September Comments 2017

ANON Sep 29th, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

Record number of homeless children in Ireland, new figures show…

The number of homeless families and adults in emergency accommodation continues to rise, new figures show.

Some 5,222 adults and 3,048 children are living in emergency accommodation, a total of 8,270. This compares with 8,160 in July.

The number of homeless children numbers more than 3,000 for the first time.

The Department of Housing said that addressing homelessness remained a priority for the Government, with 1,800 exits into sustainable tenancies achieved in the first half of this year.

The number of homeless families nationally is up 13 to 1,442, but the figure in Dublin has fallen by 32.

“The opening of further family hubs in the coming weeks and months will further assist in meeting the needs of families in emergency accommodation,” it said.

“Last year, there were over 3,000 exits from homelessness into sustainable tenancies. In the first six months of this year some 1,800 exits were achieved.

“The department and local authorities will continue to work closely, quickly and proactively to identify further solutions that will work to help people and families in this very difficult situation.”

ANON Sep 25th, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

21 years ago today the last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland closed its doors…

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the day the last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland closed for good in 1996.

Also known as Magdalene asylums, Magdalene Laundries were cruel and medieval institutions in which women were imprisoned, stripped of their human rights and abused sexually and otherwise.

Women sent here were deemed “mischievous” or “scandalous” at an incredibly young age, and spent years and years of their lives doing penance for their sins, guarded by ruthless nuns.

The Laundries were disguised as rehabilitation centers for “fallen” women; in reality, they rarely made it out alive.

A mass grave of 155 corpses was discovered in Dublin in 1993.

It wasn’t until 2001 that the Irish Government admitted they were institutions of abuse a formal state apology was issued in 2013 with an $82 million compensation scheme.

The last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland was the Convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity on Sean MacDermott Street in Dublin.

At the height of its productivity, 150 women worked there, and 40 women were in residence when it closed, the eldest being 79.

The Magdalene Laundries, named after Mary Magdalene who was in earlier centuries characterized as a converted prostitute, existed from the early 1760s through the late 1990s in Ireland, the UK, Australia and the US.

An estimated 30,000 women were confined. 25th Sep 2017

ANON Sep 25th, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Wester Ross man jailed for sexual abuse of girl in 10-year ordeal…

A man who subjected a girl to a 10-year ordeal of sexual abuse has been jailed for five years.

Ian Highton, 54, of Kyle of Lochalsh, began abusing the girl when she was a primary school pupil.

He was caught by police after his victim and her family recorded conversations he had with her last year.

At Inverness Sheriff Court, Highton admitted a total of 10 charges, including seven sex offences.

He also pleaded guilty to having indecent images of children and showing them to the girl.

The offences were committed in Wester Ross between June 2006 and June 2016.
Highton was placed on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period.

'Appalling offences'...

Jailing him at Inverness Sheriff Court, Sheriff Margaret Neilson described Highton's background report as "extremely depressing".

She said his sentence would have been for seven-and-a-half years had he not pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

The sheriff said Highton had shown no remorse for his actions.

She said: "Instead, you seek to blame the girl and her family.

"This was a lengthy course of criminal conduct against a child for a period of over 10 years.

"These are appalling offences and the background report makes extremely depressing reading.

"It is one of the most depressing things I have read in my life."

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 01:16 PM

Paedophiles are setting up fake social media accounts pretending to be chicken nuggets, ice-cream, and even roads in order to “friend” Irish primary school children online.

They set up an account which would, to a child, seem to be an innocuous topic which they would see no reason not to “friend”. That then gives the paedophile access the child’s data, including pictures.

Maureen Griffin, a forensic psychologist and leading expert on social media safety, issued the warning and added that, as children have adapted so well on the dangers of stranger danger online, sex offenders have “come up with new and novel ways of gaining access to our children’s information”.

In a presentation for the Ennis Mental Health Association, Dr Griffin said she had, at primary school level, dealt with accounts set up pretending to be chicken nuggets and ice-cream in order to friend children.

She gave one “horrific” example where a sex offender here set up a fake social media account and posed as a road on which a girls’ secondary school was located.

“Over 400 girls at the school accepted ‘the road’ as a friend,” she said. “The owner of the account was a known convicted sex offender who made no effort to contact the girls, he didn’t follow them or meet them in real life or wait outside their school.
“He simply collected their photos, pictures from teenage discos, girls’ sleepovers, and a range of selfies.”

