Article written 2004 (Child Sexual Abuse) by Michelle Clarke

16th February 2004

Emails to Govt and relevant bodies

Child Sexual Abuse

People are human and the inability of the Church and State to arrive at a fair appraisal of the abuse sustained by claimants is unacceptable.

We must also  account of those who choose to ‘let the ghosts of the past remain in the past’.

There are key points to take account of:

It is a sad part to acknowledge that the human psyche is capable of making false claims in such a grotesque occurrence of abuse in the industrial schools.  There ought to be a sense of shame applied to those found so indicted by the Gardai and DPP and Courts.  However, the DPP is not such a clear issue.  This is based on evidence and the 50/50 rule.

All people subjected to the abuse require a social and ethical input – the economic factor in reality does not wipe out the pain or necessarily provide the coping strategies necessary.

I met a woman who had been in the Magdalen Laundries – the weekly lectures at Aware provided her with her courage to fight and survive.  Given that Aware, Grow and other organisations have groups all over Ireland, perhaps these ought to be involved in the Redress Board.

I have had the benefit of professional counseling for five years as a mature student in Trinity College Dublin.  I highly recommend that a process of counseling have a two dimension approach.  Haunted memories and retrieval is about real pain.  The pain affects the present and the future.  My experience is that the pain is tapered by the challenge of the education.  This brings about a further scope to the life of a person badly traumatised in their formative years.

One point I would also like to make.  I choose the word ‘Charlatans’ to convey the implications involved in attending counselors without formal Psychology qualifications.  The Government must seriously address this issue and grasp the implications also.

This needs to be overseen by the Redress Board and the necessary protection put in place for those who are vulnerable.

I recall in the 1980’s people who attended group therapy where via the subconscious and drawing, the counselor and client constructed an interpretation.  The interpretation I heard was most frightening.  One never can find out whether it was the truth or not but it had severe implications for other family members.  Also bear in mind it has implications for other members of the group in counseling.

A multi-disciplinary team and process for the coping strategies of those so abused is urgently required – the money is incidental to the pain.


A quotation:

‘Human Compassion is equal to human cruelty, and it is up to each of us to


Alice Walker

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s