The following is a ‘Letter to the Editor’ I came across while doing some research. It was published on 24th February 2003.
The current frenzy of intemperate attacks on the religious orders remind me of the ruthless attacks of the Nazi cohorts on the Jewish people in Germany in the 1930s.
Side by side with reports of abuses in industrial schools and orphanages have come reports of good and kind treatment of children too – but little or no prominence is given to such good deeds.
In his book on Artane, Patrick Touher, who spent some years there, said: “I realise that the majority of the Brothers were truly dedicated to our care; of course a few bad eggs emerged as in any institution but I know that on the whole the Brothers were doing their best within limited circumstances in hard times and with frightening numbers.”
Every boy in Artane – the full complement was 900 – was given training to learn a trade – carpenter, shoemaker, tailor, baker, barber, etc., – to fit him for future life.
Artane was practically self-sufficient in producing its own milk, vegetables and bread. The salaries of the Brothers were ploughed into the running expenses of the school, while the State paid a minuscule subsidy to the institution.
The much maligned Magdalen Laundries were there for the same reason – to help pay for food and other necessities. In effect, by their efficient and self-sacrificing work in caring for the neglected children of Ireland, the brothers and nuns saved this country enormous sums of money for decades at a time when Ireland’s economy was very poor indeed.
Rev CON McGILLICUDDY,
Interesting reference to Nazi cohorts since we’ve learned of the ruthless attacks by religious Nazi cohorts on innocent children in Artane and other religious slave labour camps.