Showing posts from August, 2016

‘Whose idea was it?’ Institutionalisation, State Policy and the Intellectually Disabled in 1950s Ireland

By David Kilgannon ‘They took the liberty of doing things, and the things they have done were an awful lot of evil things … I was only a young, innocent boy and I went through evil things that I didn’t want to go through. I went through their devilish hands … I was only dirt.’ (Ryan 5.85) Above is the pseudonymous account of Graham from the 2009 Report of the Irish ‘Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse’ (The Ryan Commission). Graham was sexually abused as a child at a Catholic run special-needs institution,  Our Lady of Good Counsel in Glanmire, Co. Cork. Tragically, Graham’s experience was far from exceptional, as the publication of the Ferns Report (2005), the McCoy Report (2007), the Murphy Report (2009) and the Ryan Report have highlighted the widespread institutionalisation and physical/sexual abuse of vulnerable children in Catholic run institutions in twentieth century Ireland. One strain of this wider phenomenon was the abuse of intellectually disabled children within i

Summer break

Dear readers, it's time for Public Disability History to go on its first summer break. In the seven months since launching the blog we've covered a wide range of topics, but that's only a first taste of how disability history can go public! On the meta-level, the blog itself is of course a way of publicly engaging scholars, activists, and the general public in a discussion on disability in history. The feedback from you, our readers, has shown that it works. We will be back in September, until then, keep reading the blog, maybe there's a post you missed in the archives, and keep commenting and messaging us. Maybe you'll also find one or another reading tip of pieces that deal with disability history. Best summer wishes, Sebastian, Anne, Pieter, and Ylva Summer scene for the summer break