Dr Griffin, who has spoken to teachers, parents, boards of management and students at more than 700 schools here, along with making presentations to the gardaí and the HSE, said one of the best ways of protecting your children online is to make sure you know and trust their followers and friends.

She said adults with a sexual interest in children will take advantage of any site that is targeted towards children.

“Musically took off by storm here a year ago at primary school level,” she said. “It was a place where children could lip sync to their favourite songs and involves short little videos of the children dancing around singing their songs and posting the videos online.

“It is for 5, 6 and 7 year olds and I dealt with a case during the summer of a girl on who had 20 followers she did not know four of them.

One of her followers told her that he would get her more likes for her songs if she sang her song again, this time in her underwear.”

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 01:09 PM

A former primary school head teacher who sexually abused 35 girls under the age of 13 has been jailed for 10 years.

Gordon Fleming, 66, from Oswestry in Shropshire, touched the school pupils indecently in his classroom in a Powys school during the 1970s and 80s.

He previously pleaded guilty to 35 counts of indecent assault.

Swansea Crown Court judge Geraint Walters told Fleming he had "caused severe psychological harm to his victims".

In 1992, he was jailed for four years after admitting nine counts of indecent assault against girls in one of the three schools in which he taught.

The court heard Fleming abused girls aged between seven and 11 after calling them to his desk to discuss their work or while giving guitar lessons.

Judge Walters told Fleming he deprived his victims "of their childhood innocence".

"It is no exaggeration your conducts at the time forever blighted their lives," he said.

Judge Walters added in his 35 years at the bar, he had never seen a case of this nature which involved so many victims.

Prosecutor Robin Rouch said Fleming was a "very stern teacher" and had a temper which intimidated pupils, but parents respected him and "he had a good reputation in the community".

In one of the 34 victim impact statements, one woman said she felt "daily fear, shame, disgust and humiliation" and was in "constant fear of being touched by Fleming".

Another said Fleming's actions had "taken away their innocence, childhood and life".

One victim, who now has children of their own, spoke about how they were "naturally overprotective of them" and they find it difficult to trust men in authority.

A woman who was abused by Fleming when she was 10 said it affected her relationships with her family and she suffered repeated nightmares and flashbacks.

She said: "I am relieved that Fleming pleaded guilty and spared me and other survivors the pain and distress of a protracted court case.

"While it cannot change the past, I am glad we have now seen justice done and hope that it will go some way to giving us the peace to move on with our lives."

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 01:03 PM

Call for body to trace forced adoptees' mums in Ireland…

Survivors of mother and baby homes whose children were forcibly put up for adoption have called for the establishment of an all Ireland body to help reunite families.

A campaign group of mothers and adults born in the homes is seeking support from the authorities across the north and south of Ireland to help them find redress.

The group - Birth Mothers And Their Children for Justice NI - warned that mothers and their children are continuing to die before getting the chance to meet up with each other.

Eunan Duffy, who was born in the Marian Vale mother and baby home in Newry before being taken from his mother against her will and put up for adoption, said the system for family tracing needs to be overhauled.

"Only one part-time person currently exists that traces family for two charities and the health and social care trusts (in Northern Ireland)," he said.

“This has led to a six or seven months waiting list for those wishing to trace.

"This is soul-destroying and unhelpful as relatives race against time to find loved ones."

The 49-year-old only discovered he was adopted last year and managed to trace his birth mother, whom he now has a close relationship with.

Mr Duffy said it was vital that a dedicated statutory body tasked with family tracing and reunion is established as a matter of urgency.

He said there must be a legal compulsion for all State, religious and related bodies to release all records, files and documents pertaining to the entrance and exit pathways.

As many children were adopted into families across the Irish border, the establishment of a North/South co-operational body is vital, he said.

"The abuses, ramifications and consequences of what happened are ongoing. The suffering is everlasting. Children and their mothers were cruelly separated and denied a relationship," Mr Duffy added.

"Women and adopted children have died and are dying, both physically and mentally, as backs are turned and heads buried in the sand.

"This has to change. There has to be an immediate, fully independent and comprehensive public inquiry or commission to fulfil the needs and demands of those affected."

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

Nuns in Scottish case ran Irish mother and baby home…

The religious order which ran an orphanage in Scotland where hundreds of children are believed to have died also ran Ireland’s largest mother and baby home.

