Thursday, August 9, 2018

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Art Of Protest

Paul Kelly thinks that people don't think enough about the papal visit.

I have no problem admitting my lack of expertise regarding art. I just don’t get it. I can gaze at a masterpiece for ages without the foggiest idea of the message being conveyed. During a trip to the Louvre in 2010 I stood with the throngs in front of the Mona Lisa and wondered what all the fuss is about. My initial reaction to the Venus de Milo was what nasty habits must she have had that necessitated the removal of her arms. The Raft of Medusa fascinated me for two reasons; the sheer enormity of it and that it was parodied in 1985 on the cover of Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, the second album by The Pogues which I’ll always hold dear as it was the first time I’d ever heard an expletive in a song. But I know when I look at something whether I like it or not.

Taking all of the above into account, I decided to attend the ‘Art of Protest’ exhibition in Kenny’s Gallery, Galway after seeing it advertised recently in the Tuam Herald. It runs until August 25th. All of the regulars were represented; Che Guevara, Bobby Sands, the Palestinian Intifada, Bloody Sunday and Repeal the 8th to name but a few. One item on display will haunt me forever. Olga Magliocco’s Tuam Babies, A Memorial is a 22ft x 6ft cotton sheet with the names and ages of the 796 children who perished at the Tuam Mother and Babies home between 1925 and 1960. The youngest victim lived for 10 minutes. The oldest survived for nine years.

The event was officially launched by local historian Catherine Corless. During her address this unassuming, indomitable and inspirational woman spoke of her frustration at the indifference shown to her and the victims by some in positions of influence and their absolute unwillingness to support the campaign. This frustration and despair was reinforced further when Mrs Corless spoke after the meeting in Tuam last Monday (23/7) at which Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, was present: “….I do believe her (Mrs Zappone) heart is in the right place and if she can get the backing of the cabinet, that they will go ahead with the exhumation.” That Mrs Corless felt compelled to use the term ‘if’ speaks volumes.

Let us remind ourselves of what Mrs Corless’ campaign is seeking: Long overdue recognition and justice for 796 children who died of neglect while in the ostensible ‘care’ of the Bon Secours Sisters at Tuam Mother and Baby home, a veritable concentration camp. 796 children who were subsequently deemed subhuman and unworthy of a Christian burial whose remains were dumped in a sewer.

In a little over 3 weeks, the current CEO of the profit-obsessed company responsible for this holocaust, Jorge Bergoglio (aka Pope Francis) will arrive in Ireland to a trumpet fanfare. His stay will be just shy of 36 hours. He won’t be here long enough to warrant packing his toothbrush yet this glorified refueling stopover will cost the Irish taxpayer an estimated €20m.

Surely, this money could be put to better use? The hospital trolley crisis immediately springs to mind.

Arrangements are already underway to stage a peaceful protest during the visit. The “Say Nope to the Pope” campaign has been described by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as “wrong, petty and mean-spirited….” and “…not a legitimate protest.” Leo’s lapdog, Micheal Martin went a step further by referring to those intending to exercise their democratic right as “…petty, intolerant and certainly the opposite of progressive.”

What adjectives, I wonder, would Leo and Micheal use to describe an organization that tolerates its’ employees raping and torturing children, protects the assailants, demonizes the victims, orchestrates cover-ups and obstructs subsequent criminal investigations? “Mean-spirited” doesn’t quite cover it.

Professor of Irish Studies at Concordia University and regular Irish Times contributor Dr Emer O’Toole crunched some very depressing numbers in an article for The Guardian recently. With the Irish taxpayer picking up the exorbitant tab (the Ryan report alone cost €82m), the Ferns (2005), Ryan (2009), Murphy (2009), Cloyne (2011) and Raphoe (2011) reports all revealed a plethora of cover-ups of sexual and physical abuse in state-funded, church-run institutions. Each report confirmed protecting church assets by far superseded child welfare. For example, Cloyne found that Bishop John Magee was ordered by Rome to deliberately mislead the authorities investigating his handling of sexual abuse allegations. He didn’t need much persuading.

Established in 2002, the redress scheme for victims of clerical abuse was set at €1.5b. The state had hoped to split the costs of the scheme with the church 50/50 but as of April 2017 the church had only contributed €96m, roughly 6% of the redress, prompting Minister for Education, Richard Bruton to comment; “…it is disappointing the organizations responsible for protecting children, which managed the institutions in which these horrendous acts took place, would apparently place so little value on their responsibility." (Irish Independent 4/4/17) Since then, according to Dr O’Toole, the church has only stumped up a further €100m to compensate those it tortured for decades.

I hope anyone considering waving a yellow flag in Knock on Sunday August 26th will chew on this before loading up the car.

I’m sure there are those amongst us more than willing to go to bat for the church. I hope they do. I welcome debate. And I’d be very interested to hear a positive spin put on genocide, child rape, torture, slavery and human trafficking.

Paul Kelly is a Tuam based writer.


Unknown said...

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We must keep this story alive and continue to speak for those who never had a voice.

grouch said...

"And I’d be very interested to hear a positive spin put on genocide, child rape, torture, slavery and human trafficking."

well u language bending doublespeaking propagandists of slaughter put a "positive spin" on abortion only a few months ago, ie - 'i trust women' care, compassion, womens rights, safe legal abortions (ffs) and my favourite; savita - so u can go and put a positive spin on the above urself mister. u have the tools.

AM said...

Great piece Paul. Very well written. Glad to have it on TPQ.

Unknown said...

€20m. That would put a fair dent into the homeless crisis, hospital waiting lists/bed shortages, rape crisis centres, mental health/suicide awareness, AIDS/HIV prevention, sports facilities for kids etc etc etc etc......We owe this man nothing.

Unknown said...

The Catholic Church has had horrible scandals in the past but scandals have happened in every church and country.Some priests were molesting children which was truly terrible but if you look at the statistics, however, only a very small minority of priests were involved, and it isn’t really fair to blame the entire Catholic Church.We now need to let go of the past in order to embrace the future.

The papal visit in this regard is both timely and positive.Despite the scandals the majority of this country still follow the Catholic teachings and they have had to listen to the Catholic Chuch being bashed relentlessly in the last few years by a section of the liberal media ,some self-serving politicians and some intolerant loud minorities.This government has bent over backwards for the minorities in the last few years and I can't understand how anyone could begrudge something positive and wonderful happening for this faithful, forgiving majority grouping.

grouch said...

" 796 children who were subsequently deemed subhuman and unworthy of a Christian burial whose remains were dumped in a sewer."

this sentence is wrong on so many levels. ur not saying that when these children died they were thrown into a sewer are you? also - how did they die and what was the cause of death? was it the same cause that killed so many children of the poor in those years. infant mortality was extremely high back then, diseases were common - TB, diptheria - it would have been higher in institutions like this were people were cramped.they WERE given a funeral mass and buried in a cript. ask catherine corless about this - u live in tuam. also, i do believe corless admitted in an interview that stones marked the graves of the children until the council bulldozed them back in the 70s when building a council estate. finally , just in case u dont get it - 800 babies were not dumped in a sewer and if u look into it you will reach that conclusion too - but by all means jump on the hysterical anti-truth bandwagon and run with the chucked into a sewer angle. and not given a christian burial angle. and the 'unmarked' mass grave angle.

there were two underground structures in that area - one a burial crypt, one a septic tank. the children were buried in the crypt. but hey - that doesnt sound as good/bad as dumping them in a sewer does it.

this story is too important for bbc/irish times cultural marxist church bashing journalism. if u do want to hear something much closer to the truth, take 25 mins of ur life to watch the following BECAUSE THE CHILDREN DESERVE IT, THE NUNS DESERVE IT AND YOU DESERVE IT.

finally, im going to commission those artists to do a sculpture commemorating the poor and disabled (and able bodied) children who will be given a butchers death and no christian burial in this wonderful progressive trannylord repukelic run by a bunch of carpet munching queerdos. but u can bet ur bottom dollar the media wont cover it.

David Higgins said...

Can't make head nor tail of some of the comments above. Small minority of priests? There was a massive global conspiracy to cover up the rape of children by an institution professing love. A massive crime against those who should be protected above all else. How many priests were involved or if other institutions have degenerate rapists among them is surely immaterial

Unknown said...

I'm also confused by some of the above comments. I applaud the article. Pretty it up with whatever semantics help you sleep better but in a nut-shell the Catholic church committed horrendous acts with impunity on the most vulnerable of our society for centuries and still has the cajones to claim to hold moral authority over the vast majority of inhabitants on this island.

We, in the Free State, gained independence from Britain with the signing of the Treaty in December 1921. However flawed and imperfect it was achieved at too high a price to hand it over to the Catholic church. We simply replaced a tyranny with one much worse.

AM said...

It seems two of our commenters above are using the same handle (Unknown), if I am not mistaken. Can one elect to use a different one just to lessen confusion. The comments are nevertheless welcome from whatever side of the discussion.

grouch said...

i agree with u unknown - i'm not hear to defend the church - im here to defend the facts as best i can and the image of nuns throwing dead babies into a sewer without a christian burial is not a fact. its also a fact a lot of these young mothers were rejected by their families. its also a fact the landlord capitalist croney counter revolutionaries who took over have responsibility for the state of things back then too - they never gave a fuck for the plight of the poor and were never into 'cherishing all the children of the nation' and we shudnt just blame the church for everything. i also would like to apologise for using the phrase carpet munching queerdos to describe the homos in the current government/media complex.

frankie said...

During a trip to the Louvre in 2010 I stood with the throngs in front of the Mona Lisa and wondered what all the fuss is about.


