TAOISEACH Micheal Martin has called the abuse revelations at Blackrock College “disgusting” and said he wants to see those responsible for the attack on children pursued and prosecuted by the Gardai.
However, Mr Martin said he did not believe the state should step in to compensate victims of abuse in private schools – he insisted it was a matter for the religious orders involved in individual schools.
The Taoiseach, speaking in Cork this morning, said he believed the matter should now be the focus of the criminal justice system rather than a lengthy new public inquiry.
Mr Martin spoke out after a week of horrific revelations about abuse at one of the country’s most elite schools, run by the Spiritan spiritual order.
It emerged that 57 men had lodged complaints that they had been abused on Blackrock College grounds. Headmaster Alan MacGinty apologized during the week for the “shameful” chapter in the Dublin school’s history.
“I think it is very important that the existing mechanisms are used, especially the criminal justice system,” he said.
“People should be investigated, the Gardai should investigate the abuse situation.”
“I think what we’ve learned is disgusting, it’s shocking in terms of the level of abuse and the horrific trauma that was caused to people who went to school.”
There have also been complaints of abuse at other Spiritan run schools such as St Mary’s College in Rathmines and Rockwell College in Tipperary.
Mr Martin said he believed the criminal justice system should now be the focus of related revelations, rather than a debate over a potentially lengthy new public inquiry.
“Again, what you are proposing (a commission of inquiry) – there’s a monstrosity to that too.”
“Such an investigation is enormous, and I think one of the themes that we need to learn from all the investigations that we’ve had is to expand and ensure the existing mechanisms, particularly in (the) criminal justice system. , are used quite relentlessly and with great concentration.”
“By that I mean if people … and people here have committed terrible crimes – they should be investigated, and we don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize any ongoing investigation.”
The Taoiseach also said he didn’t think there was an argument for a special compensation package from the state for those affected.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“But what we see here is that the (religious) orders here have taken responsibility in terms of settlements and so on. That’s the way it should be – they’re at fault in that respect in relation to their government and that’s the way it should be.”
“But that means as well as those individuals who are guilty, if they are alive and in some cases some have died, the judiciary (and Gardai) should be prosecuting them.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/blackrock-college-abuse-revelations-shocking-and-sickening-taoiseach-says-42139016.html Taoiseach says Blackrock College abuse revelations are ‘shocking and disgusting’