Smyllum Park Orphanage is one of the institutions being examined by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

It was run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul and was home to more than 10,000 children between opening in 1864 and closing in 1981.

This is the same order which ran the St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road in Dublin the largest such institution in the country.

St Patrick’s has been in the headlines for many years here in relation to the treatment of women and children who went through its doors.

More than 660 infants and children died there between April 1923 and March 1930, according to State inspection reports. A total of 119 out of 240 children in the home in 1925 died. This was attributed to a measles epidemic. A further 111 of 263 children died in 1927.

In 2011, it was revealed that up to 400 dead babies from St Patrick’s and the nearby St Kevin’s Hospital were sent for dissection in Irish universities without the consent of their mothers. In 1942 alone, 57 babies were sent to UCD, 34 to the Royal College of Surgeons and 27 to Trinity College Dublin. Between 1940 and 1965, 35 were sent to UCG.

The mother and baby home was also involved in allowing children to be used in vaccine trials carried out by the pharmaceutical company, the Wellcome Foundation.

The first of these trials took place between December 1960 and November 1961 in four homes, and involved 14 children from the St Patrick’s home.

The purpose of the trial was to look at the response the children would have to a 4-in-1 vaccine diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio.

Responding to the latest revelations in Scotland, the order issued a statement to the Sunday Post where it stated that it is fully co-operating with the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.“We remain of the view that this inquiry is the most appropriate forum for such investigations,” said the statement.

“Given the ongoing work of the inquiry we do not wish to provide any interviews.
“We wish to again make clear that, as Daughters of Charity, our values are totally against any form of abuse and thus, we offer our most sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse whilst

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 12:52 PM

1/2...Pope says Church arrived 'too late' in tackling child sex abuse…

The Pope said that everyone had to realise that sexual abuse is "a sickness" with a high probability of relapse

Pope Francis has said that the Catholic Church had "arrived late" in dealing with the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The pope, speaking in unscripted remarks to a commission advising him on how to root out sexual abuse, also acknowledged that early in his papacy he had made one bad call in being too lenient with an Italian priest who later went on to abuse again.

He also said he had decided to change current procedures for dealing with abusive priests by eliminating appeals trials in cases where there was definitive proof.

The pope surprised members of the commission by putting aside his entire prepared speech and chatting to them.

"There is the reality that the Church arrived at the consciousness of these crimes a bit late," he said.

He added: "When consciousness arrives late, the means to resolve the problems also arrive late.

"I am aware of this difficulty but it is reality and I say it plainly: We arrived late."

"The old practice of moving people around and not confronting the problem made consciences fall asleep," he said.

He acknowledged that the commission, which was founded in 2014, had to "swim against the tide," a reference to high level defections from its ranks.

ANON Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 12:50 PM

2/2...Marie Collins, a non-clerical member who was a victim of priestly abuse when she was a child, quit in frustration last March, citing a shameful lack of cooperation within the Vatican.

Another, Peter Saunders of Britain, took a leave of absence last year in protest over a lack of progress.

The pope said that everyone had to realise that sexual abuse is "a sickness" with a high probability of relapse.

"That person may repent today but may commit it again after two years. We have to put it into our heads that this is a sickness," he said.

He said he would change current Vatican procedures to severely limit chances of appeal for priests convicted of child sexual abuse by church tribunals, saying they often were overly legalistic, allowing for reduced sentences on procedural grounds.

"I have decided to balance this out and say that if an abuse of a minor is proven, it is sufficient and there should be no recourse. If the proof is there. Period. It's definitive," he said.

Pope Francis, who was elected in 2013, acknowledged he made one bad judgement early in his papacy concerning an Italian priest, Mauro Inzoli.

In that case, the bishop of Crema, had ruled that Inzoli would be removed from the public ministry while remaining a priest but a Church tribunal ruled that he be defrocked. The pope sided with the bishop.

"I was new [in the papacy] I did not understand these things well and chose the more benevolent of the two sentences but after two years the priest had a relapse. I learned from this," he said

ANON Sep 16th, 2017 @ 03:09 PM

Plea for mourners to attend funeral of Irish man who died alone in Manchester…

'Give your fellow country man a decent well attended funeral'

A heartbreaking appeal has been launched for mourners to attend the funeral of an Irish man who died alone in Manchester.

The Council of Irish Associations in the city posted the plea on Facebook yesterday afternoon.

In the message they revealed that John Joseph O'Brien, aged 73, died on August 9.

