Clerical abuse also relied upon the scarcity of “righteous gentiles”

Dermot Keogh examines the diplomatic ramifications of the taoiseach’s speech, not least the wider consequences for both the Vatican and Ireland. But he leaves his sharpest question until the end:

In reviewing the history of the past 90 years on this island, why – confronted by such widespread child sexual abuse – were there so few “righteous gentiles” in church, State or society ready to stand up and speak out in the face of such an unspeakable, pervasive evil?

Quite so. It should also raise the question what in the name of not rocking the boat are we secular gentiles tolerating right now for the sake of a quiet life?

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  • Cynic2

    Dont forget that the Vatican never co-operated with the criminal investigations. Its modus oeprandi at all stages was to cover up and protect ‘its men’ moving them out of harms way – purely to protect the Mother Church of course. Did the Papal Nuncio ever deliver all those papers requested by An Garda Siochana?

    So why would the Irish state want any relationship with a pariah state that behaves in that way? That acts as a cover and refuge for child abusers?

    And just why does the Vatican act in that way?

  • HeinzGuderian

    It is utterly amazing,in this day and age,that educated people still believe in this religious nonsense !
    Surely the biggest scourge of Mankind.
    In the name of the Mighty Zeus Himself,I beseech you,turn away from invisible sky daddies,and believe in yourselves !!!

  • wee buns

    The flippant answer is that the clergy is full of spineless gits more interested in their own positions than telling the truth.

    However of immense interest would be to learn what happened to those individuals (because surely they exist) who actually TRIED to report wrongdoing by way of approaching a superior. Would these individuals have been persecuted for speaking up; told for example, that it is they themselves who are the problem?

    Reporting of wrongdoing within the workplace is very low in general – and even less likely to happen if the perpetrator is a lot more senior, and if there is more than one of them. A weak culture of speaking out points to a strong culture of reprisal for doing so.

  • carl marks

    i am speechless, in 99% agreement with HeinzGuderian, Apart from the Zeus nonsense of course everybod knows that Odin is the man.
    Cynic2 asks
    “And just why does the Vatican act in that way?”
    Because for a very long time “righteous gentiles” are in short supply and are only “righteous gentiles” when they speak out about the things we think others are doing wrong, when they comment the wrongs that that we approve or would prefer to turn a blind eye to we call them ,do gooders,busybodys, or even traitors.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Carl,you are free to believe in Odin.
    The lack of evidence though,as to His existence,leaves me skeptical.
    The Mighty Zeus,(who made mankind out of clay,and who sent a great flood to rid the Earth of them,because He was was not pleased),has his great works well documented,so therefore I would beg you to reconsider,and worship the One true God !!

  • Ní Dhuibhir

    Surely the word ‘unspeakable’ gives us a clue! Talking about child sex abuse is only possible in a society which talks about sex. We’re still only getting there, and slowly.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Ní Dhuibhir

    Quite so. Responsibility for the ignorance, guilt, shame and actually quite fundamentally dirty-mindedness which still attaches itself to human sexuality in this society can and should be laid at the door of the catholic church. In terms of what the catholic church says it believes in – and insists that its followers and others must accept whether they believe in it or not – with regard to human sexuality, fundamentally its core beliefs haven’t moved at all. That’s disgusting twice over. How people of average morality can continue to even give these people the time of day, still less continue to allow them an important mainstream role in the public life of the state – is simply quite beyond me.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good point ni Dhuibhir. Also people need to get out of thinking this a nicely convenient stick with which to beat the church ( or organised religion) with. The term ‘righteous Gentiles’ was nicely chosen by Professor Keogh.

    It harks back to those few people celebrated for their courageous actions in response to the holocaust. It requires people to put morality before social compliance (a foible we Irish are particularly subject to).

  • Alias

    “It should also raise the question what in the name of not rocking the boat are we secular gentiles tolerating right now for the sake of a quiet life?”

    Gangsters in government?

    Denial of justice for the victims?

    A security service that is not accountable for its actions?

    In Ireland, how about the surrender of democracy and all of its rights to a foreign power, or that foreign power using its illegitimate sovereignty to force taxpayers to underwrite hundreds of billions of reckless losses belonging to eurosystem bondholders and the thousands who will die on hospital trollies as a result of the transfer of taxpayers money from funding state services to funding Ferraris and villas for the mistresses of wealthy bondholders…

  • Surely “righteous gentiles” in this context means Irish people who are not believers in Catholicism.
    But surely “righteous people” have stood up….albeit much too late. And Im not sure that all the “righteous” who did so are “gentiles”.
    But I dont understand the phrase.
    “It should also raise the question what in the name of not rocking the boat are we secular gentiles tolerating right now for the sake of a quiet life?”.

