Monday 19 March 2018

Bruce Arnold: So many wasted years but line has finally been drawn on abuse

Enda Kenny's speech last Wednesday has been rightly praised for its dramatic challenges to the Pope and the Vatican over the hypocrisy of the Holy See in respect of child abuse in Ireland. Long overdue, it is no less commendable for that. The speech has also been dealt with, almost exclusively, in the context of Ireland's relationship with the Papacy on this issue.

The speech, however, represented, in addition, a breathtaking rearrangement of domestic politics. It is wrong to see it as belated. This administration, led by Mr Kenny, has been swift to define a new child abuse policy and a new set of aims.

In dealing with this aspect -- which in the long run will prove of greater importance than battling with the Vatican -- I am not playing down the importance of the changed and, one hopes, irreversible new relationship between Ireland and Rome. But in fairness to many politicians over the past decade, we have witnessed, in that period, two distinct approaches.

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