The Manchester bereavement service arranged the funeral for Mr O'Brien and it is scheduled to take place at Manchester Crematorium on Wednesday, September 27 at 10.00am

However the council revealed that they fear nobody will show for the service.

They write: "No mourners are expected so please if any of the Associations can send some members or if any of Irish Manchester community are able to spare an hour to help give your fellow country man a decent well attended funeral it will be much appreciated."

The council say they are looking for any next of kin to contact the Bereavement Team.
Please Contact: Bereavement Team On. 0161-234-3932 or 0161-234-3871

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:24 PM

1/2...US sex offender who groomed children over the internet had 'at least four Irish victims'…

A sex offender who was found to have been grooming more than 100 girls over the internet had at least four Irish victims, it has been revealed.

Blake Robert Johnson, from Martinez California was sentenced to 30 years in prison earlier this year on charges of traveling across state lines with the intent of engaging in sex with a minor, as well as a host of child pornography charges.

In a report by RTE Radio One show, This Week, journalist John Burke discussed Johnson’s history of sex offence and his link to Irish children

“Prior to that time he (Johnson) wasn’t really known to police in the United States, but then a 14-year-old girl in Oregon went missing. The girl’s mother handed her phone over to police.

She was concerned that they use it in any way to find where her daughter went to.

“Police downloaded all manner of messages and images and so forth from the phone, and they found a pattern of messages with an unidentified phone number.
They traced that number to this man, Blake Robert Johnson and within 24 hours they found the girl, they found her at his home.”

Johnson was charged for sex offences relating to that incident, but when police searched his property they discovered a large amount of disturbing materials on his computers.

“So the material that they found was actually in 500 separate folders, each with an individual child’s name and all previously unidentified children to law enforcement figures, meaning that they suspected that Johnson had actually targeted all of these children individually himself,” Mr Burke explained on-air.

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:21 PM

2/2...“This lead to an investigation that spread across multiple jurisdictions, including Ireland and it was led by the US Homelands Security Investigation Agency.”

Johnson was found to have been in contact with children in 32 US states and more than six jurisdictions.

He used a number of apps, including Ovoo, Kik and Omegle to contact his victims and, according to documents from the trial, would target emotionally vulnerable young girls.

Johnson was the father of a teenage girl himself and was described as being “sophisticated at engaging young girls over the internet to engage in illicit sexually explicit conduct.”

He targeted vulnerable young girls and requested that they perform sexual acts, while also directing them to send the resulting photographs. It was also found that Johnson distributed a portion of his child pornography collection to other paedophiles.

To date, the US Government has identified 94 victims between the ages of 12 and 18, but expect to identify significantly more as their investigation progresses.

Of these victims, Burke reported that at least four victims are from Ireland, with one identified as being from Dublin, one from Meath, one who has yet to be confirmed and one who has moved between jurisdictions.

As the process of identifying victims is ongoing, however, it is possible that there are more.

“It’s only when all the victims are identified that we’ll have a full picture here of the potential number of victims in this jurisdiction,” Burke said

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:19 PM

1/2...Abused children waiting five years for justice…

Sexually abused children and their families are being subjected to “additional trauma” by having to wait an estimated five years before their court case is completed, according to a national therapy service, Cari.

Cari said an analysis of 23 cases in its court accompaniment service for victims last year revealed that these cases were “still subject to extensive delays” at different stages in the criminal justice process.

“We found that children wait, on average, five years from date of the crime to the end of the criminal proceedings,” said Eve Farrelly, manager of Cari’s forensic and court accompaniment services.

“It is our view that a five-year time span out of a child’s life is too long and it behoves all those involved in the administration of justice to prioritise and expedite children’s cases as far as possible while having regard for due process and rights of the accused.”

Cari CEO Mary Flaherty said five years was “a really long time, even for an adult”, but said that, for a child, it was at a vulnerable time in their lives.

“If they are five they are 10 by the time its finished in the courts,” she said. “It’s more serious if they are nine or 10 and then into the difficult teenage years before the case comes up.”

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:17 PM

2/2..She said there were delays at “every level” of the criminal justice system from the Garda investigation, to the prosecution, to the courts and the judiciary.

“This is all despite a stated obligation to speed things up,” she said. “And we know the length of time it’s taking because we are accompanying them and that’s the average in the 23 cases.”

Speaking before the publication of the service’s annual report today, Ms Flaherty said: “We want to highlight the unnecessary additional trauma on children and their families at a vulnerable developmental stage.