    Speaking as a person who would be considered “righteous” (gentile or otherwise), I can only answer for myself and say that I would not “tolerate” any level of child abuse.
    And Im sure thats true of all righteous folk…..of any faith or none.

    Therefore I can only conclude that there is “nothing” right now that is vexating me.
    We cannot “tolerate” something we dont know.

  • Alias

    Mick’s phrase is somewhat the tautological ‘secular gentile’ – not righteous gentile – even if it doesn’t follow that someone who is non-Jewish must be secular. I’m assuming it just means an outsider.

  • Mark

    ” Also people need to get out of thinking this is a nicely convenient stick with which to beat the church ”

    Child abuse is a convenient stick with which to beat the church ???.

    Did it or did it not happen ? Who did the abusing ? Was there not a conspiracy on the part of the church to cover up the allegations ? Was this or was this not still going on 3/4 years ago ? A convenient stick ?

    Are people just suppose to conveniently forget what happened ?

    You overreached there Mick …….

    A convenient baseball bat is what’s needed to beat the church !!

  • sherdy

    Maybe we suffered from the same delusions as the former English high court judge who said: ‘To accept the possibility would open up a vista too terrible to contemplate’.
    From now on in these matters clergy should be treated as ‘hostile witnesses’.

  • Clanky

    FJH “Surely “righteous gentiles” in this context means Irish people who are not believers in Catholicism”

    In the context of the German’s who stood up and where counted against the holocaust, then the righteous gentiles there were those who were associated with the perpetrators, but refused to become involved in what was being perpetrated, relating that to what has happened in Ireland, the righteous gentiles would have been those within the Catholic church who were aware of what was happening.

    The thing with that argument is that although people may have been aware of individual cases of abuse, did anyone other than the hierarchy of the church know of the widespread scale of what was happening?

    I would guess that it was this lack of knowledge of how widespread the problem was that allowed it to be covered up, I could imagine a fairly convincing argument being put forward to someone that what they had discovered about their parish priest was a one off case and that it should not be allowed to tarnish the church as a shole where this sort of thing just doesn’t happen normally.

  • Alias

    Not just Germans. There’s about 23,000 from over 40 countries. None from Ireland, but de Valera did have a forest near Nazareth named in his honour by Israel. He, of course, never acknowledged the honour just as he never signed any book of condolence on the death of an Israeli head of state in contrast to…

  • HeinzGuderian

    ” Also people need to get out of thinking this is a nicely convenient stick with which to beat the church ” and that other well used phrase,” it wasn’t just the catholic church”.

    religion,organised or not,should be challenged at every possible opportunity !!

    Fitsy says he wouldn’t tolerate any form of child abuse.
    I say teaching a little child about the horrors of Hell. Eternal damnation,and never ending torment,IS child abuse !!!

    I will keep on beating religion with anything that comes to hand. Sticks,stones or the last piece of the cross of baby jebus himself !!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Clanky, exactly so!

    HG, you are distracting people from the key point of the article, which argues that the kind of sweeping attack indulged in by the Taoiseach and your good self is missing the point by externalising the blame onto someone else.

  • Turgon

    I am always reticent about entering debates about the Catholic Church. However, Mick’s comment about “externalising the blame onto someone else” jars somewhat.

    I can see a certain possible truth if lots of people knew about child abuse and did nothing about it. Not being a Catholic, I cannot make any useful comment on whether or not lots of people knew.

    However, in terms of blame actually it should be pinned on the guilty parties: if that is extrenalising then it is appropriate externalising.

    If the Catholic hierarchy took part in an organised and systematic coverup of paedophilia amongst priests and the like then those responsible for those cover ups are indeed to blame and people should not be deflected from pinning the personal responsibility where it belongs. I very much doubt that many lay Catholics (or most priests) had any idea just how much of this evil was going on. As such they are wholly blameless.

    The most culpable of all of course are the perverts themselves: they are wholly responsible for their own wicked actions: no one forced them to do this; guilt should be placed squarely on them.

