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ABUSE SURVIVORS TAKE MESSAGE TO GAA FANS; Artane victims'group to flood Croke with leaflets.

A GROUP representing survivors of industrial school abuse is to target GAA fans in an awareness campaign. Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) is planning to flood Croke Park with 40,000 leaflets on All-Ireland football final day later this month. Spokesman John Kelly said Croke Park was chosen because the Artane Boys Band will be playing before the football showdown. "We are the biggest group representing survivors, with 1,400 members," he said. "We want to raise awareness of what happened to many children at the hands of theChristian Brothers."

As part of a campaign to keep the issue of abuse in Ireland's industrial schools at the top of the political and public agenda, SOCA also laid flowers at a number of former schools last week. However, a floral tribute and a banner left outside the Artane former industrial school were destroyed within 30 minutes. "It may have been vandals but we find it strange that ithappened so soon after we left the flowers and banner there," said Mr Kelly.

SOCA is also calling on the government to exhume the bodies of former Christian Brother boys to establish how they died. The lobby group claims at least four cases of children who died at the industrial school deserve immediate investigation. A delegation from the organisation met the government-appointed Truth Commission last week to discuss exhuming remains. More than 300 former Christian Brother boys have claimed they were abused at the infamous Artane school. A 10-month-old probe into the school has become the biggest child abuse investigation in the history of the state.

Former pupils have bombarded a special incident room at Clontarf Garda station in Dublin with allegations against the brothers who ruled Artane with an iron fist. The complaints were made against over 80 brothers and former brothers, many of whom will face court.
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Author:Leslie, Neil
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 1999
Words:305
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