Drug Abuse

Authorities caught between contesting passions over retention of abuse information – The Irish Occasions


From rural Ireland, Tomás spent most of his tumultuous life abroad. The remaining episodes included temporary employment, a failed marriage, the effective abandonment of their children – now adults themselves -, years of serious substance abuse, confused sexuality and promiscuity, and severe seizures of life-threatening illnesses.

A conversation with his ex-wife revealed evidence of an underlying trauma one night. Then he began talking about his story of brutal sexual abuse by a local priest and less severe sexual abuse by another priest who was also a teacher at his secondary school.

Peers were also victims of the first priest. One later died by suicide. Others lived as turbulently as he did. But in one thing Tomás was very clear: he did not want his story to be told. He also did not want it reported to Lake Garda or the Catholic Church. He did not want the focus, the attention or the embarrassment – even if he was not in Ireland anymore.

I want to know the answers, and if they stay detained for 75 years my children will most likely not see them

He did not want to see his name in public – Tomás is a pseudonym – as he clarified when he spoke to this reporter for the first time in 1998. Yes, he knew it was not his fault. he was a child. Nevertheless, he was ashamed. He could not stand it when people looked at him and thought about what his main abuser did to him. He preferred to be seen as the man whom others considered unfavorable.

Today Tomás & # 39; view has not changed. His abuse took place in an environment beyond state historical child abuse research, so his story was never documented. But, like a large number of the survivors of ill-treatment witnessing these bodies, he would be appalled by the thought that a future historian will file a file on him in the coming years.

This week, an Oireachtas committee considered what exactly two million Commission documents are to do to investigate child abuse.

Approximately 1,400 former residents have submitted evidence to the Ryan Commission's Inquiry Board and another 1,090 to their Confidential Committee.

Regarding the need to comply with the witnesses' obligations, Judge Ryan told the Irish Times last May, "From the perspective of the survivors, they submitted their evidence based on the 2000 and 2005 legislation that existed so far as absolute protection as possible.

Detecting Identity

"Legislation prohibits the disclosure of the identity of the person who testifies in private hearings, but also the disclosure of information that could lead to the identification of the person."

Humans gave evidence to the Confidential Committee on the basis that "it was absolutely confidential, period, end of story".

When told about the historical relevance of the file, Judge Ryan said, "Others have to judge, but can it be done?" Apart from my views, as a lawyer, I can see that there are complications. "

The report is not an iceberg. What's in the report is everything

The Document Preservation Act 2019 proposes to seal the documents in the National Archives for 75 years. A provision in the bill would allow a review of the file release schedule 25 years after its entry into force.

At least one survivor appealed in writing to the Oireachtas Education and Qualifications Committee, which reviews the legislation to keep the records confidential. Many others shared his view. However, four survivors of home care made a different statement last Tuesday before the committee.

Trade School

Eileen Molloy, who was at a trade school from the age of eleven until she was sixteen, said: "We will continue in the next few years, I will not know how to die

. , I want to know the answers, and if they stay detained for 75 years my children will most likely not see them, "she said. "It's a human right, and we're human, we're not statistics."

Mary Harney, who was in Cork at the Good Shepherd Industrial School on Sunday, said there was "absolutely no valid moral or constitutional reason" as to why the survivors' own testimony to the Ryan Commission was sealed.

If the bill were passed, "the survivors of industrial schools would become invisible again," she said.

Catriona Crowe, former director of special projects in the National Archives, also criticized the proposed legislation. The loss of records "or the inappropriate restriction of access that is being considered would mean a significant and profound loss of historical learning for Ireland in the 20th century," she said.

"There was no reason why existing legislation on the release of records in the National Archives was inadequate after 30 years, and the proposal to seal them for 75 years read:" Using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. " she said.

However, there are other issues that are not fully understood yet. Justice Ryan alluded to one of them when he said that religious gatherings could complain of "a flood of criticisms based on unproven, extravagant or extreme criteria. , , Allegations ", which may be included in the records, but were not included in the Commission's final report in 2009.

Regarding the Commission's work, Judge Ryan said: "The report is not an iceberg. What's in the report is everything. "

The committee has asked Secretary of Education Joe McHugh to answer the concerns of survivors and legal experts before deciding what to recommend.