Thursday 8 December 2016

This is a difficult case - but it must be fully examined

Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30

News today of a prominent politician, from recent decades, facing allegations of sexual abuse will anger, shock and distress many of us
News today of a prominent politician, from recent decades, facing allegations of sexual abuse will anger, shock and distress many of us

Few people in modern Ireland emerge with much credit from an examination of the most distressing issue of child sexual abuse.

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The exceptions are the survivors of this evil crime; a handful of heroic individuals who tried, often in vain, to draw the authorities' attention; and more recently advocates who have campaigned for changes on the issue. The rest of us struggle to learn the many lessons of recent years and fervently hope the future will bring no repeats.

Changes in the attitudes of those in authority have been tortuously slow. Change generally has been very hard won, and too often required cathartic interventions by those who survived these abuses, and spoke out to ultimately help educate all of us as a society.

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