“All the elements of the legal system need to try and address this and reduce the additional trauma from delays.”

Ms Flaherty said Cari managed to increase the therapeutic hours it could offer last year.

Despite this, she said waiting lists and waiting times for therapy “continued to grow as more referrals were received”.

She said that, in December 2016, there were 97 children waiting for Cari therapy services.

She said the agency had “campaigned for some time” for more statutory and private funding.

Ms Flaherty said it provided therapy to both the children and their family and that therapy can take a year or longer, depending on the person’s experience.

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

1/2...Vatican’s stance on children’s rights is not acceptable, says McAleese

UN Convention on Rights of the Child must be implemented in church teachings and canon law.

It was “downright wrong” and “misleading” of the Vatican to tell the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that it did not promote corporal punishment for children, former president of Ireland Mary McAleese has said.

“The Holy See has a long tradition of supporting corporal punishment,” she said. It was also “misleading” of the Vatican to tell the CRC in 2013 that the terms “corporal punishment” or “punishment” were not used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and that it did not use the term “illegitimate”.

Prof McAleese was speaking in an address to the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on Tuesday on “The Holy See and the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a once-promising journey now going backwards?”

She said the Vatican’s “prompt ratification” of the convention on the rights of the child in 1990 “was highly significant for, by any standard, the Holy See is a major contributor to and influencer of the lives of children world-wide”.

“It governs the faith lives of 17 per cent of the entire world population; that is, 1.25 billion Catholics, of whom well over 300 million are children aged under 18. It is the biggest non-governmental provider of educational and welfare services to children in the world operating over 200,000 schools across five continents catering for some 60 million children a majority of whom, according to the Holy See, do not profess the Catholic faith.”

ANON Sep 13th, 2017 @ 01:11 PM

2/2...Church jurisdiction…
This “initial enthusiasm for the convention has given way to complaints”, she said, the nub of which “is that the CRC says the Holy See must implement the convention within the internal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, that is to say within church teaching and canon law for the benefit of its 300 million child members”.

However,“the Holy See says it is only obliged to implement the convention within the tiny territory of the Vatican City State which has no more than a handful of children”, she said.

Of the Vatican’s “misleading” report to the CRC in 2013, she said the Catechism of the Catholic Church “tells parents in the words of the Old Testament Book of Sirach 30:1-2: ‘He who loves his son will not spare the rod.’”

The full quotation from that section of the Old Testament “makes it clear that physical punishment of children is regarded as an appropriate form of discipline: ‘Bow down his neck while he is young, and beat his sides while he is a child, lest he grow stubborn, and regard thee not, and so be a sorrow of heart to thee,’” she said.

Where the term illegitimacy was concerned, she pointed out that the church’s 1983 code of canon law, its “own international law”, uses the term “illegitimate” in canon 1139.
“Three other related canons make distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children,” she said. Further, “canon law does not acknowledge the equality of legitimate and illegitimate children”.
“A question which the Holy See must answer therefore is why it believes it can credibly disseminate to the world at large the principles of a treaty (convention on the rights of the child) which it has ratified but refuses to implement within its own internal jurisdiction, particularly when that jurisdiction operates a body of law and principles which directly impact the lives and rights of over 300 million children,” she said

2 Benson Sep 10th, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

"It's ridiculous," he says. "I'm not happy about that. Whoever is behind this, I hope they can live with themselves."

Many allegations of abuse at the care home were also uncovered by File on 4 and the Sunday Post, including beatings, punches, public humiliations and psychological abuse.

This case mirrors the investigation into the Tuam mother and baby home, an Irish institution run by a religious order, where it is thought nearly 800 babies and young children died and were buried in unmarked graves between the 1920s and 1960s. What happened at Smyllum is one of the topics that the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is examining.

Two representatives of the Daughters of Charity gave evidence to the inquiry this summer in which they said they could find no records of any abuse taking place.

The nuns refused to respond to detailed questions from reporters about how many people were buried in the mass grave.

In a statement, they said they were "co-operating fully" with the Child Abuse Inquiry and that they believed that was the "best and most appropriate forum for such investigations".

They continued: " Daughters of Charity our values are totally against any form of abuse and thus, we offer our most sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse whilst in our care". How the figures were calculated

Since 1855, there has been a legal duty in Scotland to register a death.

