Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture

Now Irish eyes are open

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2356
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

    The Ryan report on the systematic child cruelty visited upon over 30 000 children incarcerated in state institutions in Ireland from 1914 to 2000 vindicated the victims who were raped and sexually abused ( But it has not fixed the problem—yet. We all suspected that bad things were going on behind the institutional walls; they filtered out in a miasma of whispered words. But the abuse was barely questioned, as few Irish people would have challenged the church on any issue during that time. A solid, smooth wall of denial and diversion …

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