In Ireland, the past is a foreign country: they do things the same there

A week ago, Ireland was rocked by a Prime Time special in which the RTÉ Investigations Unit revealed horrific abuse of people with profound disabilities, women resident in Bungalow Three of Co Mayo’s Áras Attracta home.

Just last night, I watched “Reeling In The Years”, RTÉs hugely popular digest which each episode looks at a particular year. The featured year last night was 2006, a time that seems now as recent as last week and as distant as thirty years ago.

2006. The year of Bertie’s teary-eyed interview with Dobbo, Gemma Hayes singing “Undercover” and protestors picketing Peter Stringfellow’s mullet. I think.

2006 was the year too of the Leas Cross report. That was a horror story of institutional abuse and neglect which rocked the country. Eight years on, we have Áras Attracta. This is Ireland, after all.

Card to Aras A

@DapperZo had the lovely idea of how we all can do something very small, but very powerful, to let everyone in Áras Attracta know that we are thinking of them this Christmas.

Hop over to my column in TheJournal.ie to see how you can help:

Opinion: The simple, powerful gesture you can make to balance the sadness of the past week

– Donal O’Keeffe

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