A priest told a former resident of a church-run children's home in Northern Ireland that he was the product of an evil and satanic relationship, an inquiry has heard.
The son of an unmarried mother said he became a zombie,
introverted and fearing the next beating, lying soaked in urine at night
in an attempt to dissuade any sexual abusers from "dropping the hand".
was a resident at St Joseph's in Termonbacca, Londonderry, run by the
Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns, in the 1950s and complained about his
treatment to a priest after leaving the home.
The response was:
"You must never speak about this, you must understand... you and the
other orphans are bastards. You are the product of an evil and satanic
relationship. You never had a chance."
The witness said: "That was the day I left the Catholic Church."
treatment of children in church-run residential homes is a key concern
of the investigation being held in Banbridge, Co Down. It is chaired by
retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases in 13
residential institutions between 1922, the foundation of Northern Ireland, and 1995.
witness said: "The truth is setting me free today more than this
Commission knows. I have come here to tell the truth and as I am
reaching out, I am reaching out in healing and trying to forgive but at
this moment I cannot.
"I have waited 65 years to say this. When I
was reared by the Sisters of the Congregation of Nazareth it was
equivalent to being reared by the Taliban, such was their sadism, their lack of empathy, their fundamentalism, their lack of dignity to the little helpless boy."
He ran away and was recovered time after time.
One nun smirked and said: "Welcome back, your majesty," the witness said.
"Then the beatings would start."
hearings are due to finish in June 2015, with the inquiry team to
report to Stormont's power-sharing Executive by the start of 2016.