The Everyday Irishman

Let Ireland Die

Posted in The Origin Stuff by everydayirishman on May 20, 2009

Over the past few months, we have discovered just how corrupt to the core this country is. Of course, through all the tribunals and the barking of the dogs on the street, we should have had some inkling for a long time. But as long as we could afford that second home or that shiny new Merc, Middle Ireland didn’t care. We stood amidst the clear chaos of a divided society like a child transfixed by the shiny lollipop in his hand while the house burns down around him.

What has this State accomplished since we officially became a state, gaining our independence in the 1920s?

Do not get me wrong. I am so proud to be Irish. Individuals from this country have accomplished stunning things. If you are Irish you have a higher chance of winning a Nobel Prize for Literature than if you were from any other nation. It is astonishing that the world stops and celebrates with us every time St Patrick’s day comes around. Irish artists are renowned globally; we have a rich culture and unique sporting tradition and, among other accomplishments, our hands helped build America.

But, what have we, as a society on this small island – rather than a collection of scattered and sometimes exceptional individuals – achieved?

We are one of the most corrupt Western nations, now bankrupt because politicians, bankers, and yes, most of us everyday men and women, were 100 per cent in hoc to a financial philosophy which prided personal greed and the garnering and hoarding of personal wealth above all else. For decades we struggled to get out of the starting blocks as a modern economy and society, and when we did, we ran so far so fast our limbs burned up and we fell flat in the dirt. Our lack of judgement as a people is shockingly despicable.

And what did we do during those decades before the Tiger arrived, when we were struggling to find our feet? We rounded up our children, young boys and girls, and systematically raped, beat and degraded them:

A fiercely debated, nine-year investigation into Ireland’s Roman Catholic-run institutions says priests and nuns terrorized thousands of boys and girls in workhouse-style schools for decades – and government inspectors failed to stop the chronic beatings, rapes and humiliation.

High Court Justice Sean Ryan on Wednesday unveiled the 2,600-page final report of Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, which is based on testimony from thousands of former students and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions.

More than 30,000 children deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families – a category that often included unmarried mothers – were sent to Ireland’s austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930s until the last church-run facilities shut in the 1990s.

The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.

Wednesday’s five-volume report sides almost completely with the former students’ accounts. It concludes that church officials always shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” the report concluded.

The commission said overwhelming, consistent testimony from still-traumatized men and women, now in their 50s to 80s, 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.

For a long time, and still substantially today, this country has been two things: the Church and the State. These twin demons have already destroyed the lives of generations of young people. Now, the State and its new church – the Church of Bank of Ireland, AIB, Anglo Irish, et al – have ruined the futures of a new generation.

A country that harbours such moral bankruptcy: and indeed, glorifies those who epitomise it – as we glorified the clergy and the bankers – doesn’t deserve to exist. It is a destructive force.

Let Ireland die so the Irish can live on.


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