergy in the United States to be illegally adopted by Catholic families there. What many thousands of survivors alive today have now slowly realise is that, many of the new mass graves, supposedly been unearthed contain some if not all their families. And worse still is the Irish Catholic Church, stubbornly refusing to assist, to release any documentations to help the survivors in finding their own family members. The Irish Catholic Church conveniently destroyed most if not all the documents it has, so that they could not be brought to court or sued.
Also the Nuns and the Religious Orders deliberately starved children and babies to death, malnutrition was listed as the main cause of death at most Mother-and-Baby Homes, in spite of the fact that the Nuns were paid for each child in it care, but when the child died the Nuns falsely still collected money on the dead child, by altering the official papers, by saying the child was still alive.
While inspections conducted by Official Inspectors from the Galway County Council, reported “everything in the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway was in great, in good order and congratulated the Bon Secour Sisters on the excellent condition of their Institution, in spite of the fact, that many of the babies and children were suffering from malnutrition, and 12 out of 31 infants examined were described as being "emaciated and not thriving". It also says that the Mother and Baby Home was overcrowded, with 271 children and 61 mothers living there. Death rates were extraordinarily high: 34 per cent of children died in the home in 1943; 25 per cent died in 1944; 23 per cent died in 1945; 27 per cent died in 1946.
The official report states, "the care given to infants in the Home is good, the good Sisters are careful and attentive; diets are excellent. All was very well, according to the local collaborators, who were wine, dined, by the Nuns, the gullible Inspectors from Galway County Council;- Meanwhile 2,875 children and women died since the Bon Secour Nuns took over the Mother and Baby Home, from 1925 to 1961, that over 1,000 babies were illegally adopted, but the figure of 1,000 babies sold was in reality very low and some experts think that figure of 1,000 is higher at 2,000 babies sold and again some think much higher. In reality babies and young children died from starvation, exposure, and a lack of adequate clothing and shelter.
The Irish Catholic Church authorities were indifferent to this mass death which they knew about, as it was the norm in all their other Religious Institutions in the Irish State. They considered most of the younger children to be unproductive and hence “useless eaters.” Because children were generally too young to be used for forced labor. In spite of their acute vulnerability, many children and their mothers discovered ways to survive. Children and their mothers smuggled food and home medicines into the Mother and Baby Homes, or were give badly needed food and medicines by their visiting families.
Many angry survivors, both men and women now, describe having been sexually abused, raped, gang raped or witnesses to prostitution at a young age, at the hands of their adoptive Catholic parents in America or the many clerics who befriend them in their new homes. Owen Felix O’Neill
We have here in our civil society in Ireland an organisation that is 100 percent immune to all and any crimes committed by its members, that criminal organisation is the Irish Catholic Church. The Irish Catholic Church wants complete legal immunity from being sued in any of the Irish courts by victims of the Industrial Schools, Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries, and complete immunity for all its atrocities, committed in their Institutions. And sadly The Irish Catholic Church has total long-standing immunity for all its past crimes, or any future crimes to be unearthed, which has been recognised in Irish laws, from being sued in any of the Irish Courts. Irish Catholic Church representatives argued for years that if the Irish Courts sided with the victims it would open floodgates for restitution claims by all individuals from around the world, a situation it tried to avoid in negotiating reparation accords with the Irish Government. The Irish Catholic Church claims it has always recognised their pain, the pain of the victims. And, of course, the aim is also not to question the Irish Catholic Church responsibility for the heinous crimes committed in its name, but to hid its crimes. The Irish Catholic Church did inflict some heinous atrocities upon vulnerable children in its care., in Irish Catholic Church Institutions, and the Irish State knew it and were their willing confederates. More outrageous, the Irish Government secretly agreed with the Irish Catholic Church to share all the results, medical drug research material and the results of the human experimentation in exchange of immunity against potential charges of crimes and any humane acts anytime in the future.
