Truth beheads. For years this country believed that the religious lived blameless lives, that nuns/brothers/priests sacrificed membership of ordinary society to care for children in “Industrial Schools & Reformatories”. But we know now that this belief was wrong. The religious were well-paid for this “sacrifice”.
In these Child Detention Centres the religious received one-third of the average industrial wage for EACH child in their “care”. The religious in this country grew more powerful and influential while the task they were well paid for: The Care of You and I was forgotten about. These institutions were well-named as they were industries that had a stranglehold on a major part of the economy of this country. While the children in them worked long hours under brutalising conditions the religious sat in splendid favour at the tables of the political and social elite, indeed it can be said that these religious orders created and nurtured this elite.
They controlled the schools, the hospitals, the civil service, the press & media and it must be said, the minds of people through the churches and the confessional boxes. Society was stagnating under this choking hold that the religious orders had on society, mass emigration was the order of the day. For some people in society the choices were stark:> a convent or the boat to England. For a woman to be single AND pregnant was an unforgivable crime and the woman could end up incarcerated for life in a Magdalene Laundry and her child either sold on to America or “placed” into one of the many Child Detention Centres. To be poor was another crime. Despite Ireland signing many documents in the United Nations, and before that the League of Nations, affirming the rights of the individual and the imprescriptible rights of the child, and despite the blood sacrifice made by the fighters at the GPO during the Easter Rising to CHERISH ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE NATION EQUALLY, Ireland incarcerated more innocents, more helpless and more children, in their detentions centres than 800 years of “British Imperialism”.
Ireland embarked on a mission after Independence to take from public view the failures of their “brave” new Catholic Ireland. Whatever changes have come in this society since Independence have not come from the goodness of the Roman Catholic church, NO, the changes, the improvements have come through the sacrifice and the suffering of people like us. We no longer fear this Monolith. It has SHOT ITS LOAD. It SHALL NOT rise again.