Sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions and a chronic problem in some residential institutions ran by the Catholic Church in Ireland, a report has said. Here is some of the reaction to the publication of the report.
“The little comfort we have is the knowledge that it vindicated the victims who were raped and sexually abused.
“I’m very angry, very bitter, and feel cheated and deceived.
“I would have never opened my wounds if I’d known this was going to be the end result.
“It has devastated me and will devastate most victims because there is no criminal proceedings and no accountability whatsoever.”
“This report makes it clear that great wrong and hurt were caused to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. It documents a shameful catalogue of cruelty: neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, perpetrated against children.
“I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions. Children deserved better and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ.
“I hope the publication of today’s report will help to heal the hurts of victims and to address the wrongs of the past.
“The Catholic Church remains determined to do all that is necessary to make the Church a safe, life-giving and joyful place for children.”
“It’s very distressing and very disturbing and my heart goes out today first of all to those people who will find that their stories are now told in public…
“Secondly, I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in Dublin who have to face these facts from their past which instinctively and quite naturally they’d rather not look at.
“That takes courage, and also we shouldn’t forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did.
“This document, this inquiry vindicates what victims have said. It mentions where children were raped and brutally abused.
“And victims will feel vindicated by that, that will give them some comfort.
“However, this report’s conclusions go very, very, very short of the expectations of the victims. What they wanted was that the courts who sent them, detained them unlawfully in the institutions that were investigated, these courts that violated their constitutional rights weren’t even inquired into.
“And because of that this inquiry is deeply flawed, it’s incomplete and many might call it a whitewash.”
“The Dail will have to debate the role of the Department of Education both then in respect of its responsibilities and more recently in respect of the agreement which was made with the congregations on the redress and the cost of that to the taxpayer.”
“I am appalled at the extent and, I would call it, the longevity of the abuse that has gone on in these institutions – not just sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse and other abuse.
“And really I am appalled particularly at the role of the state and the government that seem to have colluded in actually encouraging children to be brought into these institutions to keep up the numbers.”
“While the government can put in place procedures and measures for the protection of our children, we all in society must be alert to the dangers that exist and be vigilant to what is going on in our communities and have the courage to intervene when the welfare of a child is put at risk.”