Those death records are available for scrutiny at the National Records for Scotland office in Edinburgh. The records contain details such as the name and age of the deceased as well as what they died of and their usual place of residence.

After focusing on those people under 18 who'd been resident at Smyllum, the BBC and Sunday Post checked local burial records for Lanark, which today are held with South Lanarkshire Council.

They found no evidence that the dead had been buried.

Some children were sent to the home from other places across central Scotland, so spot checks were also made with a number of other areas. Burial records were discovered in Glasgow for two of the dead. No other area we approached could find any burial record for the names we asked them to check.

As the Daughters of Charity have previously indicated that children were buried in an unmarked plot at the cemetery, and that their records are incomplete, all the bodies are believed to be buried in the graveyard.

The method is a replica of that used to expose a mass grave in the Irish Republi

1 Benson Sep 10th, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

(1) The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, southern Scotland, according to an investigation by BBC News.

The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns. At least 400 children are thought to be buried in a section of St Mary's Cemetery in Lanark. The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, which ran the home, refused to comment on the findings. The research by the File on 4 programme in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper focused on Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark. It opened in 1864 and provided care for orphans or children from broken homes. It closed in 1981, having looked after 11,600 children.

A burial plot, containing the bodies of a number of children, was uncovered by two former residents of Smyllum in 2003. Frank Docherty and Jim Kane discovered an overgrown, unmarked section of St Mary's Cemetery during their efforts to reveal physical abuse which they said many former residents had suffered. In 2004, the campaigners said the Daughters of Charity told them their records suggested that children had been buried in 158 compartments in the graveyard.

Frank and Jim, who both died earlier this year, believed however, that the numbers were far higher as the nuns had indicated their records were incomplete. The investigation by File on 4 and the Sunday Post indicates they were right; at least 400 children are understood to be buried in the plot.

"Oh my God, I've got goose pimples. It's shocking," said Frank Docherty's widow, Janet. "He had been trying for years to find a figure and he didn't get anywhere. That's unbelievable." The death records indicate that most of the children died of natural causes, from diseases common at the time such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy.

Analysis of the records show that a third of those who died were aged five or under. Very few of those who died, 24 in total, were aged over 15, and most of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.

One of those believed to be buried there is Francis McColl. He died in 1961, aged 13; his death certificate indicates he died from a brain haemorrhage.

His brother Eddie spent decades wondering what had happened to Francis. At one point, he heard he'd been struck on the head by a golf club, which now chimes with the evidence of the death certificate. But Eddie could find no trace of where his brother had been buried.

ANON Sep 9th, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Former Llangollen care home boss denies 1970s sex abuse…

A 70-year-old former care home boss has denied a string of sex offences against 11 different children.

Bryan Davies pleaded not guilty to 38 charges during an hour-long hearing at Mold Crown Court on Friday.

It is claimed most of the offences took place at Ystrad Hall in Llangollen during the 1970s, when Mr Davies was its deputy principal.

He was arrested in Malta as part of the Operation Pallial investigation into historical sexual abuse allegations.

In addition to charges of indecent assault and serious sexual assaults, the defendant is also accused of six charges of making indecent images of children in Sussex between 2007 and 2013 and three charges of inciting sexual activity over the internet in 2011 and 2012.

He was arrested under a European warrant at the beginning of August on the Maltese island of Gozo, where he had retired.

Judge Rhys Rowlands agreed to bail him pending his trial after it was revealed he had already surrendered his passport.

He was told he must not apply for any further travel documents, must report to police in Reigate in Surrey three times a week, and observe a nightly curfew.

A trial lasting up to five weeks will begin in April

ANON Sep 8th, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

Cambridge paedophile convinced child he was their 'boyfriend'…

A "vicious paedophile" who convinced a child he was their "boyfriend" has been jailed for 27 years.

Robin Matthews, 63, of Hobart Road, Cambridge, took the child to woodland and said he would "bury them alive if they told anyone about the abuse".

Matthews was found guilty of 20 counts of child sexual abuse and one of child cruelty for offences between 1970 and the early 1990s with two children.

The victims were as young as four and the abuse lasted years.

Sentencing at Cambridge Crown Court, Judge David Farrell said Matthews was a "vile bully, prepared to use a younger child for [his] perverted sexual purposes".

The court heard that "aggressive" Matthews made "serious threats" to one victim and threatened violence if they "made any noise or protested".

One victim did try to speak out, the judge said, but "was not believed".

