Their sadomasochism is an unacknowledged part of Irish male identity. Why did the Christian Brothers' schools perpetuate such abuse? The problems were in the structures," he says. He later committed suicide rather than face his victims. And Brothers' alumni formed much of the new civil service, giving the group powerful political influence. Beresford wrote in the Irish Times: Among those who led the campaign to reveal the truth was Thomas "Anto" Clarke. Earlier this year — after Brothers' legal action successfully preserved their individual anonymity — the Ryan report confirmed that sexual abuse was "endemic" in boys' institutions, chiefly those run by the Brothers.
Hayes was not sexually abused by the Brothers, although he was regularly beaten. He spoke to the Observer in and his testimony prompted other victims to come forward and establish the campaign group Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, which fought for an Ireland-wide inquiry. It accuses the church hierarchy in Dublin of covering up reports of abuses, and says Ireland's police force colluded. I had seen the newsreel footage of the liberation of Belsen and that's what it looked like. No matter how well we have done or how sane we are, they still regard us with contempt. As Jim Beresford, who was confined to Dublin's notorious Artane school as a boy, puts it: I've never forgotten it. The Christian Brothers apologised in but victims were dismayed at its half-heartedness. We were used and abused and yet even to this day somehow we have a sense of guilt that we can't for the life of us get rid of. The main religious orders criticised include the Irish Christian Brothers and several orders of nuns including the Sisters of Mercy. Of 15 men executed for leading the Irish uprising of , seven were Brothers' alumni. The memory that turns the year-old former soldier's voice small with terror is one vivid image from his eight years in Glin industrial school, Limerick. October The Ferns report is published detailing extensive child abuse and cover-up in the south-east of Ireland. Self-flagellation was then routine in the Catholic church. The abusers are not the total story. He says he still feels angry though, because he believes the Christian Brothers are still in denial and refuse to engage with victims. The report vindicates claims by hundreds of former inmates and orphans that they were subject to regimes of physical brutality and sexual exploitation. The problems were in the structures," he says. But he says he would still send his children to a Brothers' school if he thought it offered the best education. Victims' campaigners are now demanding that Pope Benedict pictured personally apologises. The Brothers rejected the non-denominational schools system established by the British in and ran their schools independently. So how did his principles become so perverted? Hayes thinks "they lost sight of their own founder's expectations" when they ambitiously "moved into educating the elite of Ireland", setting up schools that weren't just aimed at the poor. Richard Hanson It is not the memories of the kickings and lashings with a leather strap that make Tom Hayes pause and choke and break down. The revelations have all but destroyed a dying institution, in Ireland at least, where there are barely Brothers left with an average age of Before then, the Brothers' cheap schools opened up secondary education to thousands of families who could not otherwise afford it.
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