The Crimes of the Irish Catholic Church
Don’t Judge a Book by it cover, The Merciless Nuns
Let’s be honest, the days of beneficial Nuns, all rosy cheeks, toothy smiles, dressed in their habits, usually in black, like banshees, wailing and roaming the Irish countryside, begging for pennies for the poor black babies of foreign lands and scooping up stray laments of children, this stereotyping, of kind and gentle Nuns, might be ok for The Sound of Music, but more often, (another stereotyping), they were seen as ugly, frightful unattractive, middle-aged hags or childless, prissy, and repressed, old spinsters, rightfully both of these images are long dead, but sadly it was not always the case. When several Nuns all in black appear at once, in any town or village in the heartlands of Ireland, in days of old, it usually indicated a convent or laundry building was about to be built or acquired. Fear and anxiety would grip the local poor community, for the villagers knew that the good nuns would require local, unpaid slaves, women, girls and children to run their convent and laundry, and docile boys and men to run their farm and gardens, all unpaid. Soon a girl school house would appear to teach the paying local girls that could afford the education, and order would be established. As for the boys, they would usually have the benefit of a stern, masculine society of frustrated virginal Christian Brothers, a fraternity of sexually repressed bachelors, their whole world would be dominated by lonely old men, addled young men and isolated pubescent boys, in a male school environment opposite. The demisexual Christian Brothers serious and unrelenting, especially in the assertion of their authority and exercise of their brutal discipline. This was the malignant growth of an aggressive cancer, blood-sucking religious leeches operated in Ireland for about 200 years, which is now slowly been ripped out and put to its timely demise.
Survivors and researchers usually present the Magdalene Laundries as the ultimate example of a total institution or prison. The terror so zealously applied by the Nuns in the Magdalene Laundries was indeed meticulously planned by the leaders of the Irish Catholic Church. Nonetheless, the idea that all terror was systematically organised is somewhat misleading. Magdalene Laundries rules certainly gave the Nuns, the authority to arbitrarily punish the women and their children. The Nuns who ran the Magdalene Laundries officially had the right to use violence on the women and their children in their care. Despite these rules and regulations, the Magdalene Laundry Nuns viciously assaulting the women and their children, the Nuns carried out their daily tasks brutally and bloodily. There was a considerable gap between rules and practice as set out in the Magdalene Laundries code of practice, some of the Nuns were notorious among the women for their extreme violence. And sadly a few Nuns were notorious for hitting the women and their children, even kicking fallen women almost to death. The Nuns frequently supervised the women performing their tasks, we must conclude that beating the women and their children was a way of compensating for their own incompetence, and of imposing a certain ‘authority’. Physical violence allowed the Nuns to get the upper hand, to cut a path for herself, literally and brutally, by striking blows with her hands and feet. Using violence was a way of showing that she, the Nun, was in charge. As a demonstration of power, violence was addressed first of all to the victim.
In all the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, the Nuns hit the women harder and more frequently, a few Nuns for more control used sticks and leather straps to beat both the women and their children, many of the women and their children sustained broken limbs and bruises as a result of their brutal beatings. The other weapons the Nuns used also caused humiliation and permanent damage to both mental and physical injuries. Kicking the women or their children took the degradation of the victims to a new level. It is a greater act of contempt than striking the face because it emphasises the asymmetry between the torturer and her victim. The victim lies prostrate on the ground, at the Nun’s feet. The impact of a blow is much greater if administered with the foot. Some Nuns aimed carefully and targeted the most sensitive parts of the body, like the stomach, lower abdomen and back.
The Nuns who had been relatively restrained at other convents became very aggressive at the enclosed slave prisons, known as Magdalene Laundries, which radicalised the incoming young Nuns with good intentions and their normal beliefs and behaviour, were to be corrupted by what they saw in these enclosed prisons, functioning as Magdalene Laundries. In the Magdalene Laundries basic sanitary conditions were so primitive and directly affecting many of the new Nuns. Many of the wretched, slave women and their children were in a dreadful physical state, for the Nuns the working conditions in some of the Magdalene Laundries had drastically deteriorated. Some of the Magdalene Laundries were in total chaos with overcrowding and understaffed, in fairness to some of the Nuns it wasn’t what they signed up for, in fact many of the Nuns were forced into becoming Nuns by their own families. We should not underestimate the discomforts of the Nuns, whether real, or not, separation from their families, harsh climate and working conditions, poor accommodation, as basic as their charges. All this produced feelings of deracination, frustration, fear of contamination and violent disgust for the slave women and their children, which contributed to a radicalisation of their behaviour against the women and their children. Relations between the Nuns were often fraught, and conflicts also arose openly between the older Nuns, and the younger Nuns. Also the Nuns themselves were untrained for their task at hand, all they had as a guidance was the moral compass which got lost on the way. The exercise of power is crucial for understanding of the Magdalene Laundries and how the Laundries worked, perspectively, power only ‘exists only when it is put into action’
But as this exercise of power depends on a degree of consent between the slave workers, the women and their children and the overseers, the Nuns. For these are not the result of a power relation but of a dissymmetrical relationship, where the Nuns has complete power over the women and their children. I prefer the term ‘overwhelming dominance’ to describe a relationship of power characterised by a total dissymmetry between the torturer, the Nuns, on one side, and the victims of their extreme violence, the vulnerable slave women and their children on the other. Power does not proceed from a single instance of central power but that the exercise of power sets in play relations between individuals or groups.The daily perpetration of violence against the vulnerable women and their children of all backgrounds did not only serve to dominate, break and destroy the women and their children.