    It is back to that concept of personal responsibility: a concept common to both Protestantism and Catholicism (and almost all religions and value systems) that all too many in both NI and the RoI seem keen to shirk about all manner of wickedness. Many seem keen instead to adopt an attitude of “we were all a bit to blame”. Over child abuse as well as over other crimes that is a perverse lie. It is perverse because it involves the completely innocent and unrelated in supposed culpability. Worse it can begin to imply that the parents and guardians of the abused should have done more: almost always a lie; we know this from the devious ability paedophiles have to make their victims think no one, not even their parents will believe them. Even worse the universal culpability lie can begin to claim that the abused were in part themselves to blame.

    Blame should be pinned squarely where it belongs on the perverts and on their facilitators, excusers and those involved in the cover ups.

  • I’m not sure why Keogh brought Jews into the conversation when he could have drawn on this home-grown variant of Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good folks do nothing”. Long live the whistle-blower.

  • Cynic2

    “ANY PROPOSAL that undermines the inviolability of the seal of confession is a challenge to the right of every Catholic to freedom of religion and conscience” says Cardinal Brady.

    What nonsense. Its a challenge to the ‘get out of jail free’ mentality of the Corrupt and Corrupting elements in the Church that have abused young children for decades. Those that can ‘confess’ in private so the Church has the chance to protect its own interests by getting them offside then wringing its pious hands because the deal of the confessional prevents cooperation much as it would wish to.

    What about the seal of conscience? The lives and happiness of young victims of abusive clergy? The lives that will be further destroyed in the future because the Church still takes onto itself the right to protect its own?

    Almost every Catholic and Protestant clergyman or woman I have met is a thoroughly honest decent person with a deep faith and mission to those they serve. They are appalled at what has gone on.

    A few clergy however are not cut from this cloth. That it has come to the point that the Government NEEDS to do this is not the fault of the State. It is the responsibility and consequence of the failures of those Church leaders who covered up over so many years and who continue to try to protect perverts at the expense of children.

  • Alias

    Turgon, that is exactly the line that is being worked on by the Vatican in rebuttal, i.e. that the Irish state is shifting its own failure to protect its citizens onto the Vatican. The Irish state has an appalling record in regard to child protection and welfare so the Vatican will not be short of material. Given that was one large rock hurled in a glasshouse by Kenny, he may yet come to regret it when the glass crashes around his feet.

  • Cynic2


    Bart Simpson calls that ‘the big boys made me do it’ defence

    But FG have been out of power for so long its hard to even make that stick. All Kenny has to do is pass the buck to FF and say that hes sorting out the stinking mess

  • Crubeen


    The Catholic Church was one of the prime influences behind deValera’s Constitution of 1937 – part, at least, being drafted by JC McQuaid, later Archbishop of Dublin. And if you recall the very modest “Mother and Child” scheme you will recall that it was blocked as non-constitutional by the Catholic Church, being an interference with rights guaranteed to the family. In other words the Republic put its trust in the Church to properly care for the welfare of citizens and was badly let down.

    We, OTOH, put our trust in agents of the State and we are being let down by them. To be brutally frank, almost the entire child protection industry is a con game or hustle perpetrated on a caring but gullible public. It has contributed little or nothing to the well-being of children at enormous cost to the taxpayer. That’s why Family Courts are sealed to public view … lest the public get a sight of the cock-ups and the very real damage the current system does to families and children,

    And BTW the very system that the Catholic Church operated to protect itself from disgrace by moving offenders around the place is alive and well in the state system that we fund so generously. That was the real crime perpetrated by the Church – it could not control the impulses of some of its clergy but it could have, yet failed, to take them out of circulation. That is what still happens – the State institutions protect staff from any form of “harassment” that might reflect badly on the State institutions. If a child or vulnerable adult is abused by or within the State system of care you can bet your last quid that every step possible will be taken to protect the abuser from discovery.

  • Crubeen


    Darned good post!!!
    One of the best that I have seen hereabouts!!

    And when you say that “we know this from the devious ability paedophiles have to make their victims think no one, not even their parents will believe them,” you might add that the agents of the State, charged with the protection of children, are prone to disbelief when it threatens to disturb their professional prejudices. I have personal knowledge of a case where a child was being abused; some three adult witnesses came forward, were prepared to and did swear affidavits to that effect and Social Services, as agents of the State and protectors of children, did nothing … indeed they as good as opposed a private law application to have the child removed from the place of abuse. Were it not for the CARE unit of the RUC (as it then was) the child could not have been removed to a place where it was safe from abuse.

