Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Irish state ignores plight of abused Protestants

It has been my experience that the Press does not see Protestant abuse and neglect as something their readers would be interested in.

Most people had never heard of Protestant abuse until they became aware of the 219 unmarked graves in Mount Jerome cemetery of children from Dublin’s Bethany Home.

This was in September 2010. From that time on, it has been impossible to get the media to cover non-Catholic abuse cases.

I have no doubt that there are many more unmarked graves yet to be found, but unfortunately we do not have the resources for further investigations, due to the fact that we are not funded by the Irish state, which has so far spent €1.5bn assisting Catholic institutions for this purpose.

Along with the recent announcement of a further €110m being made available, the Republic’s minister of education, Ruairi Quinn, has also announced the spending of €500,000 on a memorial to victims of abuse in Catholic institutions.

Again, the authorities are trying to mislead us into thinking that this memorial is for all abused children. This is not the case. The memorial was recommended by the Ryan report for those abused in Catholic institutions.

Most of what is now being published about Catholic abuse has been reported from the 1970s on, but the issue of non-Catholic abuse and neglect are ignored. Why is this?

DEREK LEINSTER

Chairman, Bethany Survivors Group

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