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The day in quotes ...

"What it (Ryan Report) has revealed must be a source of the deepest shame to all of us ... Children in the care of the state and in our care were physically, emotionally and, in many cases, sexually abused and our State and its systems failed to hear their cries or come to their help." --Taoiseach Brian Cowen "Let us not hide behind euphemisms. This was not just failure to protect. This was torture, pure and simple."-- Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny "It is fair to say that the sordid saga of the systematic abuse and neglect of children who were handed over by the State into the custody of religious institutions shocked Irish society to its very core." -- Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore "Religious orders, the Catholic Church hierarchy, successive Governments and the Department of Education stand indicted for the torture and murder of children and for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice." -- Sinn Fein's Caoimhghin O Caolain "The content of the Ryan report. . . challenges our beliefs and our views of history. It forces us to rethink our relationship with the church and our relationship with the State. It should make us humble and it should remind us of our awesome responsibility to discharge duties to the children of the State." -- Green Party backbencher Ciaran Cuffe "As a teacher of history, I taught about the reign of terror, the Holocaust and the killing fields of Cambodia. Now the history books will include chapters on our reign of terror which was the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children." -- Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan "To read of a child thrown over a banister of a long stairs because she innocently ate a sweet before Holy Communion, of another dressed only in underwear sprayed down with a fire hose outside during the middle of winter and another little boy forced to eat his own excrement because he had soiled himself, is more than any person can bear." -- Fine Gael education spokesman Brian Hayes "Either officials in the department are members of secret societies such as the Knights of St Columbanus and Opus Dei and have taken it upon themselves to protect the interests of these clerical orders. . . or, alternatively, the minister is politically incompetent and incapable of managing the Department of Education." -- Labour Party education spokesman Ruairi Quinn "I recognise that religious congregations have done a great deal for the people of Ireland over the years, but this does not mean that their members have more rights than other citizens. It does not make criminals who cloak themselves in a religious mantle immune to justice." -- Fine Gael justice spokesman Charlie Flanagan "It is also simply despicable to suggest that those who wish to go beyond the necessary apology, who seek redress, compensation or justice are, as former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern put it recently, indulging in activity that is anti-catholic." -- Labour TD Michael D Higgins "For all, there is the dawning realisation that nobody came to the rescue of these children." -- junior Education Minister Sean Haughey "It was an accepted belief in ordinary Catholic schools that children had to be punished. However, this reached its extremes in the institutions where children had nobody to protect them. . . the protectors became the persecutors."

-- Fianna Fail backbencher Beverley Flynn

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