  • Crubeen


    Whistle blowers are not believed or they are ignored, shunned, intimidated, bullied, suspended and sacked … if they haven’t the good grace to withdraw their comments … or resign.

  • Harry Flashman

    “That is exactly the line that is being worked on by the Vatican in rebuttal, i.e. that the Irish state is shifting its own failure to protect its citizens onto the Vatican.”

    And the Vatican is to a certain extent justified in taking this stance. I do not for a moment excuse what was done or condone the lack of action taken by Church authorities to stop what was happening but this hysterical Catholic bashing is ignoring the huge and fundamental issue that lies at the core of the problem.

    The abuse happened in state run institutions, paid for and often established by the state, inspected and approved by the state, the abusers mostly, though by no means exclusively, members of Catholic orders were in fact state employees when they carried out their abuse and their victims were sent to them by agents of the state.

    For the Irish state to now throw up its collective hands in moral outrage, shrieking “we never knew!” is loathsomely hypocritical and morally repugnant and has all the genuineness of Captain Renault when he claimed to be “shocked, shocked, I tell you” to discover there was gambling going on in Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.

    And as for the stomach churning hypocrisy of ordinary Irish people who are suddenly rushing herdlike to stick their boot into the Catholic Church as if it were some form of alien invader which had descended and seized power in Ireland against the wishes of the Irish people, the less said the better.

    Is this the Irish people who were once proud to describe themselves as the most Catholic people in Europe? Are they the same people who I remember in my youth double and triple parking their cars outside the chapels on a Sunday morning to get to Masses, every one of which was packed to the rafters? Are they the Irish people for whom the highlights of the year were First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies where hundreds of pounds were spent celebrating these Catholic festivals?

    Apparently not, it seems I imagined all that and in fact the Irish people were a sullen resentful nation, hating their despised Catholic overlords and yearning to be free from Catholic rule. Apparently they had no idea also what the Christian Brothers were up to and what went on in the convent laundries, which is odd because I remember the brutality and shame of these institutions being freely discussed when I was a nipper.

    Oh ye hypocrites and whited sepulchers! Sure, it was all the fault of the Catholic Church, nothing to do with you good people, keep repeating that and you might convince yourselves.

  • Alias

    Cynic2, that depends on the level of political opportunism involved. As head of government he is required to promote the interests of the State, so it should be above party politics with any fallout deflected from the State and not a particular party. My own suspicion concerns the timing of his rant: timed to coincide with the de facto surrender of sovereignty over the Irish tax system by a Fine Gael finance minister to the EU in contravention of assurances his party gave at the time of the Lisbon referendum that such sovereignty would never be surrendered. The weasel words were a binding undertaking by the State to “engage constructively” with the common consolidated corporate tax regime, i.e. to “engage constructively” in a regime designed to terminate tax sovereignty.

    Crubeen, not much to diagree with there except the extent of the influence that the Catholic Church had on the Constitution. Coincidently, Prof. Keogh has comprehensively debunked that myth, and also shown that de Valera was just one of many contributers to it, so it isn’t properly “de Valera’s constitution”. Probably the most important Article in it, the first article, is a rewording of the relevant declaration of self-determination from the 1916 Proclamation. That became the standard and was used as the first article (always pride of place) in two of the most post-war documents that form the bedrock of sovereign states (the UN’s ICCPR and ICESCR). Given that the Vatican never supported the right of the Irish nation to self-determination, you can be sure that didn’t have its imprimatur.

    Harry, I’m not defending the Vatican – merely alluding to what its response will be. I think the Irish are well enough familiar with the various reports to know that their State is deeply implicated in child abuse so this rush to blame the Vatican for all that transpired is going to badly backfire on them.

  • Alias

    One other point about the ‘Blame the Vatican’ defence. Some Papal Nuncio – I forget which one – said that Ireland’s problem was that it had 26 popes and not 26 bishops. He meant that they all decided policy and that they all competed with each other to decide policy – in other words, they had too much automony from the Vatican.

  • Is there any evidence that this scarcity of “righteous gentiles” has anything to do with the fact that these Gentiles were Catholics?

    The point made by Ní Dhuibhir at 29 August 2011 at 3:25 pm certainly resonates with my own experience but is prejudice towards sex limited to Catholics? I dont think so.

