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Setting truth free

• Mary Raftery was a remarkable person. She shone a light into the hidden past of Ireland, exposing the horrors of the industrial schools and laying bare a crime against humanity long covered up.

Her book 'Suffer the Little Children' and the brilliant 'States of Fear' TV series appeared before the Ryan Report, alerting us to the shattering catalogue of shame that was slowly approaching publication.

She revealed the truth about what we now refer to increasingly as the "Irish Gulags", where boys and girls cowered in terror from people who beat, bullied, and traumatised them, or scarred their lives with sexual abuse.

In the Christian tradition there are many men and women who have been elevated to sainthood. Mary Raftery, who uncovered the activities of human beings who hid behind masks of religion and clerical prestige, is in my opinion a lot closer to whatever God is out there than any clerical institution or pulpiteering preacher could ever be.

For this dedicated journalist did what they in spite of all their power and splendour could not bring themselves to do: she used the truth to set people free.

John Fitzgerald
Address with Editor

Irish Independent