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.”

Advertisements

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.

Pity the Children

nora_somebodyAs the Spotlight film opens in Dublin we are now facing into yet another sex abuse scandal in a foster home in the south east of Ireland. Covered up and facilitated by the HSE. You have to ask yourself after all the issues of child abuse in this country – how could this possibly happen? How can the State be so negligent? How can the State be so indifferent? And here we have yet another fine display of mock-shock-and horror from the HSE, the Government and certain TDs. Shame on you. There is not a child safe in the land because of your failure to care for the most vulnerable.
What is the famous catch phrase…oh yes, ‘ we failed to hear your cries’ (Bertie Ahern’s famous remarks)
Enda Kenny’s famous remarks about the Magdalene women with tears in his eyes? Many of the women are still waiting, many  have already died.  And Minister Lynch’s remarks that we’re heading towards a public inquiry beggars belief and goes to show how far removed she is from what is actually taking place here.  Its an act of disassociation. … What is the point in having Ministers for Health, Ministers for Children, Ministers for Justice when the perpetrators and the enablers of these outrages will never be brought to justice? Never face any consequences and no child is protected by the State. 
There is talk now of public inquiry and people being brought before the Public accounts committee. Here again, the State is investigating itself and we all know where that leads. What did our last public enquiries bring us? Massive fees, massive bills and no real truth or consequences.  Robert Fisk’s great title ‘Pity the Nation’ comes to mind here except in this instance its ‘Pity our children’.
The same culture that is evident in Spotlight uncovered by the Boston Globe. The same evidence that is being uncovered in the Ryan Report, the Ferns Report, the Murphy Report, we all know will be found to have been at play here in this foster home child abuse scandal. For the many good people out there who foster children and protect the vulnerable stand up, do you hear me, stand up and show leadership here. Don’t let the good work that I know many of you do be undermined by abusers and a weak State and Civil Service. Your reputations are seriously on the line here because this investigation is going to have to include all fostering and all foster homes and protocols and guidelines around children .
The Nation owes this person and her mother an apology.  It would be a travesty for the Taoiseach or any Minister now to utter such words or even the HSE. This needs to come from the mouth of our very own President, Michael D Higgins who would understand the failing of Government and State here. The President has the confidence of all the people and the credibility internationally to make this statement.
 
Where are all the child agencies? Where was Bernardo’s on this? They seem to come very late with their statements.  Where is Amnesty International on this? This has all the hallmarks of dread with the dark hand of the State and its agents all over it.
We can be very grateful to the whistleblower here who has taken enormous risk cause we all know what happens to people who tell the truth, the honest truth and have to whistle blow in this State.
 
Spotlight Trailer:

The Vatican, UN Committee on Torture, Geneva and Children’s rights

Report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Jan 2014

Report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Jan 2014

Today in Geneva the Vatican have been called to give account of cover up at the UN Commission against Torture in Geneva and to answer why nothing substantial has been done to protect children from sexual attack by religious and the culture.

The UN committee is reviewing the Vatican on its compliance with international prohibitions against torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment under the Convention Against Torture, which the Vatican ratified in 2002. This will be the second time in four months that top Catholic officials have been called before the UN to account for the Vatican’s human rights record on addressing the ongoing worldwide crisis of sexual violence and cover-ups within the Catholic Church. Vatican representatives will appear before and be questioned by the Committee on May 5 and 6, 2014.

Today testimony from those who have experienced abuse at the hands of religious will give evidence.
I was invited to participate but due to my workload it is not possible. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are engaged in the fight for truth and justice.

The image attached is the last report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which was published in Jan 2014.It was the first time the Holy See had been called to account for its actions, or lack thereof, on these issues before an international body. In February 2014, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed “grave concern that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed…has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and impunity of the perpetrators,” and that “[t]he Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the Church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests.”

http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/vatican-summoned-report-un-committee-torture