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The exposure of class prejudice

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Thursday May 21, 2009 19:56author by Eugene Mc Cartan - Communist Party of Irelandauthor email cpoi at eircom dot netauthor address James Connolly House, 43 East Essex St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2author phone 016708707 or 0879733414 Report this post to the editors

The publication of the long awaited “The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report” into abuse suffered by children and young people at the hands of religious orders while detained in residential institutions has exposed as never before the deep class hatred of working people and the rural poor that permeated the state, government and its agencies as well as the Catholic Church itself. This whole horrible feature of Irish society cannot be understood if its class nature is not recoginsed.


21st May 09


The exposure of class prejudice

The publication of the long awaited “The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report” into abuse suffered by children and young people at the hands of religious orders while detained in residential institutions has exposed as never before the deep class hatred of working people and the rural poor that permeated the state, government and its agencies as well as the Catholic Church itself. This whole horrible feature of Irish society cannot be understood if its class nature is not recoginsed.

The report lays bear the horrendous sexual and physical abuse, slave labour and starvation conditions that ten of thousands of children and youth suffered. Whose only crime was that they came from working class families, from the families of rural workers or small farmers, what they all had in common was that they were poor.

The contempt that the so called caring professions of doctors, teachers, solicitors and judges as well as the total disregard that the institution of the state had for these young people exposed that this state was and is deeply imbued with class prejudice in spite the best efforts to cover it up it is at its very core; its very essence.

There is no evidence to show that those who committed these crimes will be made to account for, nor is their any evidence to show that this report like many other before it or the current tribunals will produce any results. The same class prejudice and cosy class relationships are still well entrenched; - they still show the same contempt for working people, their families and their communities.

The Catholic church became the bedrock of the new state using it political and cultural control to intimidate the populace. The carnival of reaction was not just confined to the North of Ireland, catholicism was used in the South to ensure that the new emerging Irish elites consolidated and maintained their power. Statement ends

Eugene Mc Cartan
087 9733414

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author by iosaf / ipsiphipublication date Thu May 21, 2009 22:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some kids have nothing to look forward to after their first holy communion till the confirmation comes round. That's when they get a name. tiddly, catamite &noncey are very rarely if even hardly ever chosen so popular and symbolic are the names which let later prospective employers at job interviews know, this is a catholic child with a name and belief in third world betterment.

But of course unlike the Mary Magdalene mothers stripped of their progeny & kept as indentured workers, practically slaves - the thousands of abusers aluded to in the report whose findings shock value has long exhausted the outrage of Irish and non-Irish people alike -

..........sure it's even made hollywood movies.

the thousands of abusers count many now buried in cosy graves complete with names, blessings, accolades & that most comforting mercy death can offer - the sinner's eternal anomynity.

Some people might like to think it was just about class. the CPI are correct that it can not be examined and discussed and atoned for and marked properly and engaged with positively to the advancement of societies in similar stages of social and economic development globally without prior consideration of class.

........ sure would an orphan get abused in Africa or Asia?

But it was also about religion.

or rather the way religious organisations deal with criminality amongst thier ranks both historically and actually & the lascitude given to religious organisations for more than mere reasons of genuine faith, option of regular worship, folkoristic tradition by those who see nothing wrong in splashing out on any of the RC rites of passage - communion - confirmation - matrimony or ordination & finally that most comfortion mercy death can offer - absolution.

In my non-believer's book absolution means impunity

author by Nevienoodlepublication date Fri May 22, 2009 10:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As an abuse victim, i wish to pass on my congratulations to those who have stuck at it. You are the people that made me come out about my abuse, although not at the hands of an institution but a member of my family, i have no doubt that he abused me because of abuse he was subjected to himself. I'm so horrified, disgusted and insulted that these brave people have had doors shut in their faces time and time again. Its a typical occurance of Irish History, the indigenious working class people of the country are frowned upon. People full of life's frustrations, given full power over little defenseless children.

Some of the first example of sexual abuse have been recorded in the 13th Century. Its a HUGE CONCIDINCE that marriage in the priesthood was banned around that time. And why was marraige banned, because the surviving family would inherit all the estate naturally. Therefore, to ensure the empire of Gods people thrived, men were'nt allow to marry, and instead a long dark history of alterboys and priests began, nuns and little girls being humiliated and degraded. Its safe to say that these people are akin to a white power gang. Open your mouth against God and you will be hunted and punished. God is beautiful, but god will send you to hell. God is a caring forgiving god, but he will cast you to the side. What does god do to abusers? What does the Holy man himself thing about violating human dignity.

The Catholic Church is on the way down. its is especially worrying when you see something that the Hitler Youth created elected as ruler of Gods people. An evil bad head with antiquated ideas going backwards.

