In his piece on May19th your columnist Kevin Myers has again proven himself an astute and sagacious commentator.
That he should use the findings of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse to return to his habitual hobbyhorse: left-liberal dogmatic secularism (Does anybody even know what that is?) is predictable, if a little shameful. That he should accuse those seeking redress of lying to a barrage of shrinks and barristers in the employ of the state, in the course of an adversarial process is as risible as it is atrocious. To disinter the spectre of the Nora Wall debacle, in petty furtherance of his reactionary agenda, was merely a piece of Jesuitical posturing.
That the third estate connived in the prolongation of the agonies of the innocent is news to nobody. That this was due to fiscal prudence as opposed to moral cowardice is as cold comfort, to ordinary citizens, most of whom were mostly ignorant as to what went on within those hallowed walls.
To compare that which was visited upon those incarcerated in these institutions with a couple of beatings that Myers himself received (Whilst insisting on the contrary intention) is pure black comedy. Here we are treated to an elongated anecdote about the pubescent Myers as he sojourned in the green and Elysian fields of old England. The purpose of which, one can only assume, was to assure us that the stiffness of his upper lip was matched only by the suppleness of his youthful buttocks.
Mr. Myers, in the course of this article, seeks to explain what happened solely in terms of the unblinking acquiescence of the faithful. This constitutes a presumptive, unsubstantiated and shoddy assertion from a self-styled student of history.
Needless to remark, in times passed there was a greater tolerance of violence against children though let’s not leave it unsaid, that there were always those to whom it was anathema. At no point in history however has it ever been normal to treat children with the murderous, maniacal, sadistic cruelty visited upon the unfortunate sons and daughters of the poor incarcerated in these institutions. Is there not a little irony in somebody who never tires of reminding us of the bloody genesis of this little nation and the repercussions thereof, so blithely ignoring the horrors inflicted by the self-same state on its most vulnerable citizens? If only these depredations had resulted from Republican atrocities one then suspects Mr. Myers might have been more understanding. Anyhow those abysmal aberrations of history that he will insist upon have gone the way of the banshee, the puca, the Swish.
Finally, Mr. Myers might have be better served had he eschewed Hartley’s hackneyed dictum that the past is a different country for the wiser assertion by Faulkner-the past is not dead, the past is not even gone. For, by far the worst aspect of this tired and tiresome tract was the seeming inability of your columnist to comprehend that for those that survived the suffering, it goes on. Today. Tonight. And Tommorow.