"MURDER OF THE UNDEAD": PATRICK WALSH AND THE IRISH TIMES
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 23:20:54 +0100 (BST)
From: Rory Connor
Subject: "MURDER OF THE UNDEAD": PATRICK WALSH AND THE IRISH TIMES
To: Professor Vincent Comerford, Ronan Fanning, "Dr. Colum Kenny", Daire Keogh
Dermot Keogh, "Dr. Eoin O'Sullivan", Professor Irene Whelan, Editor History Ireland
CC: Mary Raftery , Vincent Browne
"MURDER OF THE UNDEAD": PATRICK WALSH AND THE IRISH TIMES
In the Middle Ages Jews were sometimes accused of murdering Christian Boys for ritual reasons. These accusations are called "Blood Libels" by historians. The accusers usually waited until a boy died or went missing and then then blamed the Jews.
In the 21st Century we have become more "progressive". A number of leading members of "Victims" groups have accused the Christian Brothers of murdering boys AT TIMES WHEN NO BOY DIED OF ANY CAUSE. I refer to these as "Murder of the Undead" allegations. "Victimless Murders" is another possible description.
The following story involves a number of people who are prominent actors in our child abuse saga.
PATRICK WALSH is a leading member of Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA Ireland).
MICK WATERS is head of SOCA UK. He has a website www.ultimatedisposal.com which is full of furious ranting. Contributors frequently accuse the Christian Brothers of killing children.
PATSY McGARRY is still Religious Affairs correspondent of The Irish Times. (One of his predecessors was John Cooney who falsely accused the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of paedophilia.)
CONOR BRADY was editor of The Irish Times in 1999. He ascribed false allegations of child killing to a "procedural error"! (He was succeeded by GERALDINE KENNEDY but it makes no difference.)
15 August 2006
1) ARTANE BOYS FACED THE MUSIC - AND STRAPS
Article by Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 25 September 1999,
In Croke Park tomorrow, the Artane Boys Band will strike up, as much a part of the All-Ireland tradition as the final itself. Patrick Walsh was in the band once. He told his story to Patsy McGarry.
It was cold in Croke Park on April 12th 1966. Thousands had gathered there with the President, Mr. Eamon de Valera and the Taoiseach Mr. Sean Lemass, for a pageant marking the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Also there was inmate number 14723 from Artane industrial school. Patrick Walsh was on his first outing with the Artane Boys Band. He was 12 and played B-flat clarinet. He had joined the band for safety.
Boys in the band proper were an elite. They were untouchable. It wouldn't do for them to arrive at Croke Park with black eyes, bruises or broken limbs. Patrick's brothers began to teach him to play the B-flat clarinet. They presented him to Brother Joseph O'Connor who was in charge of the band. “OK” he said, “he’s in”.
Patrick, two of his brothers and their sister, Mary had been in industrial schools since August 1955. They were from Churchtown, Dublin, but their parents marriage had failed. They were detained by order of the Dublin Children's Court and were to be held by the State until they were 16.
Each was "charged with" having a parent who does not exercise proper guardianship. Patrick was not yet two. His "sentence of detention" would continue until his 16th birthday, September 25th, 1969.
Before entering Artane, Patrick had never encountered violence. There, however, boys were beaten with straps on the slightest pretext, he recalled.
“A classroom of 25 11-year olds and every single one of them crying for mercy. Every day. Can you imagine the sound that makes I can still hear it in my head? for not understanding a Gaelic word, or not being quick enough with a response to some mathematical problem.”
The man in charge of the infirmary would get extremely agitated when boys came in clutching their stomachs after being punched by Christian Brothers. He was afraid of appendicitis. PATRICK RECALLED TWO FUNERALS OF BOYS WHO HAD BEEN RUSHED TO THE MATER HOSPITAL WITH "ACUTE APPENDICITIS" [my emphasis].
Not yet in the band proper, Patrick was also beaten. Records say that between October 1963 and October 1964 he was detained in the infirmary five times. Each followed bad beatings. .....
Patrick has come to believe that “you can judge the nobility of a people by the way they deal with children. I have to say I didn’t see much nobility in the Irish.” He does not consider himself Irish. He is 46 today.
The Artane Boys Band is no longer run by the Christian Brothers.
(2) CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AT ARTANE
Letter to Irish Times, 9 October 1999
SIR, - The Christian Brothers note with deep regret and disbelief the seriously misleading article by Patsy McGarry, "Artane Boys faced the music - and straps" (The Irish Times, September 25th). The main source for the story seems to be Mr. Patrick Walsh, a former resident of Artane Industrial School.
Mr. McGarry made no attempt to check his story with the Christian Brothers. The article refers to boys arriving at the infirmary "clutching their stomachs after being punched by Christian Brothers". In this context Patrick Walsh is quoted as saying that he “recalled two funerals of boys who had been rushed to the Mater Hospital with ‘acute appendicitis’"”.
It is outrageous that an award winning journalist should include such extremely serious assertions in an article in The Irish Times without even bothering to check the facts. The implication is that the boys who were beaten and seriously injured by the Brothers were then dispatched to hospital where they died. The use of quotation marks around the words "acute appendicitis" seems to imply that the boys died from some other cause. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THAT NO BOY RESIDENT IN ARTANE DIED WHILE PATRICK WALSH WAS THERE.
The article also refers to records showing that Patrick Walsh was detained in the infirmary five times between October 1963 and October 1964, “each following severe beatings”. No doubt the reference to records and the inclusion of definite dates are meant to show the authenticity of the story. One would have to ask however if Patsy McGarry has checked these records. In fact the records for Artane Industrial School show that Patrick Walsh was never admitted to the infirmary during that period.
Your correspondent, and you as Editor, must surely be aware of the Government commission (May 1999) into childhood abuse in reformatory and industrial schools and other places. It is astonishing, therefore, that such an irresponsible and misleading article has been published by The Irish Times. We would ask you please to set the record straight.
Brother J.K. Mullan
Christian Brothers Provincialate,
North Circular Road,
(3) RESPONSE BY IRISH TIMES EDITOR
9 October 1999
A procedural oversight occurred as a result of which Mr. Walsh's allegations were not put to the Christian Brothers in advance of publication.
A further error took place in citing Mr. Walsh's dates of admission to the infirmary. Artane records show that he was admitted four times between October 1964 and October 1965.
The Irish Times is happy to put this clarifying information from the Christian Brothers on the public record. The errors are very much regretted. Ed, IT.
(4) MICK WATERS: CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AT ARTANE
Letter to Irish Times, 19 October 1999
Sir, - I refer to Brother Mullan's letter of protest (October 9th) wherein he makes heavy weather of Patsy McGarry's highly revealing article on the terror endured by children held at Artane. (The Irish Times, September 25th).
In his enthusiasm to "put the record straight" as he sees it, Brother Mullan has placed in the public domain what we hitherto only suspected - that the order of the Christian Brothers has been permitted to retain custody and control of the medical files of those entrusted to them by the State, even though those files are rightly the property of the Eastern Health Board and/or the Department of Education.
For months now SOCA has been pressing the various departments of Government in Dublin to locate the medical files of the victims.
It is truly astonishing that the very people who are the subject of one of the most extensive Garda investigations in the history of the State are allowed to keep possession of what are State documents compiled under the provisions of the 1908 Childrens Act. Whatever next? - Yours etc.
Survivors of Child Abuse,
King Edward Road,
(5) LETTER FROM MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, JOHN O'DONOGHUE T.D. REGARDING INCITEMENT TO HATRED
Office of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
7 December 1999
Mr. Jim Higgins T.D.
I wish to refer further to your letter dated 10th November 1999 on behalf of Mr. Rory Connor regarding an article in the Irish Times in relation to Artane Industrial School.
I have been informed by the Garda authorities that an investigation team has been set up to examine allegations in relation to Artane. All allegations of physical and sexual abuse are being thoroughly investigated, with the files being forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions where appropriate. IN RELATION TO THE SUGGESTION THAT CHILDREN DIED AS A RESULT OF THIS ABUSE, I UNDERSTAND THAT THE GARDA INVESTIGATION, TO DATE, HAS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS ALLEGATION. [my emphasis]
With regard to the initiation of a prosecution for incitement to hatred, you will appreciate I have no function in the investigation or prosecution of criminal complaints. I have accordingly arranged to have Mr. Connor's correspondence brought to the attention of the Garda authorities.
John O'Donoghue T.D.
MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM
I understand that the Gardai sent a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommending that the Irish Times be prosecuted under the Prevention of Incitement to Hatred Act. The DPP refused. He never gives a reason but I understand he felt that a bogus allegation of child murder does not PROVE that the acusers are motivated by religious hatred!
HOWEVER the DPP once prosecuted a bus driver who had an altercation with a black passenger and told him to "go back where you came from". The man was found guilty of incitement to hatred and lost his job. It looks like racial hatred is a lot easier to prove than the religious variety!
An alternative explanation is that our "liberal" elite have no objection to hatred directed against the Catholic Church. In fact they regard anti-clericalism as a necessary component of "liberalism".
15 August 2006