Ireland’s hidden survivors


August 30, 2019

By Leanna Byrne

[This feature has the following sections: William, The Institutions, Mary, The Commission, The Safeguarder, Moving on]

It is 20 years since the Republic of Ireland’s first state apology to children abused in Catholic institutions.

It is 10 years since a government-sponsored report exposed the sheer scale of the abuse carried out by priests, nuns and lay staff.

As the number of surviving abuse victims shrinks and the Irish state closes its survivors’ fund, many feel that they have been left without a plan to continue to support them.


Imagine two young brothers. One is visually impaired. His younger brother has brittle bone disease and is severely disabled. Both are forced to witness each other being sexually abused by two priests.

This is William Gorry’s story.

His worst experience was when he was 10 years old. His brother, Thomas, was six.

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