Acts of immediate violence also served to negotiate power relations within the Nuns personnel. Violence enabled the ‘moral’ codification of relationships. ‘Showing what one was capable of’ was a way of asserting oneself, of negotiating one’s status within the Nuns community. There was no great difference between male and female , as in say, The Christian Brothers and the Religious Nuns in terms of the number and frequency of acts of physical violence perpetrated. But a dynamic that could be qualified as ‘gendered’ was established at all Industrials Schools and Magdalene Laundries. In reality male and female, people in the Religious Orders systematically accelerated and intensified their violent acts in the presence of a new colleague. It was a matter of ‘impressing’ and/or ‘shocking’ one’s colleagues and superiors by specific acts of mindless violence, and of ‘proving’ one’s ‘authority’ and ‘skill’ to one’s colleagues. It hard to believe but many of the Nuns had no empathy, no scruples, and no emotions. Cruel, stupid, random and mindless violence against the slave women and their children was for the enjoyment of a few knuckle-dragging Nuns, many becoming so nasty in their cruel treatment of both the women and their children. The Nuns, like their counterparts the Christian Brothers were "out of control" acting as judge, jury and executioner, keeping us, the holy Irish People safe against the virus scum of the evil, the unwed women and their spawns.
Something else the exercise of power over others, can never be definitive. It must continually be renewed, asserted, negotiated, against the vulnerable women and their children in their charge. This association implies both a relation of overwhelming dominance of Nuns or other Religious Orders personnel vis-à-vis their detainees, but also a complex web of dependencies and interdependencies in the dynamics of power. To act outside or beyond was impossible; nobody could escape the mesh of these complex power relations. Even when Nuns remained passive, or tried to ignore each other, they could not avoid seeing or meeting their fellow Nuns and react to them. The extreme use of physical violence at the Magdalene Laundries and all the other Religious Run Institutions can largely be explained by the social relations inside these secretive Institutions.
Let’s slice through the Irish Catholic Church’s sanctimonious cant, the Nuns and the Religious Orders had to reassert their authority every day, and demonstrate it – to their charges but also to their colleagues and superiors in the hierarchy. By using physical violence, the Nuns exercised brutal power over perpetration of violence against the vulnerable women and their children and more importantly over their own colleagues. Physical domination was indeed the proof of what they were ‘capable of’. Simultaneously it expressed a real thirst for power. Torturing the bodies and minds of the vulnerable women and their children or perpetration of violence against them day after day enabled the Nuns to assert their place in the Magdalene Laundries. The Nuns had also won over the confidence of the Bishops, Archbishops and even the Cardinals of the Irish Catholic Church as chief overseers, of these church run Institutions.
To be fair to some of the Nuns that worked in the Magdalene Laundries, they didn’t all behave badly or with violence. But the question I put is did that make them, the decent Nuns less violent ? Some of the Nuns were seen as ‘good’, ‘humane’ and ‘decent’ Nuns, for their small acts of kindness, some of the Nuns even excused the women and their children from work and maybe didn’t strike the women or their children like the other brutal Nuns. The absence of daily beatings certainly eased the daily lives of the starving and overworked women and their children, despite this apparent non-violence, there were clearly other forms of domination and humiliation used by those good Nuns. Let’s take for example the good Nun or Nuns, forcing the slave women or their children to sing or dance, for their amusement or cutting and shaving off all their hair, to shame them publicly, or sexually abusing them.
