Irish Times asked to retract Ingle’s “disgusting” article on Blackrock abuse  

An article by the Irish Times columnist Róisín Ingle has provoked a storm online with readers describing the piece as “disgusting” as well as “tone deaf and ignorant”.

There have been calls for the paper to retract the piece and to apologise to the victims of abuse at Blackrock College for what some saw as a ‘sneer’ at them for being “privileged”.

Revelations of sexual and physical abuse at Blackrock College in the past week have caused shock, disgust and dismay, with solidarity and compassion being expressed for the victims who spoke out.

However, many felt Ingle’s piece in the Irish Times, which seemed to focus on the status of the boys in the private school, and their perceived attitude towards a neighbouring girl’s school, was more judgemental than understanding. 

The piece, under the headline: “Turns out Blackrock College was a world away from us Pill Hill girls” continued with thoughts under a sub-heading of:  “Many of them were richer, posher and more privileged than us, but I know which of us were better off.”

“Kids can be cruel, and some of the Blackrock boys called our school Pill Hill. The nickname was designed to shame us young women in our red jumpers and grey skirts. It meant that some of the Blackrock boys thought we were all sexually active and on the pill, not being as well bred as them. Not having parents who could afford to send their children to schools that support social segregation, schools where the have-a-lots are educated away from the have-lesses,” she wrote

“We now know that Blackrock College and Willow Park, its junior school, employed some sexually abusive priests whose heinous attacks on children over three decades were never once reported to the Garda. Strange how these things go. We now know the Blackrock boys had nothing to feel superior about,” Ingle continued. 

“I listened to the radio the past few days, thinking of all the Blackrock boys and the Pill Hill girls. I know many of them were richer, posher and more privileged. And I know which of us were better off.”

The reaction on Twitter to her piece seemed wholly negative. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This article is utterly disrespectful to all victims of abuse. It is extremely self-centered and tone deaf. Please retract,” wrote one counselor.

 

“The sneering, spiteful tone of ⁦⁦@roisiningle ⁩ article is shameful. A callous “opinion” offering no empathy to those who suffered abuse. Journalism requires sensitivity and certainly should not be used as some score-settling, personal vendetta,” said one man.

 

Conor Maguire said that while the Irish Times had printed his letter which was critical of Ungle’s article, they had also cut out his call for an apology.

“Nice to see the IrishTimes publishing my letter today about the Roisin Ingle article today, coyly removing my suggestion for an apology, leaving the letter appear curt and unfinished. The subterfuge continues,” he said.

 

The controversy continues on Twitter today with some seeing the piece as “victim-shaming”.

 

 

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