Friday, 17 December 2010

Letter to media re: release of chapter 9 of The Murphy Report.

To the Editor,

The release of Chapter 19 of The Murphy Report is a reminder to everyone concerned with the welfare of all our children. 

It is a reminder that is well overdue, a reminder that cries out for Justice for all those children who over the years, have been sexually assaulted, brutally beaten, humiliated, bullied and psychologically tortured by clergy and by lay-persons in Church and State Residential Institutions entrusted with their 'care'. Justice.

It is a reminder that there are many, many adults today who bear the scars of these crimes, whose lives have been absolutely undermined by the toxic effects of these Adverse Childhood Expereinces, who have lived with shame, pain, confusion, fear, lonliness, psychological and physiological breakdowns, addiction, family breakdown and more, many of whom have been held responsible by Society for those symptoms, for the unbroken cycles of abuse that have disfigured their lives.

How many times have Surviviors been told to 'pull your socks' up by well-meaning, insistent yet impatient and ultimately un-empathetic helpers?  Charity is all well and good, yet if Society does not directly address the roots of the problem, the problem persists.

Survivors suffer still, many decades after the initial trauma.

The long drawn out process of breaking through the resistance of State and Church to achieve a full disclosure and accountability, resolution and closure for what went on - the endemic brutal and extreme mistreatment of children - for so long that in cannot be called 'accidental' on any level, is part of what I see as a wider pattern of fear. Cowardice.

These crimes would have remained masked and obscured were it not for those Survivors who first confronted their own fear, to bring charges against their abusers, often in the face of resistance from family, community, the State and of course the Church itself.

Who has the most to fear?

Is it the Irish State? Is it the Vatican? Is it those perpetrators as yet un-named? Is it Irish Society?

Or is it the Survivors?

As a survivor I fear that Irish Society does not really 'get it', is still largely in denial - we know, yet we do not allow ourselves to feel the full impact of the truth - and Irish Society is even still unwilling to address the matter openly, because it is not simply the story of Survivors of Church and State abuses of children - it is the story of how Irish Society relates to children, and the failure to place the welfare of children above the preceived interests of adults, of State and Church Institutions and of matters financial.

This is also a matter of Power Relationships.

The greatest natural disparity of power is that between an parent and an infant. That disparity is mirrrored in the disparity of Power between Governance and those who are Governed. Even in a democracy.

This Christmas, think of the new born, think of the future you are building for that child, for all children.

Think of the variance between the idealised birth in a manger in Nazereth, of a childhood that has not been recorded in the Gospel, which remains shrouded in mystery, and then think on and feel the reality of so many children, across the world, who suffered so terribly for so many years at the hands of Church and State and how that too has been shrouded in secrecy.

Ireland's story is part of an international pattern. As Indigenous Aboriginal Residential School survivors will affirm in Canada, Australia, North America, South America, Africa and Asia.

How many years must Survivors beg and cajole and litigate and struggle for Justice?

How many more reports will be conducted? How many surviuvors have died whilst these investigastions have been carried out, and ho wmany more will pass before the truth is made public, before justice is served and real change with regard to the welfare and status of children has a foundation that is solid and is made visible by the actions of Society?

What would Jesus do?


Kindest regards

Corneilius Crowley



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