This kind of behaviour shows a form of coercion, an abuse of power by the Nuns, which goes unnoticed in relation to the extreme violence used by the other Nuns. This cruel behaviour while seemingly harmless, is an act of domination, the good Nun compels the woman or her child to sing or dance to a particular song. You see in most cases the convent mass graves were behind the convent laundry walls or the laundry building was directly opposite the burial pits. The song might or could be a favourite of the unwed mother or her surviving child, and the women or child would know what is buried in the mass pits, a few feet away, that particular song or dance routine may be a favourite of either the unwed mother or her surviving child, now forced to sing or dance on top of the mass pit. The Laundries in the Convents were at the heart of the secret mass burial sites of the overworked women and their children, most of the surviving women and children would know this, as did the heartless Nuns. Many of the slave women took work, in silent and were passive. The good Nuns, with good intentions by not acting, like refusing to see, amounts to silent approval of what the other brutal Nuns were doing. In brutal reality to understand the excesses of violence, it is crucial to consider the role of the passive bystanders who also generated violence. As the social psychologist Harald Welzer argues that the “active dimension of observing acts of violence’ is underestimated: ‘Through the simple fact of being present and not interfering, spectators endorse rather than challenge the frame of reference chosen by the actors” At the same time, brutal colleagues serve as ‘negative figures of reference’. They allow the spectators to see themselves as ‘normal’, even, by contrast, humane and compassionate.
Many Nuns today feel good about themselves, completely humane. Yet they contributed just as much to the radicalisation of behaviour. And as the French anthropologist Véronique Nahoum-Grappe has shown, someone who is excessively violent, even cruel, can only exist in a situation where she feels authorised to carry out degrading and humiliating acts of violence. This context of impunity and social acceptance is an essential, but not a determining, condition of monstrous behaviour. The more one accepts, the worse one accepts. Such a field-of-force created by the passive Nun permitted and regulated the actions of the violent ones. Owen Felix O’Neill
The Ryan Report.
Many Christian Brothers and other Religious Orders accused of heinous crimes at the Ryan Report Commission into Child abuses in the Industrial Schools and other Institutions within Ireland. All the Religious Orders of the Irish Catholic Church were granted immunity through the High Court of Ireland. 'The Irish State authorities facilitated that cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Irish Catholic Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes. Judge Yvonne Murphy, was the first head of The Commission into Child Abuses, said the Irish Catholic Church Hierarchy cannot claim they did not know that child sex abuse was a crime. All the Religious Orders, that ran the Institutions in Ireland had clear knowledge of the most outrageously evil crimes and heinous complaints dating back to the early 1930s. Justice Yvonne Murphy also said that the primary loyalty of Irish Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals is to the Irish Church and the Catholic Church only. The Irish Catholic Hierarchy instigated hundreds of secret canon law trials about clerical sex abuses, which took place over a 50 year period, paid out secret compensation to hundreds of victims, and then gagged and threatened the victims into silence, even among their own families, some of the victims were children as young as five years of age. Some of the victims were young girls as young as nine, who were raped, and subsequently got pregnant by the clerics, were then forced, in some cases to abort their babies in secret in England, while others were detained and shut-up in secret convents to have their babies, never to see the outside world again.
Justice Yvonne Murphy as head of The Commission into Child Abuses said it had uncovered inappropriate contacts between the Irish Police, and the Garda Commissioner (Costigan) and the Archdiocese of Dublin, (McQuaid) the sitting Archbishop of Dublin at the time. One Dublin Priest admitted sexually abusing more than 100 children, from the Dublin Archdiocese and another Dublin Priest accepted he sexually abused hundreds of children on a fortnightly basis during his 25-year ministry. In the Archdiocese of Dublin alone, hundreds of Irish Priests were involved with the sexual abuses of children and the attitude of the Archbishops of Dublin were-“The Archdiocese was pre-occupied until the mid-1990s with maintaining secrecy, avoiding scandal at all cost, protecting the reputation of the Irish Catholic Church and preservation of assets. "All other concerns, including the damage done to young victims, came second," this according to The Commission into Child Abuses, headed by Justice Yvonne Murphy.
Also, The Commission into Child Abuses, said that the Irish Catholic Church was obsessed with secrecy and lying to avoid any scandal, to protected all abusers and their reputations at all costs. Hundreds of crimes against children from the 1960s to the 1990s were not reported while the Irish police treated the Clergy as though they were above the law. In a three-year inquiry, the Commission which was Inquiring into the Dublin Archdioceses, uncovered a sickening tactic of ''don't ask, don't tell'' the burning and destroying of, all official documents, the Commission was looking for. Direct obstruction by the Irish Catholic Church, hiding wanted pedophilic Priests into other parishes both in Ireland and the United States of America, while vilifying and shaming the child victims, both in their communities and throughout Ireland. Finally The Commission into Child Abuse said that - ‘'The structures and rules of the Irish Catholic Church actively facilitated that cover-up.
