Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 19:02 UK

In quotes: Reaction to Irish abuse

Irish media have been giving their first reactions to the damning inquiry into child abuse at Catholic institutions in Ireland.

Here are excerpts from newspapers and bloggers.


The report is a devastating indictment of Church and State authorities when it came to their exercise of responsibility for the care of children in the Republic of Ireland throughout most of the 20th Century.

Patsy McGarry,


When the report is published will there be the usual outcry and sensational headlines for a few days or will it have a real impact on the Catholic Church as an organisation?

I'm not saying every priest is a bad priest, there are obviously dedicated, devout and good people, yet they represent an organisation so venal, so corrupt, so deliberately wicked at times, that it is completely at odds with what they try to teach and preach.

The report is welcome, it may well be shocking, it will shame the Church and the government, no question, but will anything change?


This episode leaves a terrible stain on the whole nation and stinks to high heaven.

From the Catholic Church, who were dishing out the abuse, to the State which was charged with the care of these children. From the civil servants who... knew what was going on but were not brave enough to betray their political masters, to the parents who sent young girls away to hide their pregnancy so they could hold their heads high in their local communities is just disgraceful not to mention the height of hypocrisy.

Teachers, doctors, nurses, relations, people delivering milk; anyone who came into contact with these kids should hold their heads in shame.

Any time we feel like saying we are proud to be Irish we should think of these kids and think again.



Today's report is a catalogue of the greatest human rights abuses in the history of the State.

The responses that need to be heard above all are the responses of those who lived it.

We cannot allow ourselves to dismiss this report's implications for Ireland today. Along with a whole raft of other measures, the government must fulfil its obligations and commitments to introduce constitutional reform in this area.

Unless the most fundamental law of our state demands that we place children's rights and children's dignity at the heart of decisions about their welfare they will remain at continuing risk of abuse and neglect, under the radar of the state bodies who are meant to protect them.

Amnesty International Ireland Executive Director Colm O'Gorman, quoted on Belfast and Beyond , a blog from Amnesty International in Northern Ireland.


[The report] exposes in full detail a culture we fervently hope is truly dead and not merely moribund. If such institutionalised treatment is truly over, we may retain some hope in the possibility of progress.

Slugger O'Toole

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