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This chapter argues that there was a suppression of any public acknowledgement of the reality of sexual crime, immorality, child abuse, family breakdown and poverty in the Irish Free State. A tactic borne of a desire by the post-colonial elite to preserve the nation’s founding myth of religiosity, purity and virtue, seen as central to the survival of the State and its religious mission. It was a crusade to create a cultural myopia, prosecuted by Church and State, through legislative and non-legislative means. A cause pursued so vigorously that it left those who bore witness to the illusory nature of the founding myths, no matter how inadvertently, to be branded as other, non-Irish, anti-Catholic, taboo figures to be feared and despised. A reality that contributed substantially towards the unchecked abuse of children in Ireland’s industrial and reformatory schools for decades to come.
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The ‘state’ in the context of this essay refers to the political and administrative arms of Irish government.
The Tribunal of Inquiry into the Beef Processing Industry was established on 31 May 1991, chaired by Mr Justice Liam Hamilton. It was set up to inquire into malpractice in the Irish beef processing industry, mainly centred on Goodman International. Additionally, it examined accusations of special dispensations given by the Minister for Industry and Commerce to Goodman.
28 June 1922–24 May 1923.
A noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not necessarily, religious in tone, deliberately propagated by an elite to maintain social cohesion and/or to advance an agenda.
Marlborough House had no religious involvement in its management, neither was it staffed by members of religious orders, it therefore offers a graphic example of the state’s direct disregard for these children.
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National Archives of Ireland (NAI)
- The Ideology and Mechanics of Ignorance: Child Abuse in Ireland 1922–1973
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