Over the last few weeks Ireland has been rocked by yet another child abuse scandal. Newspaper headlines around the world have reported in disbelief details of how society in Ireland treated unmarried mothers and their children in so called “Mother and Child homes”. Child mortality rates reached over 50% in some of these institutions.

While many around the world are understandably astounded as to how a society could be so cruel to children, in Ireland this is only the latest chapter in a long horrific story of institutional abuse of children that has been emerging over the last two decades. As a light is finally being shone into the darkest recesses of modern Irish history, the question of how will Irish society deal with this is increasingly important and it here history has a crucial role to play.

For years the dominant narrative around abuse in Ireland was that it took place behind closed doors and that the vast majority of people had no idea it was being perpetrated. However historical research indicates this is not entirely true. I think if we are to move forward and deal with our dark past we must acknowledge who knew what and why they were powerless to act. In this podcast, based on this article, I am going to look over some of the evidence that indicates there was a widespread knowledge of child abuse in Ireland for decades.

Let me know what your thought of the show by contacting me @irishhistory on twitter or irishhistorypodcast on facebook.

Listen here

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 Dark truths and open secrets – who knew what about Irelands child abuse scandal?

3 comments on “Dark truths and open secrets – who knew what about Ireland’s child abuse scandals?

  1. Alan Crowe on

    Given the worldwide scandals now associated with the Catholic Church, not only the human rights abuses but also the financial irregularities, it beggars belief that anyone still admits to being a member of this vile cult.
    Thanks for the podcast.

  2. Sarah May on

    Thanks for the thoughtful podcast. I lived in Ireland for many years but have now been gone as long as I lived there. I can’t get over how strong the desire to look away still is. People say things like ‘we shouldn’t say anything till we have the facts’ as an argument for not investigating. How will we get the facts without looking? So the evidence you discuss is important here. I hope that you and others can help people to look at this period and these questions openly and honestly so those same issues aren’t carried forward.


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