THE WORKERS' PARTY OF IRELAND

Child Abuse report - follow the money

Statement from Malachy Steenson, Workers Party candidate, Dublin Central By-Election and North Inner City local election candidate.

Malachy Steenson
Malachy Steenson

This week's release of the "The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report"  into institutionalised child abuse makes very clear that the organisations in control of the remand schools, industrial schools, and orphanages made a very substantial profit from their operation. It is also clear from the figures provided that the vast bulk of the inmates of these houses of horror were working-class children from inner city Dublin, from the other major cities, and the urban and rural poor outside these centres. The reverberations of that abuse lives on for the victims of that abuse and for their families to this day.
 
Not only was the stipend from the state for care and education siphoned off but the children were put to work in all sorts of money-making rackets. These ranged from farms, rosary beads assembly lines, laundries etc. All of these were also very profitable and of course never subject to audit or tax.
 
"The issue that therefore arises" says Malachy Steenson  "is what happened to all this money?"
 
"The report does clearly state that some organisations, eg Christian Brothers in Artane, lived a very comfortable and cossetted lifestyle. However there is no evidence of luxury life-styles; of vast personal aggrandisment; or of money going missing.  However there is evidence which points in a very different direction - a direction which is very painful for bourgeois Ireland.
 
"It is very clearly documented that the Christian Brothers, the Oblates, The Rosminians, the Sisters of Mercy,  the Sisters of Charity and indeed practically every other religious order mentioned in the Ryan report, operated a network of secondary schools throughout Ireland. These schools catered mainly for the middle class and aspiring middle class. The fees charged, while prohibitive for most people at the time, were still below cost." continued Mr Steenson 
 
"How was this subsidy possible? The mythology peddled by the Church Establishment and those who defended the status quo or knowingly kept silent is that this education was possible only through the personal sacrifice of the priests, brothers and nuns involved. The Ryan report makes amply clear that these people were much more interested in inflicting pain and sacrifice than enduring it. Sadly, all the available evidence points to the fact that the subsidy for the education of the Catholic middle class came from the suffering, the starvation, the slavery of the thousands of incarcerated working class children behind the high walls and locked gates of Ireland's secret children's prisons.
 
"Is this the real reason why nobody in authority shouted STOP?" asks Malachy.
 
Issued 26th May 2009

Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics