What’s in a name-Artane Boys Band
At its height, Artane, an Industrial School in Dublin, had over 400 boys, detained in a hell-hole prison built for children. Daily discipline was brutally maintained by the Christian Brothers. The Christian Brothers that ran Artane Industrial School, were given no specific training on how to be childminders. Instead they were free, within limits, to do whatever they thought was necessary to maintain order in the children’s prison and to command the respect of the children. Artane Industrial School regulations certainly gave the Christian Brothers the authority to punish children at will to maintain control. The Christian Brothers officially had the right and christian duty to use endemic violence and rape on the vulnerable children arbitrarily, plus the absolute right to kill them. Violence was always used to ensure orderly supervision and management of the Industrial Schools. In spite of the regulations laid down by the Order of Christian Brothers and their prohibition on assaulting children, the Christian Brothers at all the Industrial Schools carried out their daily tasks brutally and bloodily. It's a fact that some of the most vulnerable children in Artane and other Industrial Schools in Ireland over the years were raped and beaten to death.
Remember the Christian Brothers had no training in child care, no understanding of children, except within their own families. The Christian Brothers were told from day one of their training as Brothers that these children of the Industrial Schools were the spawns of the devil. The children of the Industrial Schools in Ireland were marginalised, by the Catholic Church and that allowed the Religious Orders of the Catholic Church to commit the worst atrocities on them. Even to this very day discrimination against children of single mothers in Ireland is deeply rooted and a common reality in the Catholic Church.
Collective violence and rape was common in all Religious run Institutions in Ireland. Passive Christian Brothers and other officials who saw what was happening by not acting, like refusing to see, amounted to silent approval. It confirms to those Nuns and Christian Brothers who do act that the fundamental rules of mutual help have ceased to apply. To understand the excesses of violence, it is crucial to consider the role of the passive Christian Brothers who also generated violence. At the same time, sadist colleagues serve as ‘negative figures of reference’. They allow the spectators, the passive Christian Brothers, to see themselves as ‘normal’, even, by contrast, humane and compassionate.
It is now known that many of the Christian Brothers, themselves were known to be guilty of multiple sexual rape and humiliation of boys in other Religious run Institutions in Ireland and England. Many of these sadist Christian Brothers were especially assigned to Artane Industrial School. The first thing to remember about Artane Industrial School, in Dublin is that every Christian Brother that worked there, was a pedophile and a sadist, one way or the other. Every single Christian Brother that worked at Artane Industrial School was named as a sadist and a pedophile. One only needs to read The Ryan Report on Artane Industrial School to understand why;-It was open, hunting season by the Catholic Church and its policy to rape, beat, torture and murder children in any of the Religious Run Institutions in Ireland. And they the sadists, the Religious Orders got away with it, the Catholic Church as a whole were given immunity by The Ryan Report- The Commission to inquire into Child Abuse Ireland.
The Congregation of Christian Brothers told the world that it does not accept any blame as a Congregation for the sexual rape, brutality, torture, murder and humiliation of boys as young as 7 years old in Artane Industrial School, in Dublin. According to the findings in;- The Ryan Report, the Commission to inquire into Child Abuse Ireland 2009. --3,685 boys were detained between 1940 and 1969 in Artane Industrial School, Dublin. According to The Ryan Report;-
1,173 boys reported sexual rape on them by all the pedophile Christian Brothers, the other 2,512 boys died or were to afraid to give evidence to the Ryan Commission. The numbers alone 1,173 boys now as men are staggering. Secrecy is an Irish disease, secrecy is also a Catholic Church sacred ritual, the Catholic Church thrives on secrecy. Child Rape by the Clerics absolutely thrives on secrecy. Secrecy was employed by The Irish Catholic Church to facilitate and conceal the rape of vulnerable children in all their Religious run Institutions or child prisons in Ireland. The Secrecy was suppressed for many decades and was orchestrated and perpetuated by both the Irish Catholic Church, its Clerics, further concealed and encouraged with the active help of most members of the Irish Government at the time.
