Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Padded Cell and other stories

Loss: By Gerrard Mannix Flynn.

Ring the bell “hard” when you visit because you may end up thinking the exhibition is closed and leave disappointed. I really enjoyed visiting this hauntingly powerful exhibition and even got a call a week later. There had been an “incident” involving the gallery and the host decided to play Miss Marple, thinking it was suspicious that I had left my card (standard practise).

How bizarre and what drama – Naturally I wasn’t best pleased.

Back to business! Since the foundation of the Irish State a great many people have been forced to emigrate in search of a better life - sometimes just for life itself - and the United Kingdom was the first port of call for many hundreds of thousands.  

Among these emigrants were a group of individuals who had been incarcerated in Ireland’s State-sanctioned Religious institutions and, on release, they fled  traumatised from Ireland and found sanctuary in the UK.

After decades of cover-up, recent State investigations have, at last, uncovered the scale of the abuse perpetrated against Irish children by Church and State.  The reports published answer in painful detail the questions of what was done to children in Irish institutions, how it was done and where it was done, but other more disturbing questions remain; the questions of why this abuse was allowed to happen and what is to be done now.

I believe that those involved - the victims, the perpetrators, the colluders and those who stood idly by while children were exploited, raped and tortured - know the why. It was because these children didn’t matter.  They were rubbish children and so people felt they could do whatever they wanted to them without consequences. And they were right; they didn’t have to face consequences at the time the abuse happened and they haven’t had to face any consequences since.

In the investigations into child abuse in Religious-run State institutions over 30% of those who gave testimony came from the UK to do so. The work in Loss is intended to highlight their issues and bring understanding and acknowledgment to their particular plight and the generations of children who came after them.

"This work is dedicated to the women who were incarcerated in the Magdalene laundries, Mother and Baby homes and other such institutions.  Women who after death still await the justice denied them in life."

Dialogue, 43A Vyner St., London E2 9DQ.

Please ring 0208 9805809 if you wish to view the work privately or with a group.

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