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Spiritan abuse survivors urged to come forward as independent process to begin

  • 16-11-2022 4:50pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,176 ✭✭✭


    It looks like the clerical sexual abuse by the Spiritans is a lot more extensive than first thought.

    I am always bothered by the fact that it's always always always the abuse victims that are asked to come forward identify their abusers. They are asked to relive the trauma many years later. There are never ever any examples of the religious orders bringing evidence to the Gardai about known abusers. And they must know abusers who have never been prosecuted. We get lame apologies after the fact but that's it. It often too late to prosecute like in this instance with only 4 out of 78 still alive.

    Spiritan abuse survivors urged to come forward (rte.ie)

    Survivors of abuse by the Spiritan religious order in Ireland have been urged to come forward to tell their story.

    Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik told TDs that "news is breaking about a person against whom serious allegations of abuse have been made" and who "is living on the grounds of Blackrock College".

    She said that she has been given the name. The Taoiseach said any information must be referred to gardaí.

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭Tow


    According to the Pope 2% of priests are paedophiles, so the really maybe higher.

    When is the money (including lost growth) Michael Noonan took in the Pension Levy going to be paid back?



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    The Spiritans are to rebrand with a less toxic name: The Spiritan Brothers.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    Re the issues you raise in your last para. If you are in a religious order and vowed for life then you own nothing. That is what the Vow of Poverty means. You are totally dependent on the order. For your food, your bed, your clothes. In some cases in every order memebers DID leave but of course Life Vows are just that. So reporting would be a disaster given that thse would be good and deeply committed members. Many in several Orders did leave over abuse but they had a very very hard time and of course many were elderly with no support. It is not the same as reporting a commerical firm. Many stayed and did manage to alleviate suffering in hidden ways.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭Tow


    People were reported but the schools did nothing. For example when a relation of mine heard that a 'friend' of his was going to be given a coaching job in a school, he wrote to the school. Putting in writing who he was, how he know person and why he through a job around children was not suitable. He heard nothing back from the school. Years later the 'firends' antics in the school made headline news.

    When is the money (including lost growth) Michael Noonan took in the Pension Levy going to be paid back?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,908 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    Obviously people need to come forward if they want this enquiry to be successful. I can’t believe people are really expecting people within an organisation, which covered up abuse, to be proactive here.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,501 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    In coming years, as schools are increasingly staffed by non- people, we will start to see abuse cases involving them too.

    Just taking a rotten apple out of a barrel doesn't make it any healthier.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,293 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    Here's what you could have won.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,293 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    FF minister for health, FF minister for education, zero chance of any necessary meaningful change regarding deference to religion.

    Most top politicians went to exclusive and/or fee-charging RC religious order schools and they seem to forget who it is they are supposed to be working for.

    Here's what you could have won.



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,293 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    So every single last one of them wrestled with their conscience and lost?

    All of these religious order schools go on about "values", well it's pretty feckin' obvious by now what those values really are

    The perverts who stayed in the orders were set up with room and board for life, plus the most expensive defence barristers money could buy.

    Vomit inducing.

    Here's what you could have won.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,501 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    How many priests are actually celibate though?

    Given that they don't have a spouse to answer to or children to raise, they have a good deal more time, opportunity and energy to get sex than most lay adults.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,478 ✭✭✭✭osarusan


    Just taking a rotten apple out of a barrel doesn't make it any healthier.


    Literally, that is exactly what it does mean.



  • Registered Users Posts: 17,431 ✭✭✭✭VinLieger


    She actually very carefully described the person without naming them, its very easy for anyone familiar with the school to know who shes referring to.



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  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    Also I genuinely believed that the historical clerical sex abuse atrocities had been largely uncovered at this point- there have been dozens more stories reported and more abusers highlighted in this order, just in the last few weeks.

    Why so late in the day for the Holy Ghost Fathers? Their schools are traditionally middle class- is that a factor here? Are middle class abuse victims less likely to come forward because of the perceived status power and control of their alma mater?

    I don’t have a view on this as I just don’t know so feel free to input your thoughts but there is definitely something amiss here- the power and status Blackrock holds in Dublin society at least could be a factor as to why these victims didn’t come forward until now.

    I know there have been some great activists and former abuse victims working on new cases for many years and supporting victims of their former schools but the increasing number of abusers and abuse victims at this stage is quite unusual in my view- it’s as if a switch went off in their heads that held them back from talking about their abuse because of the power and the name, Blackrock college and other schools run by this order, had over them. But now, that power has disintegrated thank god.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,660 ✭✭✭donaghs


    Its a bit late for that. How many Brothers are left? Its investigating the past now. Looking to the present and the future, we should focus on not turning ANY people into untouchable "sacred cows" so they are free to abuse kids. Whether they are celebrities, priests or whatever.

    The Catholic Church clearly had a huge number of abusers, and as an organisation facilitated this by denials, and moving people around. But they are not alone in this.

    The Irish Swimming scandals or the UK Islington childrens homes scandal didnt involve the Catholic Church, but involve similar patterns: denials and cover-ups etc.



