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The Christian Brothers have been accused of censoring debate about a damning report on child abuse due to be published later today. The report’s five-volume catalogue running to 2,500 pages and cosing an estimated €70m, will document the scale of emotional, physical and sexual trauma suffered by innocent children by Catholic nuns and religious priests.

Link to Abuse Commission Report      http://www.childabusecommission.ie/ 

You may have to pay for a copy.

The abuse, spanning from the mid-1930s to the mid-90s, took place in industrial schools and reformatories run by the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy. The Christian Brothers were accused of trying to stifle comment after the chief exectuive of the Edmund Rice Trust, Gerry Bennett, sent an email to principals and secretaries of boards of management.

The entire handling of the investigation by the Catholic authorities lends new meaning to the term “Catholic Ethos of Education” for the 21st century.

Journalist Mary Raftery, who was behind the series, said the extent and depravity of the abuse was “profoundly shocking”.

“It is off the scale in terms of anything we have any knowledge of or any ability to deal with, particularly, as it was perpetrated, in the main, by members of religious orders,” she said.

 

 

Ms Raftery said the children ended up in “houses of horror” and were essentially locked up until they were 16.”They emerged deeply disturbed and damaged and so many of them immediately emigrated,” she said.”They felt their country had abandoned them as well as everything else, as well as their religion, that just stripped them bare of any kind of suppor “It is an absolutely shameful episode in our history.”

The allegations include sexual abuse and repeated beating of boys and girls with a leather strap. Some punishments were said to be handed out for talking at mealtimes or writing left handed.

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