The taxpayer is not the abuser here. The Catholic church, teachers, anyone with a bit of power, took advantage of their position and should be made pay. It is not expected that the taxpayer pay for the victims of rape is it? does the state protect the names of those who have seriel raped and abused people, do they let them off with a slap on the wrist, will they live out their days preaching to a congregation with a smug smile on their face. The shit has hit the fan big time now lads, be men and women about it. Take it like you gave it. And may ye all rot in your hell. Becasue if you really believed in God you would know he forgives. The hell ye refer to is the everyday life that abused victims go through. Like little emotional lambs to the slaughter, and they're not believed, or they're told shut up or ignored or beaten.

I'm rambling, i could go on, and on and on, but people, when you meet your political candidates, remeber that one in four is the name of an organisation for a reason. Be aware that it's not too unlikely that you may be talking to an abuse victim, whether they know it themselves. Since i came to terms about it, i have had 3 friends do the same, and they have known 2 to 3 each themselves.

If the courts do not satisfy my quest for justice, i have no problem in exposing my abuser, i will go to jail for invasion of privacy if i have to, but my abuser will feel my wrath. I will put posters up of him with slogans. You may think its the wrong thing to do, to let justice deal with it. I LAUGH AT JUSTICE in this country. But if was to be ignored the way some of these brave people were, the way my head was, my emotions im sure sucide would have been contemplated or murder. Who's fault is that. Would the state be made pay for my violence then?


author by candle in the windpublication date Fri May 22, 2009 20:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What appears to emerge from the Report is a state sponsored system of rape,mental and physical cruelty and induction to slavery that continued for over half a century.
Apart from the horrendous crimes in the various reformatories, the inextricable links of Catholic church and state in the ROI led to widespread abuse of power, lack of information and development of tools for critical thinking due to psychological browbeating and intimidation. The hierarchy knew and covered it up, the State knew and colluded in the ongoing abuses and cover-up, many of the people probably knew but preferred to look the other way.It’s a hard truth to face up to and cope with anger at being duped by a church that certainly did not practise what it preached.
It is to be hoped that if no redress is to be obtained within the ROI that human rights lawyers look into the possibilities of action at the European Court of Justice or the UN court of human rights. Solidarity with the victims is the minimum each and every one of us can offer.

author by Portiapublication date Sun May 24, 2009 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This abuse of human beings by the Roman Catholic Church has been going on for a long time.

How many have been muredered in the name of this invisible God?

How many wars created in his name?

Who created this God, why and how did it manage to brainwash millions for thousands of years until now, to become the biggest cult on the planet.?

Were we all asleep, or living in fear due to our collective consciousness.

' For 1500 hundred years, the Christian Church systematically operated torture chambers throughout Europe. Torture was the rule, not the exception. Next to the Bible, the most influential and venerated book in Christian history was the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches), which was a step-by-step tutorial in how to torture "witches' and "sorcerers".

Welcome to a Christian Europe!

For those who dared to be different:

Incarceration, starvation

Psychological torment and terror

Laceration, mutilation, strangulation, suffocation

Crushing, choking, burning, garrotting

Slow and agonizing death

Iron Spider:

The iron would usually be heated to red-hot and then used to slowly rip the breasts from the body.

It would be used for such crimes as heresy, adultery, self-induced abortions, blasphemy and other "hideous" crimes.

author by Lilithpublication date Sun May 24, 2009 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Abusers not named.

I agree with you 100%.

The Roman Church is in collusion with the legal system, the state, HSE, etc.

However, as a free sovereign human being, you can lawfully name and shame your abusers.!!

As Free Irish citizens, we do not have to obey the legal system in use now as the lawyers swear allegience to the BAR- British .!!!!!!!!!

We are Irish not British.

We Irish have our own Justice system called Brehon law- based on honour and naming and shaming is exactly how it worked.

The accuser sat outside the accused house until he addressed his or her crime and the Breitheamh decided on the penalty if needed.

The richer you were, the more you paid in Eric- reparations- compensation.

That was Justice- not JUST US- like it is now.

author by gay look italian boypublication date Sun May 24, 2009 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We ought be examining with a fine comb out inculcated and received attitudes and assumptions about the causes of criminality, replicant abuse & once again very seriously considering the foundations of the Irish state's class system, its meritocracy & not simply packaging all this away as something horrible which occured in the past & had no consequences thereafter in our society where the injustice was further compounded through our penal system, nor equally any bearing on the recruitment of RC personel, nor the attitude to orphans, nor the implementation of foster policy nor had no connection to the current state of psychiatric care in the Irish Republic which has figured in several Amnesty International annual reports (of the 21st century) as being the source of this country's worst human rights abuses.

The mistake in Irish society's fetishised habit of tinkering with our ills through inquiries or tribunals and then reports which invite no active participation from the supposed victims is a compartmentalisation of our own understanding of what has been wrong and is still wrong with ourselves as the Irish nation, both resident on the island and further flung in the diasporia.

author by marissapublication date Sun May 24, 2009 23:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This pathetic attempt by the Communist Party to exploit this tragedy for some twisted and desperate notion of political gain by portraying it as a "class" issue says much about why the CP is now and forever more an electoral irrelevance.