    We know that in the wider society, most child abuse goes undetected. We also know that there was much ignorance on this subject in wider society until the late 1980s. We also know that when somebody is held in high esteem by another person, that other person, when faced with a complaint about that somebody, instinctively believes that the complaint is malicious or a lie. In other words, people have a tendency not to believe the unthinkable.

    It is also worth mentioning that for many years, the orthodox view amongst professionals (the legal profession in particular) was to presume that children tended to lie (hence the old rule that a child’s evidence could not be used without corroboration). That prejudice was very much a reflection of how society saw a child’s complaint and it was not helped by a theories conceived by Freud in the early 20th century.

  • Mark

    Harry Flashman ,

    With reference to your post , I personally know two victims of child abuse and in one case I’m one of only three people who know . I was going to post this last night but both Turgon and Cynic2 touched on the whole grooming aspect of child abuse and I thought I’d leave it ….until I read what you wrote Harry . I found it a little insulting ( no synthetic anger hear ) to say the least .

    Harry , you mention hysterical catholic bashing while ignoring the huge and fundamental issue that lies at the core of the problem . It’s not catholic bashing Harry , it’s the Cathoilc Church bashing , lets be clear about that . The fundamental issue here that lies at the core is the abuse by priests and the covering up of the abuse by the Catholic Church .

    To imply that it’s somehow in some way the fault of the ordinary Irish people because they had to have known what was going on in the convent laundries just because you and your nipper mates knew . You’re actuallly saying that parents must of known about the abuse but just couldn’t of cared less .

    I mentioned I know two victims of child abuse and in one case I’m one of only three people that know .The person in question has made me promise i wouldn’t tell their parents as it would kill them to know as the abuse itself happened thirty years ago . The second person’s parents don’t know either . One abuser is dead and the another’s identity I don’t know . I’ve known both families for most of my life and both sets of parents are attentive loving people etc etc who have played a huge part of each persons’ life both as a child and an adult . In both cases the victims have buried the memories because their abuser scared them to death with stories of would happen to their families , to them . People rarely get to hear the details of the grooming and manipulation . The gory details are to coin a phrase from you Harry , stomach churning .

    You ask about the pride of the catholic people in it’s church and regail us with tales about triple parking and pact churches in your youth .You wonder where that pride has gone and why ?.

    I’ll give you three guesses Harry !

    PS – Didn’t you post a while back that your mother in law was married off to the Village Elder at fourteen and the family were delighted with the outcome . Maybe something to think about before you start accusing Irish parents of ignoring child abuse !!

  • Nunoftheabove

    Lot of valid points here chaps and chapesses although I’m not wearing the sticking-the-boot-into-the-poor-church for a second bit – just not going there.

    We should, though without taking our eye off the ball of the poison still lingering in the drinking water, consider what possible or potential good comes out of all of this – the whole church bit, the corruption bit, the bankruptcy bit. A first splash for me might nclude:

    # 1: A mortal blow to deference within society generally, let’s hope. A positive

    #2 : An end to the certainties of the old order, unhealthy as they were – greater empowerment of the citizen and perhaps greater self-reliance too – overdue. Misplaced confidence in the state and its clerical ‘business partner’ is gone – not unhelpful. Positive.

    # 3: A substantial kidney-punch to prevalence of the sinister foolishness of religious belief generally – let’s hope so. At worst, a polarization on the role of religion and of religious belief in society generally between people of sense and secularity and the deluded – very much to be encouraged. Positive

    #4: A challenge to conservatism and to reaction – people now realising that there was much that systematically sucked in the previous state of affairs and therefore less sentimentality for the old days and old ways of doing things and of seeing things. Positive.

    #5: A more adult sense of self and national identity – again, long overdue. Retain the things of genuine value and dump the garbage. Positive.

    #6: A reconsideration of the state’s place in the world too – replacing self-pity (as well as its later flip-side, complacency, grandiose self-congratulation and a misplaced sense of self-belief) with reality, resilience and real-politic on the wider stage. Positive.

    It’s growing up time folks and we should be glad, at least, that for that. Adolescence is a bumpy ride but adulthood is worth the anxiety and uncertainty in the end. The anger and the mourning need to subside soon. Fear out and fight in – bring it on.

  • HeinzGuderian

    I lay the blame,fairly and squarely where it belongs Mick.
    As Mark has so poignantly stated above,who else is to blame,if not these perpetrators of child rape ?
    A lot of wee nippers going back to school today. If one of their teachers happens to be a child abuser,it is that monsters fault,not the child’s,or the parents who sent them to school.

