Monday, June 1, 2009

A National Shame

I rarely cover domestic Irish issues on Gubu World but I am going to make an exception with the Ryan report into Physical and sexual abuse of children in state run institutions. The story did make international headlines but not for long. In Ireland however this scandal is going to stay with us for a long long time. Below is a clip from current affairs programme Questions and Answers where last week an abuse victim confronted a government minister. This is truly harrowing and will no doubt go down as a piece of television history.

Bad things happen in all countries. But in the good ones, the sandals come out and are dealt with. I am making this point because since this scandal erupted last week I have had one dominant thought. The image of gentle old Ireland is false. I am sick and tired of listening to older generations heap scorn on modern day Ireland. We may have conventional crime, teenage pregnancies and drug addiction but at least all of the problems we face today as a society are out in the open and we can attempt to deal with them. If you are a sexual predator in Ireland today, the place to be is in a dark alley way at three o clock in the morning. Back in the 50' and 60's the place to be was working in one of these industrial schools. I believe the former is a better state of affairs. Today you can protect your loved ones by saying, stay out of the ally ways in the early hours. But back in the "good old days" there was no method of protection for these children as the evil rapists were protected by the establishment. We may have organised crime today and people involved in it should be hunted mercilessly but I take some comfort from the fact that contemporary criminals operate outside the law. The organised criminals who raped and beat in Daingean, Artane and elsewhere were able to commit their crimes from within the system. This is a cause for national shame.

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