Music was a fundamental component of life in all the Industrial Schools of Ireland. The most famous was the Artane Boys Band, Dublin. From almost the beginning of the opening of Artane Industrial School, in Dublin, a boys band was established, the year was 1871. The Christian Brothers routinely ordered the boys to sing while marching or exercising or during punishment actions. This was done to mock, humiliate, rape and discipline the boys. Boys who disobeyed the rules or who incorrectly carried them out gave the Christian Brothers an excuse for arbitrary beatings. Boys who didn’t know the song or music or marching were beaten as well, a few were beaten to death.
The sadistic Christian Brothers inflicted savage beatings and rapes on most boys daily. In 1886 the band established its hugely rewarding relationship with the two-year old Gaelic Athletic Association, known as the GAA, when the Artane's Boys Band first performed at a GAA match in Dublin. This relationship would help to chart the future of the Artane’s Boys Band right up until the present day, as it would later become synonymous with Croke Park and Gaelic games right throughout the country. The State broadcaster, RTE also has a lot to answer for, for glorifying the Artane Boys Band and encouraging the Band’s biggest Pedophile, Brother Joseph O’Connor. Brother Joseph O’Connor was a bigger pedophile than Jimmy Savile, the fiendish Brother Joseph O’Connor even raped and beat the boys in the band in public. Brother Joseph O’Connor encouraged other nefarious pedophiles to pick up any vulnerable boy they chose and take the boy home for a day or two.
The repertoire of Artane's Boys Band depended on the preferences of the Christian Brothers, on their musical sophistication, and on the occasions when the band would perform. Artane Industrial School boys band performed not only Sundays at all GAA sports events, but any other day that the Christian Brothers could exploit. The boys in the Artane Band never received any payment, not even a penny from a grateful GAA except a shared bottle of Fanta and a bag of Tayto Crisps as a thanks. Irony would have it that Fanta was actually created in Nazi Germany, Fanta was invented by Coca-Cola, an American company, inside of Nazi Germany during World War II.
The Artane Boys Band was a veneer for the criminal activities of the nefarious Christian Brothers, it was all an elaborate hoax. Elaborate measures were taken to disguise the dreadful conditions in the child prison known as Artane Industrial School and to portray an atmosphere of normalcy. The Artane Boys Band was used ruthlessly to show a very content Christian school. Also a beautification propaganda program was started, the boys were forced to planted gardens, painted housing complexes, renovated dormitories, and developed and practiced cultural programs for the entertainment of the visiting dignitaries to convince them that Artane Industrial School and the Artane Boys Band were happy and real. Artane Industrial School had been "cleaned up" and rearranged as a model Industrial School, an Irish Boys Town. It was Fr. Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boy's Town who was from Roscommon. Fr. Flanagan’s visit to Ireland in 1946, he was appalled by the abuse of children in the institutions he had visited.
But no amount of veneer or makeover could hide when the distinguished visitors walked around and saw for themselves, children with black eyes, children with broken limbs, terror and sadness on most of the children’s faces. You cannot veneer horror, nor the smell of fear, nor the pain and suffering of vulnerable starving children. During the inspection of Artane Industrial School, the conniving Christian Brothers talked to the eminent visitors and hoped to show that the treatment of the boys was a demonstration of their benevolent treatment by the kind and generous Christian Brothers, a safe place where the children could be housed and play in safety. The Artane Boys Band would parade and play a few marching musical numbers, the Christian Brothers smiled, the eminent visitors smiled, while the starving, bruised, beaten and raped boys cried.