Pupils in Christian Brothers schools in solidly middle-class areas were also beaten and buggered by these monsters.

This scandal demonstrates yet again what can happen when authority is not subjected to the controls of a functioning and open democracy.

Ironically, the Communism which existed in Eastern Europe and Russia for several decades comprised entire societies organized on the same principles as Irish religious workhouses. The only difference is that the Communist ideologues murdered as well as abused millions of men, women, and children in their own special institutions for the rejected and ethnically suspect - the Gulags.

Of course, the CP was notable in its outspokeness and condemnation of their patrons in Moscow during the 70 years the gulags devoured their millions of helpless victims..............

author by Old Africa handpublication date Mon May 25, 2009 10:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Christian Brothers have been widely discredited in Ireland, the USA, Canada and Australia and vocations have plummeted. The communities are slowly dying and most schools are now entirely laicised, with female teachers happily on the staff too. I worked for a while in an African school run by Irish Christian Bros. The deputy head was a married lay African. There were only three Irish brothers left; one was near retirement, another checked out of the order and went into lay life a couple of years later.
I learned that the CBS schools in India are entirely indigenised and that the Christian Bros are getting a steady number of new vocations yearly. The aspiring middle classes among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians (these latter comprising a 2 per cent minority in India) are glad to get their sons enrolled in the schools - for the same reasion that the middle class parents in Ireland did during the 19th and 20th century. The schools "cram" pupils effectively for state exams which Indian pupils need to pass to get into civil service jobs and into college courses. If you want to call that education in the sense of opening minds, my name is Pestalozzi.
In Africa the parents of various faiths are glad to enrol sons in the few CBS schools around, for the same disciplined study reasons. There are not many Africans finding vocations for the order however. Perhaps some day the Indian brothers will become missionary teachers in the African schools - as some might in the schools of Ireland too.
I think the brutal record of corporal punishment in Irish schools and the sodomising of defenceless orphans in the orphanages and industrial schools is appalling and I would never seek to minimise it. I never had a vocation for the religious life and simply went to Africa as a teacher. What happened in Ireland was a perversion of the noble social ideals of the Brothers founder, Edmund Rice. I've read about his life and he was a humane visionary man. Unfortunately the Order recruited into its ranks over two centuries hundreds of inadequate brutish and immoral men.

author by book readerpublication date Wed May 27, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Edmund Rice was a merchant in Waterford during the early years of 19th century who noticed the number of idle street urchins. When his wife died in childbirth Rice founded the Christian Brothers and collected money to open schools, the idea being to educate the urchins and others and help them escape from poverty by becoming employable. As the last poster points out, the Catholic middle classes soon noticed that the cramming and disciplinary methods of the Brothers were "getting results", so the middle class parents began enrolling their sons. As time went on you had CBS establishments in poor areas and better off areas of cities like Dublin and Cork, and similarly in Britain and wherever they subsequently set up. I think it would make an interesting history if somebody traced the expansion of the Order (which should disband itself in Ireland, I'd say) and how in various countries the middle classes moved in. All the time there were CBS schools in downtrodden slum areas of towns and cities. The rod and the strap were frequently applied, in the poor areas and in the better off areas, and many a tale has been told about that, orally and in writing.

A Dublin novelist, Lar Redmond, wrote two novels about the Dublin of the period roughly from late 'twenties to early 'fifties. They were Emerald Square, and another titled A Walk Amid the Alien Corn. I read them and they were sharp, compassionate and harrowing in their portrayal of Dublin poverty then. One of them - I can't remember which title - has a couple of chapters about the awful schooldays of young lads in a CBS in slumland and how one of them, literally, had the sh#t beaten out of him for being dull or something.

Rice's project for rescuing the poor from poverty by educating them was turned into a sadistic nightmare by the generations of Brothers who followed in his footsteps. It's amazing that conditions in Letterfrack and Artane during the early and middle twentieth century were not brought to light until about 20 years ago.

author by Holy Man.publication date Wed May 27, 2009 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shortly after the time of Irish independence the British threw out their old Industrial Schools and replaced them with Approved Schools:


They regarded the old schools as abominations.

Did the newly independent Irish state do anything about those abominations?

No chance...The Irish Free State was too busy licking the A**E of the Catholic Church.

Even our present constitution had to be "approved" by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid:

That same religious institution blocked the "Mother and Child Scheme", Ireland's first attempt to modernise childcare.

The shameful subservience of Free State politicians to the church is obvious in this article:

Quote from Dr.Noel Browne,Minister for Health:
"Furthermore, the Hierarchy has informed the Government that they must regard the Mother and Child Scheme proposed by me as opposed to Catholic social teaching. This decision I, as a Catholic, immediately accepted without hesitation."

The victims of the industrial schools were,in a way, the victims of Irish Independence.

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