Sexual abuse was endemic in Irish Catholic institutions until the 1980s, a 9-year government inquiry has found. Over a 60-year period, 2000 children—mostly boys, now over 50—suffered physical and sexual abuses at the rigid schools, the BBC reports. Church officials encouraged beatings and shielded pedophiles in their orders, while inspectors failed to stop the chronic abuse, the report alleges.
While a cardinal says abusers should be held to account, the findings are unlikely to result in criminal prosecution, partly because the targeted Christian Brothers order succeeded in having the accused remain anonymous. The commission does recommend 21 ways the government can recognize past wrongs, like building a memorial, improving child protective services, and providing counseling to still-traumatized victims.