‘Insecurity’ of Irish Society Exposed in Studies

June 5, 2012 in 2006

“A Sense of Security’ is the theme of the Irish Jesuit quarterly Studies, published this Spring, 2006. with contributions on Garda Accountability, Anti-Social Behaviour, Priesthood and Homosexuality, Rights of the Disabled, Child Asylum Seekers, Human Trafficking and “Madness and Security”.

“Despite living in one of the most prosperous eras in Western history, nearly all of us feel a sense of insecurity. It  begins with our own neighbourhood but immediately extends to our country and its future”, according to Studies editor Fr. Fergus O Donoghue SJ who adds that however “security and respectability based on a fear of what others might think are forms of social control” and he argues that “political leaders benefit from  encouraging  such controls and, whilst proclaiming themselves as liberals, are tempted to play to the chauvinist gallery and/or jump on a bandwagon, whenever media coverage is to be gained’’

Desmond Delaney in his article The Asylum Process and Psychological Needs of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children in Ireland describes how our experience in this area is a relatively new one. The article provides an insight into some of the psychological issues facing this unaccompanied asylum seeking young people in Ireland and also the policing role then accorded, by default to the Social Workers. He makes the point that the policing role given to Social workers when dealing with child asylum seekers is very disturbing, because it casts professionals in roles for which they have no training. Our Asylum process is very hard on accompanied children and does not meet their emotional needs.

 In Human Trafficking,Gillian Wiley of the Irish School of Ecumenics argues that the West’s response to human trafficking (over emphasis on criminality and restricting migrants’ entry) is actually worsening the situation for the thousands of people, especially women and children trafficked here and across Europe.

Other contributors include Aogan Mulvahy, School of Sociology UCD, who looks at the security of our trust in the gardai and their accountability. Pat Cogan OFM, who argues in his article on anti -social behaviour that ASBO’s (anti social behaviour orders) should be a measure of last resort not first and  Fr. Bernard Kennedy looks at the insecurity the gay community feel in light of documents written and stances taken by Christian and other  major religions.

In her article on  Security and Asylum’, Eilis Ward writes that “ Irelands psychiatric hospitals were used to secure the unwanted, the vulnerable, the poor and the socially troublesome’’ and cites the distressing case of Hanna Greally, whose memoir ‘Birds Nest Soup’ was published 35 years ago. Greally’s unique account of her prolonged confinement and eventual release is the subject of the article and her removal from society through the stripping of her social identity. Eilis Ward cites Hannas closing statement of her memoirs “Twenty years is a long time. When I came back to work in the world, I found that all my old friends had gone, married, emigrated. My relatives would discuss me, I know, as an embarrassing resurrection