The hidden toll of stigma and shame has taken its toll on the thousands of boys now grown men in Ireland who were raped by the Catholic Clerical Orders in Ireland. Ireland has long been considered one of the most religious countries in the world, a place where men and women follow Catholic doctrine blindly. But behind the devout exterior, the country is hiding a dark secret, one which both the powerful Irish Catholic Church and the Irish Government has tried to sweep under the rug and hid. In reality, boys as young as 18 months old were stolen and passed around to a group of middle aged clerical men for their own sexual gratification. Ireland's poverty had been a driving force in the rise of the Clerics and the powerful Irish Catholic Church in the last 150 years. It makes it easy for male predators to prowl the Orphanages and Industrial Schools targeting 'pretty' young boys. Also many Irish Priests in parishes up and down the Irish landscape enticed young boys also from their rich and poor families with promises of fun and redemption. All these false promises made by the clerics more often than not come to nothing, instead, the boys were sexually abused or raped and in some cases passed around to groups of men, fellow clerics to do as they wish. To probing questions with a curious boy, by a priest who go like, ’Where do you live, so I can get to know your family, are you in my parish? Once the introduction is over, and the rape consumed, the true horror of the priest’s role is revealed. Then the frightened Catholic boy is shamed and silenced with eternal damnation, the concept of divine punishment and torment in an afterlife for his actions committed on Earth. The frightened boy would be passed along to other clerics in the area, or the boy is taken away for overnight sleepovers to other parishes where he can be sexually abused, again and again.
Many Priests had privately boasted to fellow Priests, about their relationships and love with local boys, the Priests would swap notes with each other, encouraging their fellow Priest to come and visit, hoping for a reciprocate visit with the visiting Priest. After all it was considered highly prestigious in some clerical circles to have your very own regular local boy. Many Irish Priests hunted in pack groups, like hungry sex starved wolves into different parishes throughout the lush green land of Ireland after comparing notes of what was available for them to feast and lust on.
To some clerics it was seen as a marker of your power and standing to have a regular pretty boy. Clerics rarely admit to outsiders to sexually abusing boys, they don't want to talk about it, ever, only to their own kind within clerical circles, nobody can know, not even the boy’s own family, some Irish families willingly gave up their boys to these clerics. The clerics were not even considered to be paedophiles, but good men who took the vulnerable boys under their wing. In Ireland, however, the perpetrators had been openly protected by both the Irish State, and the very powerful Irish Catholic Church. The Irish People, Irish State and even the Irish State Police were afraid to upset the powerful Irish Catholic Church, on average a Priest who sexually abused a boy had on average 80 other boys within different parishes.Yet for the vulnerable boys, more than two thirds of whom were between the ages of 7 and 16, were chosen as sex slaves of the clerics, for the vulnerable boys it was to become a life sentence, one which saw the vulnerable boys hid their shame and secrets from their own families, in some families all the male boys were raped by the same Priest, and their own brothers, verbally threatened, sworn to secrecy, the sexually abused boy never told their own brothers or their own parents out of trembling fear, fear of the local Church, of the holy man, the Priest, fear that their own family wouldn’t believe them, and the anxiety of been branded a deviant, both locally and socially.
Years later many vulnerable boys now young men turned to alcohol and hard drugs, and suicide, to suppress their shame, pain, sexual and emotional confusion, never to cope. Also many of the vulnerable boys in the end ran away, from home, there ruptured families never knowing what happened to them as children. The vulnerable boys of the Orphanages and Industrial Schools, having no home or family to go to, surely ended up in prison, and mental institutions, many died on the streets of towns and cities, both in Ireland and England, completely lost, ever present death was very welcomed by their confused, fearful minds. This is a little of what shame does, the shame of male rape, it utterly destroys your life, and many future loving relationships, forever, the stigma and shame goes with you, even to your lonely grave. By Owen Felix O'Neill
Owen Felix O'Neill
Author of Child Laundering Secrets, 2017