  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    I’m not familiar with the school in terms of the staff there but absolutely you’re right, they would easily be identified by the description she gave-



  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭Stephen_Maturin


    I’m not sure the “power” of Blackrock in Dublin as you say has anything to do with it. There are also a huge amount of cases in the other Spiritans schools where people are also only coming forward now - it just so happens that Blackrock is the largest and best known of the Spiritan schools so naturally it’s the most under the spotlight.

    I think it’s much more that it’s a facet of middle class life in Ireland that you don’t overly draw attention to yourself, particularly with regards to things of a sexual nature. A lot of keeping up appearances and not rocking the boat so to speak. It’s quite a private world in which people would be very slow to discuss their personal circumstances.

    Sure look at the two brothers that broke the story - neither of them knew the other had been abused. They even had the same abuser but it never came to light until years later.

    It’s only now that the silence has been broken by them that the floodgates have thankfully opened and others feel comfortable voicing their experiences.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking


    I remember spitting out a drink all over the floor when the scene on Fr Ted with Brendan Grace saying to the priest that was watch the boys sports day "and you're imagining what they look like without their clothes on"

    I think it was the first time such a comment was made and there was no national uproar about it - because we all knew it was true for so many of those in religious orders.

    That the current scandal has taken until 2022 to get into the open is almost as equal of a scandal than the scandal itself.

    I think there needs to be a totally independent body that those who suffered abuse by any group that held power over young people and that this group can take statement anonymously if wanted and also keep personal details secret at the request of the person making an allegation and that some form of counselling is then made available for them to avail of.

    In this day of Zoom, such counselling and reporting would be far more accessible than in the past



  • Registered Users Posts: 33,293 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato
    Golgafrinchan 'B' Ark


    What is remarkable about the story is that it has emerged at all.

    Even as this newspaper reported in 2012 of abuses by priests at other Spiritan-run schools such as St Mary’s College Rathmines in Dublin, Rockwell College in Co Tipperary and others, there was silence from Blackrock.

    Yet, as we now know, 57 men have alleged that they were abused as boys on the campus of the Dublin school.

    Such is the power of the “Rock” brand and the loyalty it generates that even those men who were so violently physically and sexually abused while students there did not, until this week, risk being seen to betray it. There was also the shame that it was them, not others, who were chosen by abusers, particularly in such a macho culture as a boys’ boarding school.

    This week most of the men who came forward to tell their stories preferred not to be named. It is also a question of protecting now elderly parents who, frequently, scrimped and saved to give their sons what they believed was the best start in life.



    If Socrates was correct that the unexamined life is not worth living, why did it take so much longer for details of systemic sexual abuse at the supposedly intellectually elevated Blackrock College to come to light than it did at supposedly less favoured institutions run by, say, the Christian Brothers? This is not intended as victim-blaming. I ask myself the same question.

    In the 1970s I was a pupil at Willow Park, Blackrock College’s junior school, where many of the worst crimes were being perpetrated. The names in this week’s reports echo down the decades to me.

    In maths class, Senan Corry would make his way around the room, groping boys and rubbing his crotch against their buttocks. In religion, Luke McCaffrey would tell eight-year-olds their mothers were going to die soon and go straight to hell. Corry I remember as a hulking man with a deep, booming voice, McCaffrey a creepy-crawly figure who lovingly fingered the leather scapulars that you were supposed to wear under your shirt and against your skin. Another man whose name I can’t remember was terrifyingly violent.

    To 10-year-old me, these men and other clerics seemed both threatening and ridiculous. But at the same time, as I now know, they were raping my classmates, as were other priests and brothers whose names and blurry faces now loom from news pages, barely remembered shadows from the past.


    Here's what you could have won.



  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    As I reflect on it, leaving aside “Blackrock” for a minute, private schools in general, and private “rugby” schools in particular, do have a school “ethos” and many have a huge historical legacy of education and achievement - and of course, the vast majority of the legal profession and to a lesser extent politics have come from these schools - it’s this history and esteem and pride that’s instilled in all pupils from an early age - it’s nearly a loyalty - it’s just my own theory but I do feel it’s one factor as to why we’re hearing these stories only now- it’s as if there was an additional guilt, over and above speaking of the abuse itself, that prevented them from coming forward- a guilt of betraying their loyalty to their school- I’m probably not describing it correctly but I do think there’s something in that space that’s happening now- that guilt is no longer present and it’s allowing the victims to speak freely



  • Posts: 8,856 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]


    I’m sorry to hear that you were affected by this or at least were there at that time when others were abused- you seem to have echoed similar thoughts to my own- that piece about “loyalty” to the school- I do think that such schools had an intangible hold over the minds of those pupils long after they left.

    Edit- I see you were quoting a story- above stands in case you were affected



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,908 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    I’m not sure what other response you expected. The organisation will obviously try to do as much damage control as possible. Without proof, or at least some supporting evidence, the person who contacted them was an alleged victim only.



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