    How could a ‘lay person’ even contemplate the evil that went on ?

    I would say this though,and you can call it beating with a stick or kicking with a hobnail boot………….any parent who leaves their child unsupervised with ANY religious person,in the light of this tragedy,needs to take a long,hard look at themselves !!

  • Harry Flashman

    “The fundamental issue here that lies at the core is the abuse by priests and the covering up of the abuse by the Catholic Church .”

    Those priests (and plenty of abusers had no connection with the Church) were employees of the Irish state and their wrongdoings were covered up by the Irish state.

    “You’re actuallly saying that parents must of[sic] known about the abuse but just couldn’t of cared less.”

    What went on in these institutions was known by all and sundry and yes, the Irish public couldn’t have cared less. They brushed their social problems under the carpet of those laundries and workhouses and didn’t want to know anything about them after that.

    You are exceedingly naive if you believe the Irish public gave a tu’ppenny damn about what happened to the “orphans” and illegitimate children and “fallen women” who were openly sent by Irish state officials, be they judges, teachers, doctors or policemen into those institutions.

    “Didn’t you post a while back that your mother in law was married off to the Village Elder at fourteen and the family were delighted with the outcome .”

    The lady in question is coming to my house tomorrow for the Eid celebration, I’ll ask her whether she believes she was “abused” by her beloved late husband but I think I already know what her answer will be.

  • Harry Flashman

    Mark I was going to answer your post until I got to your vile offensive allegation in the last paragraph. Disgusting mate, I thought better of you.

  • Mark

    Harry ,

    You’ve a short memory . You’re one to talk about vile and offensive allegations . You made a sweeping generalization about Irish people regarding child abuse which was disgusting .

    The sarcastic remark you refer to was made half tongue in cheek and half …. I really don’t know what to make of you .

    You can take that whatever way you want to Harrry but spare me the crocodile tears ..

  • Harry Flashman

    I stand by my assertion that it was well known in Irish society and among state officials that the industrial schools and laundries where destitute and unfortunate children and women were sent were horrible, grim places where the inmates were treated cruelly.

    Furthermore from personal experience most people in a community knew who the “dodgy” teachers and Christian Brothers were, there were a couple at my school, we regularly joked about them and our parents were well aware of them but chose to say or do nothing.

    These horrible things were known about and the authorities and ordinary people of Ireland acquiesced in them.

    To pretend now that all this has come as a sudden shock and that none of us knew what was going on is hypocritical in the extreme. If that is a vile thing to say, then so be it.

  • abucs

    As a Catholic i am proud that the Church has been and continues to be the greatest provider of education globally.

    I am also proud that the level of abuse in those institutions are comparatively lower than other educational institutions.

    I am saddened however that our Church was influenced in the 1950’s, 60’s and onwards by liberals who sought to see sin as an outdated concept and personal gratification and sexual liberation was prized as the new modern, progressive way.

    Unfortunately such a concept may seem liberating at a personal level (at least for a while) but it is not a concept that works well when your mission is to educate and provide role models for the young.

    The abuse of children is something that should be eradicated.

    There is way too much abuse going on all over the world today. In the U.S. school system about 10% of all young students can expect to be the recipient of sexual harassment. This sort of culture is abnormal and evil.

    By the time a US student finishes school between 400,000 and 500,000 of the students in the system they attended with will be sexually abused. That is a substantial section of young adults entering the workforce. So much for the hippy ‘free love’ and ‘fight the power’ and ‘if it feels good do it’ mentality of the sexual revolution! Such thinking has ruined young lives and continues to even today.

  • Clanky

    Nunoftheabove, couldn’t agree more. As horrendous as the whole debacle was, and still is for those who were involved, I don’t think there is another single event, which history will view as bringing Ireland kicking and screaming into becoming a modern democracy for all of the reasons which you have mentioned above.

    The Irish people’s view of both church and politicians seems to have changed from seeing them as leaders to seeing them as public servants, and so it should be.

  • Nunoftheabove


    Indeed; people of a certain age will not infrequently refer to their own childhoods and early adulthoods as ‘more innocent times’, not altogether without some regret often that the current times are, well, less innocent. I for one mourn the loss of that ‘innocence’ for not a second – Ireland will ultimately be a better,s afer, more grown up place to live in when such innocence and the religious stupidity which manured the ground for it, as well as taking full advantage of it, are down if not permanently out.