You aren't alone there. I went there once in 1999 and was bored senseless. All I wanted to do was get out ASAP and go to Flan O'Brien's (probably the best bar in Paris at the time..) for a pint.

frankie said...

smarty pants aliens from other parts of the universe.

Yep. Thats exactly what happened Grouch. Many moons ago this rock was visited by several advanced life forms and they simply tweaked the DNA of primates until they found a sequence that worked and they used 'humans' to mine and quarry for minerals. There is far too many ancient texts and cave painting going back 200,0000+ yrs that show what looks like UFO's....Then you have to throw into the mix the monoliths.

the theory of evolution has been disproved

No it hasn't.Life was a fluke of nature. Modern day humans were originally monkeys in trees and there we would have stayed there only advanced life forms came and worked their magic. It has been proven that there are far to many similaries between dinosaurs and birds. The sound T-Rex made was similar to turkeys. The bollicks that you, me and everyone inbetween were taught in school is exactly that...bollicks. Personally if my kids were 4/5 yrs old today, there is no way would I send them to school to be educated.


We, in the Free State, gained independence from Britain with the signing of the Treaty in December 1921.


As for the cover up of child abuse. Can't get my head around it Is there an international child trafficking ring? My reading of things is yes. And it's the same names that keep coming up and the same places. How do you stop it? Most child abuse happens behind closed doors and probably not too far from we live, right under our noses......Probably as I type this and you read it.

David Higgins said...

The last I read there was at least a million planets in our galaxy in the habitable zone, maybe as much as a billion and at least 140 billion other galaxies in the universe, so I believe other lifeforms are inevitable. Whether other lifeforms have ever visited Earth is a completely different matter. The idea of alien involvement in our evoluton or any form of panspermia has the same problem as religion, lack of evidence. Cave paintings and other such circumstantial evidence is the same as religion, it take a massive element of belief to seem plausible

grouch said...

frankie.... take me to your leader. or your dealer.

frankie said...


There is loads of evidence all over this rock. The cave paintings that show mamoths, bison etc people accept them as what they are, simply representations of what they seen. But when the have what clearly looks like advanced life forms. UFOs in the same paintings as the bisons people dismiss them....I don't

Thing is the same types of paintings appear across this rock in North & South America, Europe, Austraila, Russia. THe monoliths that span this rock all have the same formations. And they all date within the same time period. The virgin birth to me at least reads life IVF.

I can't buy into the nonsense that man was once swinging from the trees and living in caves and the following week was able to build buildings like the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Mayans....The entwined snake symbol the Eygyptians looks like the double helix DNA.

frankie said...


You believe in a genocidal singularity called God. I believe in one less God than you. Do I think this rock is flatter than we are led to beleve, yes. Do I think that this rock was visited by advanced life forms and tweaked the DNA of primates, yes.

I also believe that Seth Rich is the person who gave Assenge a USB partly linked to a child trafficking ring based partly in Washington, the Vatican and Buck House London.

When I eventually die, I am handing my body over to medial science. All the bollocks and cost of funerals, cremations etc...Fcuk that. Who is actually going to piss on your grave when you die, very few and they become lesser each yr....

grouch said...

frankie, i would like to see u buried back here when u die rather than have some hungover french medical student disembowel you. but it dusnt really matter coz ur soul lives on after the physical body dies. i hope to meet u on the other side comrade. also i believe in the rings u mention but i wont get into it now - its utterly depressing. but the earth is a beautiful spinning globe, tilted on its axis hurtling through the solar system at about 75 thousand miles an hour and spinning on its axis at about a thousand. please download STELLARIUM (watch tutorial on youtube). u can go to any place on the globe and see the stars above that area. now i reckon you are a popular guy and have friends in different parts of the world. what you do is ring them or preferably skypechat them. ask them to go outside and film the sky above them. you have your stellarium on in another window on ur laptop. they will match. next ring ur mate in china ask him/her to do the same. u will get the same result. keep going - russia, mexico wherever, daytime you will see the sun in the exact same spot as stellarium nightime you will see moon stars and planets in EXACT same position as stellarium. ive been stargazing for nearly 20 years, its my passion. im a nerd. i strongly recommend getting into Stellarium. get stellarium and get skyping ur pals who are dotted all over the GLOBE. have a great day comrade.

David Higgins said...

This stuff fascinates me, though it's not evidence. The comparisons with bisons doesn't work because we know bisons exists, cave paintings aren't our only source of information. The problem lies in some conspiracies have been proven correct so people assume they're all correct, that's just as illogical as believing none of them are correct.

frankie said...


I have outlined why I think this rock is flatter than we are told here.

The Catherin Corless interview, that you recommended Grouch certainly puts a new spin on things. But it doesn't take away why Pope Francis can't pay for his own trips, security. And it doesn't justify the Vatican covering up children being raped by priests, bishops, nuns….