Instant access to sordid online material is normalising extreme behaviour among young people
Child sex abuse of any kind is shattering. But allegations of a child being sexually assaulted by a gang of schoolmates, in a most shocking and degrading manner, is unthinkable. It is almost beyond the imagination.
This weekend parents, staff and the board of the exclusive King's Hospital school in west Dublin are trying to come to terms with the unthinkable. That a 13-year-old male boarder was allegedly sexually assaulted with a hockey stick in a dormitory by eight other pupils - while he was supposed to be in the safe custody of the school.
It doesn't bear thinking how that young boy, his parents and family are feeling, especially now the story is in the public domain and making headlines.