When Government Officials and other clowns came to inspect the hell-hole of Artane concentration camp for inspections, proud Christian Brothers showed off the band as a 'special attraction' and as proof of 'their' Industrial School’s exemplary performance. The musicians’ the boys main duties, however, were to provide background music for the daily horrors of rape, beatings, humiliations and ever murder by the Christian Brothers in Artane Industrial School. The boys band performed under the most inhuman of circumstances, something that caused all the surviving boys to experience feelings of guilt and depression for the rest of their lives. Some of the boys as young musicians were summoned to play for the Christian Brothers or visiting Clerics in private entertainment. A few of the boys were beaten and raped at these private events by visiting Senior Clerics and prominent people.
Many of the boys were granted a special status that offered them some protection against arbitrary acts, committed by the Christian Brothers as well as privileges essential for survival, but still most if not all the boys in the band were raped and beaten. Yes the boys got 'milder' work assignments, better clothing or additional food rations, like a bottle of Fanta and a bag of Tayto Crisps. In a sense, making music at the Industrial School served as a survival strategy for many of the boys, but in reality the beatings, humiliations and rapes were more severe. The Band leader Brother Joseph O’Connor was a well known serial and prolific pedophile, of the worst order and the boys band was his special domain. Brother O’Connor ruled the band, his boys, his chicken coop with an iron fist, a childhood for all the boys, a life filled with fear, humiliation and random sexual rape.
Musical life in the Industrial Schools was of a distinctly two-faced nature. On the one hand, music acted as a means of survival for the boys; on the other hand, it served as an instrument of terror for the Christian Brothers. The Christian Brothers raped and beat the boys for their own purposes. With forced daily musical performances they furthered the process of breaking the boys willpower and of human degradation. Thus, music in the Industrial Schools served as a necessary distraction and method of cultural survival for the boys, and simultaneously as a means of domination for the perpetrators, The Christian Brothers.
The GAA needs to pay reparations to all the survivors of the Artane Industrial Boys Band. In reality the Artane Boys Band was at all times used as a vehicle by the Christian Brothers to economically exploit highly vulnerable boys. In its original guise, The Artane Boys Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity, the rapes, beatings, humiliations and death that took place at Artane Industrial School in Dublin.
The original and traditional insignia of blue and red uniforms are still worn to this day and are a shameful reminder of the institutional rape, beatings, humiliation and death still suffered by so many ex-boys from Artane. Just like the Nazi regime’s prisoner uniforms made of coarse grey-blue striped material which had become standard issue in the concentration death camps of Nazi Germany. The blue and red uniforms still worn today are a stark reminder to all survivors of the horrors of Artane boys band and Artane Industrial School. Each of these Artane band uniforms were marked with a boy’s name inked on the inside of the uniform indicating the boys’s category and an identification number that henceforth substituted his name, the same method as the Nazi used in their death camps. It is insulting to still see boys and girls parading on nation television at sports events in the blue and red uniforms that still represent, rape, humiliations and death of the boys of Artane Industrial School and Artane’s boys band. Shame on the GAA, Shame on the Political and Businesses that still support the Artane Boys band-but the biggest shame is reserved on the still behind the scenes of the Christian Brothers and the Irish Catholic Church. Their culture of rape, humiliation and death of many of thousands of the boys of the Artane Boys band.
In view of some deaths of the boys in the band, new boys to the Industrial School were often given the old uniforms and shoes left behind by the murdered. Let’s not forget that these same uniforms are handed down proudly to future generations of children ignorant of what the uniform represented;-The Artane Industrial School for boys and Artane’s boys band. We need to change its name to break the association with the discredited murderous institution, an institution forever know for death, rape, torture and humiliation of thousands of boys. Boys as young as 7 years of age to boys as old as 16, all vulnerable children. All at the mercy of Catholic Christian Brother Pedophiles, 80% of the boys have died since Artane Industrial School was closed in 1969. Many through-Suicide, Drugs, Alcohol, Despair and Murder. This is the true legacy of The Artane Industrial School, Prison Camp, hell-hole for boys and Artane’s boys band. Owen Felix O’Neill