Sometimes, I’d meet a survivor as I took a cigarette break.
They’d tell me what was going on upstairs was unbelievable. I’d tell them that as much as I’d love to hear it, I was a journalist, and forbidden by law from talking about it.
Then on Monday, Michael O’Brien appeared on Questions and Answers.
What struck me wasn’t the abuse. Those stories I’ve heard before. Never easy to listen to, but at least I know what to expect. Michael O’Brien blew the whistle on the redress board and it’s ‘non-adversarial process’.
‘You said it was non-adversarial. My God. Seven barristers. Throwing questions at us. Non-stop. I attempted to commit suicide, there’s the woman who saved me from committing suicide, on me way down from Dublin, after spending five days at the commission. Five days I spent at the commission. They brought a man over from Rome, ninety odd years of age, to tell me I was telling lies. That I wasn’t beaten for an hour, non-stop by two of them. By two of them. Non-stop from head to toe without a shred of cloth on my body.’