On the day the Ryan Report is released, Mannix Flynn revisits Saint Joseph's Industrial School in Letterfrack where, as a child he was a victim of persistent physical and sexual abuse.
One of 17 children from inner city Dublin, the author and playwright Mannix Flynn was eight years old when he went to court for stealing a box of chocolates. At the age of eleven, a court judge sent him to St Joseph's industrial school in Letterfrack, Connemara, run by the Christian Brothers.
St Joseph's was one of a chain of 52 reformatories established in the late 19th century to provide education, training and correction for young offenders. According to the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (known as the Ryan Report) three known abusers were working there at one time.
The Ryan report found that the level of physical abuse at Letterfrack over four decades was, severe, excessive and pervasive, the level of sexual abuse was found to be chronic.
Revisiting St Joseph's for the first time since his incarceration brings back unwelcome memories for Mannix Flynn.
The whole place was a place of abuse, there wasn’t any sanctuary here and there was no sanctuary in this yard, so it was constant trauma and constant fear of attack.
He is keen for people to know that the abuse he sustained was regular and aggressive and violent.
But it was mainly an act of violence.
While the Ryan report runs to five volumes, it does not bring closure for Mannix Flynn.
This was something that was perpetrated on people, on children, by and large, on vulnerable people by the state.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 May 2009. The reporter is Teresa Mannion.