It's no news that I voted FG/Labour at the election and would be known as a FG supporter, though not a member of the Party. It's also probably known that I don't particularly rate the FG leadership, given that, to anyone fair minded, Enda Kenny is a bit intellectually limited, given his role. I don't mean to denigrate him. He works like a dog and has good intentions. However, I have said for a long long time that he is very badly advised and I think we saw first hand yesterday how that manifests itself. He clearly listened to his lawyers far too much and did not, again, trust his instinct, which is naturally kind and sympathetic, to be fair.
So, I took literally 5 minutes and composed the following, which I don't claim to be wonderful, but a vast improvement on the waffle he came out with yesterday. Anybody think it is something he could not have said??
""I thank Deputy McDonald for her question.
Today has seen the publication of yet another report into the unmitigated disaster that was the interaction of Church and State in this country since the latters foundation. Another report into the dark recesses of a Republic that was, and in some ways still is, only so in name. Another report into the maltreatment meted out by the Church, to the vulnerable, in the name of “morality” and which was aided and abetted, in no small degree, by the State.
A connivance of moral pygmies.
The filth of moral omniscience.
Another occasion where the head of Government has to come into this house and apologise, on behalf of all the people of this Country, for their own failings.
I must inform the house that, the report having only been circulated at Cabinet today, I am not in a position to, nor should I, commence apportioning specific blame, save to say that from my briefing there would seem to be blame enough to go around. The State who referred these women in many instances, who then no matter how they were referred, failed in their duty to ensure that all the citizens of this Republic are treated equally. The church who, as Dr. McAlesse notes, perhaps thought they were doing some service, but in fact did enormous harm. The individual Gardai who acted as unofficial enforcers of the Nuns rule. The social workers, the Parish Priest, etc etc. Moreover, the ordinary member of the public who thought these women deserved nothing better. There is not, I think we will all find, any strata of society who are free from blame when this report is fully considered.
There will be a full, and frank, debate in this house in two weeks time when we have all had opportunity to consider the contents of this detailed report. I hope each and every Deputy will give rigorous attention to this report prior to that and come back to this house ready to deal with this most sensitive and important issue.
I note from public comments and private discussions with Government that the main wish of those incarcerated in these institutions, and there are less than one thousand persons remaining, is an apology for the wrong done to them.
I do that now on behalf of all the peoples of this Republic, then and now. For what happened you then and for taking so long to attempt to rectify that wrong.
I, WE, are profoundly sorry.
The details of how we, as a Government, might assist bringing a sense of closure and peace to those incarcerated have obviously yet to be worked out. I hope that this house can discuss that matter when we debate the report in full in two weeks time.
To add much more to my remarks at this stage would be merely rhetoric and add nothing to what should be the shocking impact of what our society did to these women. However, I do say to the “maggies”, you were and are not the “fallen”, you have nothing to be ashamed of, on the contrary, the rest of us have. You were and are not “unclean”, we are. You were and are not “destitute”, we abandoned you.
Thank you Ceann Comhairle. ""