'Stolen childhood'

The judge added the child had been "let down by the authorities at the time" and by the age of 16 believed Matthews to be their boyfriend because of all the sexual things they had done together.

Eventually, Matthews was arrested in July 2015 after the pair disclosed the historic abuse.

In an impact statement read out in court by prosecutor Charles Myatt, one victim said they felt they had their "childhood stolen away" from them.

Det Con Helen Tebbit said: "I would like to thank the victims for giving evidence against Matthews.

"I know this would not have been easy, but I do hope they both find some closure knowing their abuser is now behind bars and they can move on with their lives."
Matthews was found guilty following a week-long trial of 13 counts of indecent assault, seven counts of buggery and one count of child cruelty.

On top of his 27-year prison sentence, he was given an extra year on licence and an order to prevent him from having contact with any children under the age of 18

ANON Sep 5th, 2017 @ 04:55 PM

New site in Tuam to be excavated for 'unmarked children's graves' – reports…

A site in the Galway town of Tuam is to be excavated to find out if an unmarked children's grave is on the site, according to reports.

A ground-penetrating scan, similar to the one carried out on the town's mother and baby home, is due to be carried out on the grounds of the former religious-run Grove Hospital in the town.

The HSE bought the former site, previously owned by the Bon Secours nuns, in 2001 and last year they sought permission to develop a mental health facility here.

However, the Irish Daily Mail is reporting that a group of people who believe the site may contain human remains have appealed the case to An Bord Pleanála.

According to Freedom of Information (FOI) documents released to the newspaper, An Bord Pleanála ruled that the conditions for planning permission include an excavation at the site.

The planning document, dated July 31, states the developer must facilitate the "preservation, recording and protection of archaeological materials or features that may exist within the site".

The document also states that a '"suitably qualified archaeologist" should be employed to monitor all investigation works and to "secure the preservation and protection of any remains that may exist" there.

In March Children's Minister Katherine Zappone confirmed that significant quantities of human remains had been discovered at a Galway site excavated by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.

The Commission of Investigation is currently probing how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 18 State-linked religious institutions.

A spokesperson for the HSE said they had recently received planning permission from an Bord Pleanala "for the part demolition, refurbishment and remodelling of the Grove Hospital, along with new extensions and site works to provide a Mental Health facility and Early Intervention and Disability service facility for HSE West".

The statement continued: "There will be no works carried out at the site referred to as Garden Area/Former Nuns’ burial site, which is delineated by a fence/hedging.

This area is outside the redline boundary of the proposed Community Mental Health Centre site and will be protected during any construction works."

ANON Sep 4th, 2017 @ 11:34 AM

Mandatory reporting of child abuse concerns should not be introduced, Tusla argue…

The Child and Family Agency Tusla have argued that the mandatory reporting of child abuse concerns will place children and families at risk and should not be introduced.

On RTÉ’s This Week, documents released under the Freedom of Information act were revealed.

The documents showed that repeated warnings were given by Tusla to the Department of Children.

The warnings state that mandatory reporting will put extra pressure on its child protection services. and damage the progress it has made in dealing with social work waiting lists.

As it is, mandatory reporting is due to be introduced in January of 2018.
Back in August 2016, Tusla Chief Executive Fred McBride sent a letter to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs outlining his concerns about the reporting regime, which is contained in the Children First legislation.

"I have serious concerns regarding the commencement of the mandatory reporting aspect of the Children First Act. Evidence from other jurisdictions indicates that mandatory reporting could increase referrals to the Agency by 150pc.

"On this conservative basis the immediate impact of the introduction of mandatory reporting will be to reverse all progress made in respect of unallocated cases and will result in increased waiting lists, including retrospective allegations of abuse, in direct proportion to the increased level of referrals".
The letter continues:

"I am therefore reiterating our recommendation that mandatory reporting is not introduced at all due to the impact this will have on services and our limited capacity to respond with little evidence from other jurisdictions that outcomes for children are improved.

"Indeed I have sent documentation to your department setting out the intention of the Australian authorities to dismantle mandatory reporting as they deem it to be wholly counter-productive," he said.

The Tusla Chief Executive called for the reporting obligations to be delayed until January 2018, to which The Department of Children agreed, but insisted that the latest possible date for mandatory reporting to be implemented is the1st of February 2018.

In response to these concerns, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children has called for Tusla to be properly resourced to implement the reporting regime.