Ryan Report: Finding Hell in a Religious Institution
In May of 1999, the Irish government, flooded with claims of abuses from citizens who had been children in Catholic reform and industrial schools throughout Ireland from 1936 to present, formed a commission to investigate the schools to see if abuses had taken place, how widespread they were, and to see if changes could be made to correct these problems. It was called the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA), and it is commonly referred to as the Ryan Report, which is named after its chairperson, Justice Sean Ryan. Catholic schools were the main focus of the investigation, as the claims made by victims were centered at these schools. Among the conclusions detailed by the CICA, it revealed that “physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions” and that “schools were run in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children. The evidence that widespread abuse, including sexual abuse, was committed at the Catholic schools was overwhelming, but the church turned a blind eye to it, destroyed evidence and hid the names of those involved in order to protect their imagine and conceal the truth. In Ireland, poor or orphaned children needed a place to go to school and also to learn a trade, so the majority of the reform and industrial schools were religious in nature and run by the staff at private, Catholic institutions, which agreed to be inspected by the state. The state set basic requirements for the schools which included nutrition, medical care, recreation and they also required the schools to keep disciplinary records and a “punishment book,” to record all serious punishments administered by the staff. This oversight was supposed to prevent the abuse of children and foster their growth into adulthood, but the oversight was lacking and contributed to chronic abuse. Many abuses...