Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Saddest Day
Listening all afternoon to the findings of the Report of the Commission Into Child Abuse has just been the saddest thing. How many young lives were ruined and lost. How many souls devastated and broken. How many people were thrown onto lifes dung heap and tortured, mentally, physically or sexually. How many lost sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.
How many people knew and just didn't care enough to stop it. How many people just shuffled the perpetrators around letting more innocence be taken. How many state bodies colluded by knowing that children were starved and beaten and cold and not cared for. Was it all just a money game. More children meant more money.
Those lives were broken. Some lucky few have managed to come out the other side. To regain their sanity. To rebuild their lives. But how many did not. How many died in the system. How many couldn't recover themselves and lost their lives to alcohol or drugs or depression. How many have since taken their own lives.
The numbers are so big and the obsenities so many that it is hard to comprehend the scale and the horribleness of the whole stinking sordid mess. The telling of each incident is terrible. Every small child who was beaten for wetting the bed. The older sister looking out for the smaller one. Trying to protect them from the next beating. The sheer lack of control of those who should have cared - even if only to salve their so-called Christian consciences.
This has been a black day for Ireland. One I hope we'll never have to see again. Or that our children will have have to experience again. Sometimes I despair of people and wonder how close to evilness we all really are. How little you have to scratch to see just what we're all made of. How little civilisation has done for us. Are we all savages just kept civilised by dint of being in view, as it were?
God help all those boys and girls and the years of pain and fear and terror they went through. God help the men and women they are now.
It has been a sad, sad day. Heartbreaking.
The image is just a computer picture done by my eldest daughter years ago when she was small. At least most children in Ireland nowadays grow up secure in the knowledge that they are loved and won't be dragged off to some hideous institution.