Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Letter : We should be grateful to Survivors who have spoken out.

A Chara,

The recent arrests of three men accused of sexual abuse of children at Carrignavar Boarding School reveals what has been studiously avoided by so many, that abuse was just as prevalent in fee paying boarding schools as it was in Industrial Schools. I know, as I attended five of these fee paying boarding schools for 12 years.

Perhaps the reasons for this avoidance are two fold.

There are some who went to those schools, who were abused, though not sexually, and who to this day would claim that the experience made them the men they are today.

The second reason might be that some of these alumni of the 'better sort of boarding school' have been or are still in positions of power and prestige, and their lack of self empathy might affect their willingness to face the truth of their own experience, let alone the truth of Survivors testimony.

Perhaps it also affected and still affects their decision making in other areas, especially with regard to Governance, in that a lack of self empathy runs concurrent with a lack of empathy for others.

It is clear to all and sundry that Irish Governance has demonstrated a clear lack of empathy for the people of Ireland for a long time.

Perhaps the courage of Survivors who have spoken out, even when others have refused to accept their testimony, might be seen as part of the healing of Irish society, leading us all towards greater empathy.

We should be grateful.

Kindest regards


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