A ‘Moment For Us A Society’

at | 22 Replies

This afternoon.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Martin said the report from the Commission of Investigation into the homes has afforded the country a “moment for us as a society to recognise a profound failure of empathy, understanding and basic humanity over a lengthy period”.

“On behalf of the Government, the State and its citizens, I apologise for the profound generational wrong visited upon Irish mothers and their children who ended up in a Mother and Baby Home or a County Home.

“As the commission says plainly – ‘they should not have been there’.”

Micheál Martin apologised for the shame and stigma which the women and children were subjected to and which, for some, he said “remains a burden to this day”.

“In apologising, I want to emphasise that each of you were in an institution because of the wrongs of others. Each of you is blameless, each of you did nothing wrong and has nothing to be ashamed of.”

‘The State failed you’, says Taoiseach to those in mother-and-baby homes (RTÉ)

Earlier: ‘It Surprised Everyone…Not Least The Sisters of Bon Secours in Ireland’

22 thoughts on “A ‘Moment For Us A Society’

  1. Eamonn Magrath

    It was the Church who bred an ethos of ‘shame’ into families to the point where they hid away pregnant unmarried family members, often into these ‘Catholic’ homes.
    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

    Reply
    1. Morning George

      Glaringly,he doesn’t state who the ‘others’ are, as the others can’t held accountable,as the others are Church & State.

      Reply
  2. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    what an absolute scumbag, does he think this is going to wash, insults to injury, shame on him, an absolute pox on him

    Reply
  3. Dr.Fart

    if we put aside the church for the moment, and look at the people who did this, and tuam, and god knows where else. religion was just what they used to protect themselves, do what they want unquestioned. they were untouchable. but the people who chose to commit these atrocities. deeply evil people. so how did we have so so many deeply evil people in Ireland? does this say something about our nature? are we in general, a more horrible breed of people than other nations? considering our very small size population, we’ve really produced a LOT of evil people from it.

    Reply
    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      they believed their own bull, many of the teachings of christianity are evil and misogynistic

      Reply
    2. Fergalito

      I don’t think we’re any more or less horrible than any other society.

      It is, I think, the political and social culture which is the context within which particular behaviours manifest themselves. Pre Civil War, my understanding is that Irish society was quite liberal in urban areas without the hang-ups around sex and sexuality that took root when the Catholic Church were allowed to hitch their wagon to the constitution and pulled close towards them those who wielded power in the name of the Free State and the Republic. Our leaders were more than happy to outsource health and education to the Church who used these avenues to get their tentacles into the psyches of the average Irish person and in, what was then, an inert and inward looking society where the practicalities of day-to-day living were an immediate challenge, I’m guessing people didn’t have the inclination nor stomach to oppose it. How could they when the arsenal of State power would quickly shame and condemn anyone who lived outside the ideals of Holy Ireland?

      Personally, I blame our failed revolution, our failed Free State and our failed Republic for capitulating to the Catholic church and denying the citizens of this country down through the decades the prospect of a nobler set of ideals upon which to build a Republic.

      I’m often curious at Italy’s story – a staunchly Catholic country in name with (it would appear) none of the hang-ups nor damage inflicted to the same degree as it was here.

      Ultimately i think the darker, more pained strains of human nature were on display. You could ask are all Germans, East Germans, Serbs, British, Spanish etc. inherently horrible for the crimes committed and damage citizens inflicted on each other. A great topic of discussion for the pub if there was a pub open to discuss the topic .

      Reply
      1. RuilleBuille

        The first such home was founded in the 1760s by the Church of Ireland. The Catholic church got their hands on our throats after the Famine when the Brits built Maynooth for them.

        They were our very own Taliban.

        Reply
      2. Otis Blue

        “What do you do with your revolution once you’ve got it?” so is the premise of the 1968 documentary, The Rocky Road to Dublin. Rarely seen due to it’s challenge to the political, clerical and cultural stasis of the times, it provides a telling and profoundly telling reminder into how things were in Ireland.

        Bonus points for the quite incredible interview with clerical conman Fr. Michael Cleary.

        Watch it in full here:

        https://youtu.be/hWY8hkF3yWk

        Reply
      3. Dr.Fart

        well the marriage of state and church was beneficial to state, because everyone’s catholic, pitch your party as catholics who look after catholics, and with the aid of a priests mouth in each parish will see you guaranteed swathes of votes. Religion is used to control people. The state were happy to join this. However, the sheer amount of abusers within the church, who whatever they do or do not believe in religion wise, were evil people hiding behind a collar. In ratio to the size of the population, seems unusually many, and unusually evil. I get your point about other countries and their histories, but for example, nazi Germany, was a pocket of time. People subscribed largely to the party and many kept the head down out of fear. But with the church in Ireland, it spanned generations.

        Reply
        1. Fergalito

          The church wielded its power across those generations, parents indoctrinated children with the same fear of God that they had been indoctrinated with. As long as the majority of the population were poor and uneducated then the church could do as they pleased and if you’re savage, brutal evil actions were ignored then they might as well be legal, permitted. The God my lovely Mam was preached to about was not the shiny happy people stuff of cathechism classes and rainbow Jesus – you were born a sinner, you would always be a sinner and what awaited your morally bankrupt soul was an eternity burning in the fires of hell or if you were lucky the purging of your tormented soul in purgatory. This is the tripe little kids were exposed to and how they were told to feel about themselves. Shame on the State for permitting this backward, old testament horror show. Think of the potential wasted to this cult of hog wash and the testimony to misery and sadness that we have been fortunate to have bourne witness to – thankfully the victims can tell their stories. I hope it helps in some way.

          If our politicall overlords were truly sorry, if they sincerely wished to appease the crimes of the past by taking action now they would ensure that the church – any church – is decoupled entirely from the machinations of the State.

          Reply
          1. Dr.Fart

            Wholly agree. The people confined by a life of fear, who never got to live their full potential, and the people who died at their hands and never even got to live any kind of life. I’d say “doesn’t bare thinking about”, but we should. We should think about it. The state hasn’t made an awful lot of change, state and church still not completely separated, we still have laws of the land based on catholic beliefs. In general the conservative nature of the state will always keep the close somewhat close, and certainly closer than should be allowed. Also, this conservative nature is detrimental to the arts. And god knows how may Yeats, Shaws and Behans who would’ve been, will never come to light due to this conservative government.

            Together, church and state have robbed us of many shining lights we will never know of.

  4. ( ̄_, ̄ ) AKA Frilly Keane

    It was the State, and the State Apparatus that did this
    They engaged the Catholic Church and let them into our Government
    At all levels

    The State did this

    fú:: off with your we and your ara’ shur t’was the society of the time

    Schools Hospitals, the Courts and the Guards
    County Councils, Health Boards
    The Lot, are all State functions
    including the Department of Finance et al who fú::ing paid them, enhanced them with tax reliefs and blind eye supervision, regulation and now with shag all enforcement

    That entire commission btw
    Was State Funded enablement all over again

    I’m not having a bit of it
    and neither should anyone else

    Reply

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