Saturday 10 December 2016

Hidden horror of audits on abuse

The awful injustices visited on Father Kevin Reynolds and clerical abuse victims may hold different places on the scale of horror, says Emer O'Kelly

Emer O'Kelly

Published 04/12/2011 | 05:00

THERE would be a lot of areas in my life for which I'd need "awareness training". Like most people, I try to be aware of the important things, such as other people's feelings. But I know I fall short: very few of us don't, at least from time to time.

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But one thing I do know: nobody needs to make me aware that children must be loved and cared for, and that anything which outrages their trust defiles society. Just as nobody needs to make me aware that seriously criminal behaviour, particularly against helpless people like children and the old, must be dealt with by the judicial authorities. And nobody needs to make me aware that as a citizen it is my basic duty, a sacred duty if you like, to do all I can to ensure that the civil and judicial authorities are made aware of the mistreatment of a child.

Not to be aware of that duty, indeed not to know it instinctively at the core of my being would make me less than human. It would certainly, I believe, indicate a deeply flawed psyche, maybe even verging on the sociopathic.

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