If you have sensitivities regarding the Catholic Church child abuse scandals look away now. Also contains graphic descriptions at the first paragraph.
Today I randomly stumbled onto an old documentary on RTE One about child abuse and the story of a woman named Christine Buckley who was born of a married Irish woman and a Nigerian medical student. At three weeks old she was left at Goldenbridge orphanage and lived there for her entire childhood. She witnessed some horrible atrocities in her childhood including babies’ rectums falling out, cruel punishments for wetting the bed and being repeatedly beaten by a nun until her leg was cut open as punishment for attempting report on the abuse.
After she was old enough to leave Goldenbridge and became a qualified nurse, she spent years on finding her parents. She was reunited with her mother and father in 1985 and 1988 respectively. In 1992, she came public with her story in 1992 and the documentary “Dear Daughter” was broadcast on RTE in 1996. In 1999, she set up the Aislinn Centre in Dublin to help survivors of institutional abuse. Christine died on March 11th 2014, aged 67. “Dear Daughter” was rebroadcast on April 7th in her memory.
As I was watching this, several thoughts came into mind. Firstly, why did it take so long for these abuses to be public knowledge? Why did it take so long to have any form of justice for the survivors? And most importantly, why did these priests and nuns hurt, verbally abuse, rape and kill these children in the first place? The last question has been bugging me for years. Any time I ever look up the question online, it never gives any sort of answer. Why are there no answers? Wouldn’t it be fair if the truth was available in a comprehensive manner and not in the overly complicated and bureaucratic Ryan and Murphy reports where only very few know where it is, let alone see it for themselves. What I’ve always noticed about these abuse cases is that the general public may know it happened but we are not informed why it happened. Can it ever be explained? Will it be explained? Only time will tell.