UNTIL 2003 it was not common for Amnesty to address human rights issues in the jurisdiction where it was based.
This too applied to Ireland.
Although In Plain Sight is not its first time to comment on human rights issues here, it is its first time to address the issue of torture in this State, a spokesman for Amnesty said.
It felt compelled to do so “following all the abuse reports which highlight the failure of the State to act” in the context of “the gravest, systematic human rights failures” in its history, he said.
Research for In Plain Sight: Responding to the Ferns, Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports was undertaken by Dr Carole Holohan.
It was commissioned by Amnesty International Ireland and financial assistance towards the project was provided by Atlantic Philanthropies and the One Foundation.
An advisory committee assisted with its preparation and included lecturer and commentator Elaine Byrne, historians Lindsey Earner- Byrne and Prof Diarmaid Ferriter, Colin Gordon of Food and Drinks Industry Ireland, former Mountjoy governor John Lonergan, Rosaleen McDonagh of Pavee Point, NUI Galway law Prof Gerard Quinn, DCU journalism lecturer Kevin Rafter, journalist Mary Raftery, Bride Rosney of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, Bart Storan of Amnesty Ireland and Bishop Willie Walsh.
1 Absence of clear lines of responsibility makes true accountability impossible.
2 The law must protect and apply to all members of society equally.
3 Recognition of children’s human rights must be strengthened.
4 Public attitudes matter. Individual attitudes matter.
5 The State must operate on behalf of the people, not on behalf of interest groups.
Implements Used And Injuries Suffered
On page 59 of In Plain Sight, “implements” used against children and the injuries suffered, as described in the Ryan report, are detailed.
“The leather; the leather containing metal or coins; the cat o’nine tails; canes; ash plants; blackthorn sticks; hurleys; broom handles; rulers; pointers; sally rods; bamboo canes; towel rollers; rosary beads; crucifixes; hair brushes; sweeping brushes; hand brushes; wooden spoons; batons; chair rungs; yard brushes; hoes; hay forks; pikes; pieces of wood with leather thongs attached; canes; bunches of keys; belt buckles; drain rods; rubber pram tyres; golf clubs; tyre rims; electric flexes; fan belts; horse tackle; hammers; metal rulers; butts of rifles; T-squares; gun pellets and hay ropes.”
Resultant injuries included
“breaks to ribs, noses, wrists, arms and legs . . .
“Injuries to head, genitalia, back, mouth, eye, ear, hand, jaw, face and kidney . . .
“Burns, dog bites, lacerations, broken teeth, dislocated shoulders and burst chilblains.”