Revealed, six decades of 'ritual' child abuse: Catholic schools and orphanages damned in report
- Abuse was 'endemic' in childrens' institutions
- Safety of children in general was not a consideration
- No abusers will be prosecuted
- Victims banned from launch of shocking report
For six decades, priests and nuns terrorised boys and girls in the workhouse-style schools with sexual, physical and mental abuse.
Irish government inspectors also failed to stop the chronic beatings, rape and humiliation, it found.
The report by Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse found 'a climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys'.
It added: 'Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.'
Judge Sean Ryan, who chaired the commission, said that when confronted with evidence of sex abuse, religious authorities responded by moving the sex offenders to another location, where in many instances they were free to abuse again.
'There was evidence that such men took up teaching positions sometimes within days of receiving dispensations because of serious allegations or admissions of sexual abuse,' the report said.
'The safety of children in general was not a consideration.'
The leader of Ireland's four million Catholics, Cardinal Sean Brady, said he was 'sorry and deeply ashamed' after the report was published yesterday.
'Children deserved better and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ,' he said.
The report found that molestation and rape were 'endemic' in boys' facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order.
'In some schools a high level of ritualised beating was routine,' the report said.
'Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body. Personal and family denigration was widespread.'
Victims of the system have long demanded that the truth of their experiences be documented and made public.
This is because in 2004 the Christian Brothers secured a ruling that guaranteed all of its members, dead or alive, would remain anonymous in the report.
John Kelly, from victim group Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, said the report should have examined how children like himself were taken away from parents without just cause, and why Irish governments ceded control over the lives of so many young people to the Church.
The group's John Walsh said he felt 'cheated and deceived' that the perpetrators would not be brought to justice.
Mr Walsh said: 'I would have never opened my wounds if I'd known this was going to be the end result. It has devastated me and will devastate most victims because there are no criminal proceedings and no accountability whatsoever.'
The victims were also banned from entering the Press conference on the report held in a Dublin hotel.
Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop, chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said of the victims: 'The way that they have been treated here has been disgraceful and is in effect little more than a repetition of abusive behaviour.'
Key steps in struggle to confront child abuse in the Catholic Church
Catholic priest Brendan Smyth pleads guilty to 17 counts of indecently assaulting five girls and two boys in Belfast. His order, the Norbertines, spent decades shuttling him among Irish and American parishes and harbored Smyth from British arrest.
Taoiseach Albert Reynolds resigns, and his government collapses, amid claims that his attorney general colluded with church authorities to delay the British extradition demand for Smyth. It shatters the taboo against pursuing criminal charges against priests.
Former altar boy Andrew Madden becomes first person to speak publicly about abuse by a priest. Madden says the Church paid him €35,000 to keep quiet about three years of assaults by Fr Ivan Payne. Archbishop Desmond Connell denies the deal until Madden provides documentary proof of church payoff. Case spurs hundreds to pursue civil lawsuits against church authorities.
Panel of Irish Catholic leaders instruct bishops to tell senior police officers ‘without delay’ about all suspected sex-abuse cases. Some bishops continue to suppress such information over the coming decade.
Dear Daughter, a documentary shown on RTÉ details abuse suffered by Christine Buckley and others at St Vincent's Industrial School, Goldenbridge, Inchicore, Dublin.
After serving prison term in Northern Ireland, Smyth is extradited south and pleads guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993. He dies of a heart attack one month into 12 year sentence.
Payne is convicted in Dublin on 14 counts of sexually abusing eight boys aged 11 to 14. He serves only four years in prison.
Fr Sean Fortune commits suicide in prison while awaiting trial on 66 criminal charges of molesting and raping 29 boys in the southeast Ferns diocese. One Fortune victim, former altar boy Colm O'Gorman, launches victims support group One in Four. It lobbies government for investigations into abuse cases, particularly in Ferns.
Groundbreaking documentary series ‘States of Fear’ by RTÉ exposes abuse of children in church-run workhouses, reformatories and orphanages since the 1940s.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern issues ‘long overdue apology’ to all those abused in church-run institutions and vows to establish a financial compensation board and a fact-finding commission into extent of abuse. Ms Justice Mary Laffoy is appointed to head the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.
Government gives investigatory powers to Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse to measure causes and extent of unchecked child abuse in institutions from 1937 onward.
The deadline for complaints of abuse to be made to the Commission. Some 3,149 people ask to testify.
Ferns Bishop Brendan Comiskey becomes first, and only, church figure to resign because of failures to stop abuse. He admits he did too little to stop pedophile priests.
Government establishes board to pay compensation to people who suffered sexual, physical or mental abuse in church-run institutions. Payouts require claimants to give up their right to sue church and state authorities. Taxpayers, not the church, cover bulk of cost.
High Court Judge Mary Laffoy resigns complaining that the Department of Education, which holds most records on church-run institutions, is obstructing her investigation into child abuse. Her successor, Justice Sean Ryan, says probe must severely limit the number of abuse cases it considers or it will never finish.
A Vatican modernizer and diplomat, Diarmuid Martin, replaces Connell as Dublin archbishop. Pledges full cooperation with state and police in exposing past cover-ups of abuse and protecting children in future.
Judge Ryan announces the Commission will not name abusers unless they have been convicted. The Christian Brothers religious order drops legal actions against the Commission.
The Christian Brothers testify at a public hearing that files only recently discovered in its Rome-based archive show evidence of 30 canonical trials of brothers based on proven incidents of child sexual abuse against boys in their care from the 1930s onwards.
Investigation led by retired Supreme Court justice finds that church, police and state authorities did too little to stop sexual abuse of hundreds of children by 21 priests in Ferns. Report says Ferns bishops sheltered and promoted priests known to have raped altar boys and molested schoolgirls on an altar.
Residential Institutions Redress Board says more than 14,000 people who claim to have suffered childhood abuse in church-run institutions have filed claims for state payouts.
Board says it has paid nearly 12,000 victims average of €64,230 each, about 2,000 claims remain. Cost including lawyers' fees expected to reach €1.1bn.
May 20, 2009
Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse unveils 2,575-page report into thousands of child abuse cases in institutions. Two more reports into the church's protection of sex-predator priests in the Dublin archdiocese and the southwest diocese of Cloyne may be published later this year.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1184828/Revealed-decades-ritual-child-abuse-Catholic-schools-orphanages-damned-report.html#ixzz3IRoSug4S
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook