Child sexual abuse in all its manifestations, is akin to dry rot; by the time you realise what’s happening, the structure is turning to dust by a web of predatory vein-like alien creepers.
The cases of manipulative adults taking advantage of children or teenagers while in a vulnerable position has left communities shocked to the core. People are left wondering what or where next?
Visitors to Donegal or any part of this country look on in envy at the beauty of our mountains and beaches, but in doing so, do they realise that there is an ugly undercurrent that for many blots out completely the beauty that surrounds us and makes it an irrelevance in many people’s lives.
It is time to get real in terms of dealing with those who seek self-gratification through paedophiliac activities. We need Judges now more than ever that will make sure through sentencing that, the time must fit the crime.
If there is to be any genuine solace for the victims whose rights were ignored and trampled upon in the most vile fashion, then likewise it is only right that the perpetrators of these acts should be denied the basic rights available to all decent ordinary citizens of this state.
We need a strict prison regime where there are no release dates or days out for good behaviour, that may lead to the slightest chance of ever re-offending. We have had our fill of being let down by those in authority we placed our trust in. Dare I say it, the Catholic church, which I have been a member of since birth, is by far the worst.
Abuse was ignored by certain members of the clergy who should have exposed it, and covered up by those who should have been providing protection to the vulnerable.
Unfortunately like some of those who suffered and continue to have nightmares because of the likes of Fr Brendan Smith or Fr Eugene Greene, is it too late to reverse the damage done to the church? While respect for those in positions of trust has been severely eroded, the other overriding reality is that you cannot make the mistake of tarring all with the one brush which would be an injustice in itself. The most important thing by far at this stage is that proper long term counselling services and any other form of help should be made available immediately to anyone who feels that they were a victim in circumstances not of their own making where they came into contact with one of those leeches who prey on the most vulnerable in society.
Mise le meas,