Hidden Cultures, Public Platform

Big thanks to Rosaleen Mcdonagh and the cast of Mainstream at The Project Theatre, Dublin tonight, a very relevant socio-political play.
Many layers, many themes, many betrayals, including the betrayal of one’s own body. This play needs to be taken on tour to educate this nation about our collective cruelties, our indifference, our racism and the crimes we perpetrate on each other.
This is a brave courageous work by a fantastic playwright, who has travelled the long road of prejudice. She operates in her own uniqueness and compliments the great work of Christy Brown, Paddy Doyle, the Pecker Dunne and of course Sean O Casey.
While the work is about class, prejudice,Travellers, mainstream society written by a female playwright, it’s literary scope is universal and all-embracing. While disability is also a theme that runs through this work it is extremely intelligently portrayed and given expression of great integrity and is not reliant on any gimmicks or tricks. These are proud people, strongly portrayed by some of the finest acting I’ve seen anywhere. (Donal Toolan, John Connors, Grainne Hallahan and Neili Conroy – cast)
These characters are human beings like ourselves different and equal and their pain is like our pain. It’s a deeply humanising piece and sparks off the idea in us all that we all have a bit of a flaw. We all have our abilities and disabilities. We are all prejudice to one another.
mainstream

Cast of Mainstream – Donal Toolan, Grainne Hallahan, John Connors, Neili Conroy – Written by Rosaleen McDonagh

But Rosaleen McDonagh is a great playwright who won’t remain silent and fights that prejudice. Won’t be stereotyped. Won’t be pigeon-holed or marginalised, no matter what. She takes on feminism, male prejudice, class divide, racism, disability, traveller culture, child abuse, body betrayal and gay identity in one great lash of the pen. Excellent.
 
The centre of the work is about exclusion, prejudice and marginalisation but she manages to bring us as an audience and a public right into her fold.
I felt great coming out of this play even though its themes were dark. This playwright has kicked the door open into the light, and it’s very welcome. Anybody who has any prejudice or any doubts about the Travelling community or any ‘othered’ member of society should get to see this work.
Arts Council, Dublin City Council and all ye people out there with the public purse make sure this play gets out on a National tour – Please – for all our sakes.
This is a work of national importance.  
Outstanding honesty.

Silence is Violence

artane-demo-3Today a group of us took to the streets of Coolock at Northside Civic Centre where my motion regarding the history of the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School was put before the North Central Area Committee. In what can only be described as a gross act of denial only one Councillor voted in favour of the motion. (Cllr Michael O Brien)

artane-motion-central-area-oct-17
Denial ruled the day. It was an act of shocking violence the deafening silence.  How can it be that the findings of the Ryan Report and the finding of serious Garda inquiry into child abuse, wholesale criminal and sexual violence that was perpetrated in Artane industrial school can be written out of history?
It is a great shame that the Cllrs in this instance chose to keep Ireland and it’s people in the dark and protect the Christian Brothers and their manifestation through the present Artane Band.  The people of Artane and indeed the North Central Area need now to stand up to this shameless shameful act.
The paedophiles and rapists and child abusers will take great comfort in today’s decision by this area committee and its councillors.  While we, the people who experienced this abuse in our childhood, carry a much heavier burden as a result of today’s refusal by the Cllrs to acknowledge the true and proven history of the Artane Boys Band, the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School.
Like the dark days of the beginning of this journey for justice, we stood alone against the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers and the orders of nuns.  Sad today, that we stood alone again at the North Side Civic Centre.


We take comfort from the many people, local residents  who we met, all of whom understood our issue and were fully supportive.
We thank you for your hospitality and we will be visiting with you again soon.
Truth and Justice are what we seek.

These two motions below were fully supported last month by all but two Councillors at the North Central Area Committee Meeting. 

Again supporting a true denial of the accurate and true history of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Boys Band – Artane Band.  History repeats itself in the form of gross denial.  Our lives don’t matter.

sf-ciaran-o-mooreo-muiri-motion

SNAP support Artane Band Disbandment

 SNAP  (SURVIVORS NETWORK OF THOSE ABUSED BY PRIESTS)

snapheader5The group at the centre of the recent Oscar winning film, Spotlight have today issued a statement in support of our motion to have the Artane Band disbanded. www.snapnetwork.org/ 

Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), an international advocacy group for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, has come out in support of a campaign to have the Artane School of Music disbanded.

SNAP is supporting a motion by Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn for the disbandment of the music school, an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA. The band in its current form wear the original and traditional insignia and uniforms worn by the band from when it started at a time when children attending St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane were subjected to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

Speaking from Chicago in support of councillor Flynn, Blaine said: “I believe that so much suffering and pain has been caused to those who lived through the horrors of the industrial school in Artane. They have been through enough. We should be doing all we can to prevent any further pain and suffering.”

Petition to Disband the Artane Band

home-of-the-artane-boys-bandphoto-artane-1969
I just started a petition: Disband the Artane  Band.
It is no longer appropriate, with what we now know, about residential institutional child abuse at St Josephs Artane, that this band, should be still in existence, wearing the uniform of that institution – St Josephs Industrial School Artane, and making statements that they are proud of their history when in actual fact, the vast part of that history was engulfed in horrendous human rights breaches upon children, including child sex abuse at St Josephs Industrial school, Artane, where the band was founded.
screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-15-01-48
We who are the survivors should not have to endure the ordeal of this band in that uniform, parading around Croke Park, or any other public place. This is a constant active reminder of our ordeals and every effort should be made for this to stop.

