One of the disingenuous collective defences offered when the abuse of children or women in one care setting or another emerged was that what went on in industrial schools, Magdalene laundries, mother-and-baby homes or some orphanages was largely unknown to the public.
This defence is offered as a reason for inaction, for allowing the abuse of the vulnerable continue in a heinous way. After all, how could anyone imagine that a caring Christian society like this could even countenance such horrors mush less turn a blind eye to them?
Unfortunately, it is once again time to dust off that defence. We have not it seems learned those hard lessons. Today we report on the unacceptable conditions at a direct provision centre in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry where at least 95 people were sent in March. Over 20 of those people have tested positive for coronavirus.
Our direct provision system is a scandal based on tacit racism. Anyone who doubts that should compare it to the efforts our governments make to have Irish immigrants in America regularised.