Archbishop McQuaid was the Catholic Primate of Ireland and Archbishop of Dublin at the time. He was known for his unusual amount of influence he had over successive Irish Governments and the Irish Police. McQuaid was also guilty of "having given the order to his Religious Orders, who behaved like the gestapo, to take children away from their unwed mothers, or what McQuaid called, unsuitable mothers, or parents. The stolen Children to be either sold through adoption for money or the child put into a Catholic State Institutions as work and sex slaves, for the imaginary sins of their Mothers, but really, Archbishop McQuaid should always be regarded no better than a reckless criminal.
The powerful Irish Catholic Church’s response to all such accusations of sexual abuse is and was to issue a blanket denial, admit to nothing was the church’s creed. What is known for certain from many historical sources today is that the powerful Irish Catholic Church had a secret agreement with both the Irish Government and the Irish Police. Éamon de Valera admired the authoritarian tendencies in Archbishop McQuaid. The secret agreement made, was the Irish Government would not interfere in any of the Irish Catholic Church’s businesses, or Catholic doctrine, to include total control of all the schools, and give a free hand and total control of all the state run Institutional Schools, Orphanages, and Magdalene Laundries, throughout Ireland, with the Irish State paying all the Irish Catholic Church’s bills, with both lands and money.
The Commission into Child Abuses was set up in 1999, The Commission's remit was to investigate all forms of child abuse in Irish Institutional Schools used to house children; the majority of allegations it investigated related to the system of sixty residential "Reformatory and Industrial Schools" operated by Irish Catholic Church’s Religious Orders, funded and supervised by the Irish Department of Education. The Commission's report said testimony had demonstrated beyond a doubt that the entire system treated children more like prison inmates and slaves than people with legal rights and human potential, that some religious officials encouraged ritual beatings and consistently shielded their Religious Orders amid a "culture of self-serving secrecy", and that government inspectors failed to stop the abuses. Among the more extreme allegations of abuse were beatings and rapes, children subjected to naked beatings in public, many being forced into oral sex, and subjection to floggings after failed rape attempts by the Christian Brothers and other Religious Orders. The abuse has been described by some as Ireland's Holocaust. The abuse was said to be “endemic” in the institutions that dealt with boys. Many newspapers at the time, described the abuse as "the stuff of nightmares", citing the adjectives used in the report as being particularly chilling: "systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary, endemic”. Most Survivors as children provided detailed testimony of murders, tortures, floggings, rapes and other cruelties. Most of the boys now men testified to acts of sadism, beatings and arbitrary rapes of both themselves and other boys, savaging of children by out of control Christian Brothers, and some Christian Brothers even selecting boys for personal rape. Many Christian Brothers according to the boys as witnesses, testified before the Commission that the Christian Brothers took pleasure in using physical and psychological methods to torture and rape vulnerable boys in their care. Other boys testified before the Commission, also spoke of other boys they had known were beaten to death, raped and flogged using a cat o nine tails.
The Commission itself was first established on an administrative basis in May 1999, under Judge Mary Laffoy. The first objective set for the Commission was to consider the broad terms of reference then provided to it, determine if these needed refining, and recommend to Government the powers and safeguards it would need to do its work effectively. The Commission reported to the Government in September and October 1999. The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, 2000 (the Act) was enacted on 26 April 2000. The 2000 Act followed closely the recommendations in the reports of the non-statutory Commission, and was extended by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Amendment) Act, 2005.
The Statutory Commission established under the 2000–2005 Acts had four primary functions:
• to listen to victims of childhood abuse who want to recount their experiences to a sympathetic forum;
• to fully investigate all allegations of abuse made to it, except where the victim does not wish for an investigation;
• to consider whether the way institutions were managed, administered, supervised and regulated contributed to the occurrence of abuse and
• to publish a report on its findings to the general public, with recommendations to address the effects of abuse on those who suffered and to prevent future abuse of children in institutions.
A "child" was defined to be anyone under the age of 18, an "institution" was any place where children were cared for other than as members of their families, and four types of abuse were included in the Commission's mandate:
• Physical Abuse- infliction of, or failure to prevent, physical injury to the child.
• Sexual Abuse – the use of the child for sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
• Neglect- failure to care for the child which risks or causes serious impairment or serious adverse effects.
• Emotional Abuse- any other acts or omissions towards the child which risk or cause serious impairment or serious adverse effects. Owen Felix O'Neill