Our lives, in those institutions, matter. What happened to us matters. We have a right to get on with our lives to recover and to heal. The Artane Band, in its present form, is a major obstacle to that process. No other band of its type would be allowed to get away with what they are getting away with. The band is still under the control fo the Christian Brothers through the Artane Music School.

If enough people sign my petition, we can make a difference.

Here’s a link to the petitionhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8W/zoyY/CRT_0
And here’s a link to share it on Facebookhttp://www.care2.com/go/z/e/Awo8x/zoyY/CRT_0

If there’s anyone you know who might be able to help me spread the word, please let me know. Thanks so much — I really appreciate your help!

Kind regards,  Gerard Mannix Flynn
Artistic Director,
Farcry Productions

 www.farcryproductions.ie

disband-the-artane-band

Response to Lord Mayor Brendan Carr

September 15th 2016

Press Statement from Dublin Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Mannix Flynn, an Independent councillor in Dublin City Council has today hit back at Dublin’s Lord Mayor over claims that his calls for the disbandment of the Artane School of Music are “upsetting the vast majority of Dubliners”.

In an article in one of today’s newspapers, Brendan Carr, the Labour Lord Mayor, was quoted as lambasting Flynn over his motion: “[Flynn is] raising the issue over the way kids were treated years ago, but the impact he’s having on the kids in that band at the moment is something that any city councillor should be ashamed of”.

In a statement issued today, Flynn has called on Cllr Carr to withdraw his remarks and separate his opinions from that of the Lord Mayor’s office, a title which should remain impartial and unbiased.

“If Cllr Carr would take a moment to discuss the matter with me he would understand that the Artane School of Music, in its current form, has evolved out of misery and brutality forced upon innocent children who attended St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane.

“It is not accurate for Cllr Carr to insinuate that I am out to cause hurt to any of the children involved in the current band. The debate is much deeper than that.

“While the Lord Mayor has every right to call on crowds to cheer on the band at Sunday’s All-Ireland final, he is quite wrong in congratulating the band’s 130-years of ‘proud association with the GAA and Croke Park’. Those who attended St Joseph’s School and who were in the band attest to the monstrosities they and other boys endured during their time there. The band was more often than not an escape from the degradation and neglect other boys suffered as they undertook menial chores on a day-to-day basis. Being in the band meant you could at least wash occasionally and couldn’t be beaten on the face, but it did not exempt you from the sordid sexual abuse that was rife in the school.

photo-artane-1969

1969 – Artane Boys Band travel to America to raise funds.  They are in blazers and not the usual uniform as the band room had been burned down.  Former band member Patrick Walsh (Irish SOCA) is in the front row aged 15 years.  The notorious Brother Joseph O Connor  (Joe Boy) took this photo, Shannon Airport.    

 

“I have come under criticism for raising this issue but if you were a child who endured any amount of time in an industrial school, you would be reminded of the horrors that took place every time the Artane band took to the pitch on match days.

“And I’m not alone. This week, members of Irish SOCA  (Survivors of Child Abuse) came out in support of my cause. Like me, these were men forced into industrial schools and some of those were even in the band in Artane and experienced first-hand the exploitation and manipulation of children by the religious.

“Will the Lord Mayor acknowledge that his apathy and indifference to their suffering is causing much hurt?”

ENDS

New Motion lodged on Monday 12th September to Dublin City Council:

That this monthly meeting of Dublin City Council, mindful of the shameful legacy of institutional abuse in industrial schools documented in the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse, call on the Artane School of Music to disband as a matter of human rights.

The School of Music is an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, yet encompasses the original and traditional insignia and uniforms that hark back to an age of chronic sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

The Artane Boys Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity that took place at St Joseph’s School in Artane and other industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers at home and abroad. The harrowing memories of these institutions for abuse victims are regularly flaunted without care or recognition at national sporting events in Croke Park in the form of the present Artane band.

A disbandment of the trust would sever all ties with the former industrial school and its brutal history and in doing so, would acknowledge the ongoing collective suffering of so many.

Statement: Disband the Artane Band

September 12th 2016

Press Statement from Dublin Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Mannix Flynn, an Independent councillor in Dublin City Council has today withdrawn a motion due for presentation at a South East Area Committee meeting for the Artane band to be renamed.

In its place, Cllr Flynn has submitted a new motion calling for the disbandment of the Artane School of Music, a venture jointly established by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, that continues the legacy of the Artane Boys Band.

Cllr Flynn is aware that those against his initial motion claim his endeavours have caused hurt to those presently involved with the band. However, Cllr Flynn, who himself attended industrial schools in Ireland said the Artane band’s continued use of original-style uniforms, insignia and associations to the school cause untold hurt for the many victims of childhood abuse at the hands of religious orders in Ireland.

Please find the new motion below, submitted today for October’s monthly meeting of all Dublin City Councillors.

NEW MOTION

That this monthly meeting of Dublin City Council, mindful of the shameful legacy of institutional abuse in industrial schools documented in the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse, call on the Artane School of Music to disband as a matter of human rights.

The School of Music is an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, yet encompasses the original and traditional insignia and uniforms that hark back to an age of chronic sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

The Artane Boys Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity that took place at St Joseph’s School in Artane and other industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers at home and abroad. The harrowing memories of these institutions for abuse victims are regularly flaunted without care or recognition at national sporting events in Croke Park in the form of the present Artane band.

A disbandment of the trust would sever all ties with the former industrial school and its brutal history and in doing so, would acknowledge the ongoing collective suffering of so many.

ENDS

artane-boys-band

The Artane Boys band on route to America to raise funds for The Christian Brothers in 1962 the image was used later on the album that came out in 1969