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Saturday, 1 June 2013

A Breach of Trust/ An Awakening.

                                               A WEEK OF  WOEFUL WONDER

On Tuesday evening achy tired to the bone you take yourself to bed leaving the after dinner mess, the lunches, the evening,  to the teenagers. Your very kind husband sets up the Free to Air  TV box in the bedroom and you flick idly through the channels to RTE 1.  " DON'T PUT YOUR FUCKING FINGERS IN IT" a woman shrieks at a small child.  What? What?  Oh.  You had quite  forgotten  that Prime time, having sent in their  undercover girls  to work in  Irish creches, are to air the the outcome caught on camera by the girls tonight. You wind it back to the beginning. "Oh hush" you tell your unwitting husband who walks in in  search of toothpaste. "Oh hush. I have to. Listen".  The sorry sordid story invades the bedroom,  detonates,  shreds your hard snatched peace.

                                                                                                                                                             You wonder about all the Creches not visited by the RTE undercover girls,  about all the years since Creches began to mushroom across the country, all the children, ( how many?,)  subjected to the kind of institutional  regime which you believed to be gone forever. You wonder what tribe is this as you observe the  staff  in the Creches featured,  alike in harsh, shrill verbals, in brutal  detachment. The twisted sisters. You wonder if  they practice what they experienced themselves?

You think about your own childrens' infancies. The baby books acquired, the many many tomes on how best to, what not to ,  what  you should do,  shouldn't do, why you couldn't seem to do.  The endless time, the patience, the letting go required. The learning curve, the worry,  the worry, the worry you and all mothers of infants live. You think of the  HSE reports never made public.  You think of  the others. The ones  who  stood by and did not intervene, the entrepreneurial  ones who own it all, who  take the money and wash their hands of  care or knowing. In the end  you wonder  if it was the same pattern in the religious institutions, the borstal schools, the magdalen laundries, same blind eye, same evil dressed as something else, same tacid acceptance, same old story.

You wonder is it actually possible to trust anyone other than yourself to stay with your own infant children,  to bear with them,  to mirror the daft and  burgeoning personality safely.  You figure it would cost a king's ransom to train up and persuade another to do that right for your peculiarly eccentric little person.   Most of all you wonder how can this be,  that widespread  institutional abuse of young children continues on in this Ireland? And  is it true that the wolf in sheep's clothing has mutated from priest and nun to trusted minder. Will any now dispute that flinging soft bodied infants on to a mattress, shutting out  light and air from small ones  with a blanket,  strapping  questing driven infant limbs down for an hour,  two hours, eternities to small ones; that these are  criminal matters. Or doubt that the blatant and cynical faking of daily diaries for parent consumption is  a bloody minded betrayal of trust and a criminal fraud.

You  wonder if we would have looked,  have seen what was under our noses, what was implicit in the exhausted brutalised children collected at the end of the day,  if RTE had never made this program. You wonder just how many have been snatched from these tender mercies, these low grade abuses.  You  wonder how we could let this happen again in Ireland.  Because we have. We have.  Oh yes, indeed, we have.