Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Church must respect State law ahead of its own rules

Politicians, including party leaders, are ignoring their role in putting right deeply flawed social structures that have failed

We have reached a point of surfeit over abuse. The story spreads worldwide, now involving Germany, South America, the United States again with the Milwaukee revelations. We can always trump what happens elsewhere with worse here. If it is deaf children, we had worse in Ireland where boys were sexually abused over decades, and the girls suffered mindless cruelty. Read More...

Politicians share blame for turning blind eye to abuse

The silence of our politicians is as shameful as Cardinal Brady professes himself to be. They have had nothing whatever to say about their part in the abuse of children and their responsibility for the inadequacies in the law, or for the failure of the law to be implemented.

This has happened time and time again, and has been referred to, time and time again, without lifting the pall of silence in which politicians look the other way. Read More...

Our laws still allow for the protection of child abusers

THE Irish State has connived in the concealment of abuse and has consistently failed to regulate state institutions and the church. Historically, it has done so on a massive scale in respect of industrial school abuse and has allowed a climate of uncontrolled abuse to prevail within diocesan systems.

The latest example, following the failures revealed last week in the case of Tracey Fay, shows that the current fosterage and care system in the State is largely unregulated and has involved abuse by foster parents who have not been vetted.

Apart from promises of a tightening-up and assurances that legislative loopholes will be addressed, nothing has actually been done. Read More...

Church and State colluded in this abuse-ridden society

Tracey Fay's death has shifted public focus in the continuing and unbroken narrative of child abuse and neglect in Ireland. For the past decade, and before that, we have been able to blame the church. Now the blame has shifted, quite markedly, to the State. Her death, and that of many like her, is the result of the State's failure to set up and fund a proper care system.

It is an irony that the period during which this new abuse occurred has been a period of intense self-examination over how abuse happened from 1920 to the 1980s, carried out principally by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, and focused on the industrial schools. But with the change of focus we can no longer hide behind blaming the church. Read More...