It’s time we joined the dots - Confronting abuse scandals

THIS society is again transfixed by scandal. Last week’s confirmation of a mass grave at the Bon Secours home in Tuam, that closed nearly 60 years ago and the belated acknowledgement that “Grace” had suffered decades of abuse reopened wounds that were no more than partially healed.

The incredulity that such horrors could be part of our past, but recur today, echoed the outrage over myriad reports on the abuse of children by clerics. That anger also greeted reports on the deaths of minors in the care of the HSE.

That anger does not reflect the reality that the horrors reported by the Cloyne, Murphy and Ferns reports were carried out by agents acting in our parents’ names. That anger does not reflect the reality that “Grace” was abandoned by agents acting in our name. It is unfortunate too that this anger is not matched by a determination to confront the all too familiar issues at the heart of this great societal failure.

Today we report on how managers are defined by the HSE. It has been argued that a redefinition contrived to show that numbers had been reduced dramatically, though they had not been. How many of these managers-who-are-not-managers work in child protection? The suggestion from the HSE that the Grace cover-up can’t be explained adds to the sense of farce and shame. It’s long past time we joined the dots and took real transformative action, rather than shed more crocodile tears when the next scandal is uncovered.

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