Irish Child Abuse Report: 'People Know The Truth'

In response to the Commission's report, the Christian Brothers released a statement through their public relations firm saying, "We acknowledge and regret that our responses to physical and sexual abuse failed to consider the long-term psychological effects on children..... We appreciate that no healing is possible without an acknowledgement of our responsibilities as a congregation for what has happened."

The report by the independent Commission, set up in 2000 after Prime Minister Bertie Ahern issued an apology on behalf of the state for victims of child abuse, will not be used in criminal prosecutions. Instead, the report makes a series of suggestions to the state, including erecting a memorial for the victims, constant evaluation of childcare policy and an admission of "failures of systems and policy."

Victim Compensation

The Irish Institutions Redress Board has given each of 12,000 victims who have applied to the Redress Board compensation of $90,000. This compensation is only given to victims on the condition they will waive their right to sue the state and church.

The new leader of Catholic Church in England and Wales, appointed Archbishop of Westminster only one day after the release of the Commission's report, said that the Irish clergy who admitted child abuse were courageous for facing up to their past. "That takes courage, and also we shouldn't forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did," the Most Rev Vincent Nichols told ITV News.

What is certain is that the 2,575-page report by the Commission was made possible thanks to the courage of child abuse victims such as Tom Hayes who says "it's important that people know the truth."

However, a spokesman for the victims, John Kelly, summed up in an interview with the BBC how many of them will be feeling.

"Victims will feel that this enquiry didn't go far enough. It didn't investigate the unconstitutional way the courts sent these children off into the institutions. They wouldn't have been abused if they weren't sent there."

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