Abuse report - at a glance
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was established in 2000 to investigate allegations of abuse at Catholic-run children's institutions in Ireland.
The main findings were:
- Physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of the institutions.
- Sexual abuse occurred in many of them, particularly boys' institutions.
- Schools were run in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff.
- Children were frequently hungry and food was inadequate, inedible and badly prepared in many schools.
- Many witnesses spoke of being constantly fearful or terrified, which impeded their emotional development and impacted on every aspect of their life in the institution.
- Prolonged, excessive beatings with implements intended to cause maximum pain occurred with the knowledge of senior staff.
- There was constant criticism and verbal abuse and children were told they were worthless.
- Some children lost their sense of identity and kinship, which was never recovered.
- Absconders were severely beaten, at times publicly. Some had their heads shaved and were humiliated.
- Inspectors, on their occasional visits, rarely spoke to the children in the institutions.