Saturday, January 24, 2009

Family values

When a serious crime such as incest is governed by a law which has not been updated since 1908, you know something's wrong with your country's legal system. In Ireland, incest is a crime punishable with a life sentence - but only if you're a man. Women get off with seven years, as happened with a recent case in Monaghan where a woman forced her fourteen-year old son to have sex with her while her other children lived in hunger and squalor.

The facts of the case are sickening in themselves, but what's more vomit-inducing is that the state were aware of this woman's abhorrent level of care towards her children eight years ago, but failed to take any action on the grounds that she was being supported by "a right-wing Catholic group," who would have probably assisted her with an injuction against any order issued by the State to remove her children from her care.

You heard correctly. The State were afraid to stand up to a minority group who would be laughed into obscurity by the media and the public.

I'm speechless (for once) and I really don't know what to say on this one. There's not a lot that needs saying, really.

(In)actions speak louder than words.

On another little aside, I noticed a letter to the editor in The Irish Examiner, wherein a reader railed against those who criticised her local bishop for his perceived inaction in handling clerical sex abuse cases in his diocese. The woman went on to criticise groups like One In Four for focusing on such acts exclusively (her words, not mine), while other acts of child abuse, such as teaching our kids sex education in schools, were going on unabridged. I'm outta here. The inmates are clearly running the asylum.

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