News that no one will be prosecuted over decades of physical and sexual abuse in Catholic-run children’s homes in Ireland has prompted anger from survivors. The abuse was outlined in a five-volume report that took nine years to compile. The Christian Brothers religious order has won anonymity for members accused of abuse. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church is contrite.
“I am deeply shocked, saddened, very upset, appalled at what has happened. And it certainly convinces me that we must do all in our power to make sure that such behaviour could never happen again,” said Cardinal Sean Brady. Orphanages and residential schools in 20th Century Ireland were places of neglect at best and fear at worst. Generations of children were beaten, starved and molested by priests, nuns and brothers. The government has paid out around 825 million euros in compensation to the victims. But for many, there will be no closure without accountability.