Tuam was a bad enough situation even before the latest revelations. The only way the Catholic Church could handle this in a defensible manner would be to say "We fucked up! We will try to learn from this." - But they seem unwilling to do that.
(And of course the same goes for the Irish establishment. You can't separate these places from the authorities that put these women and their children there.)
The bigger the organisation the more widely the responsibility is spread- and the easier it is for the cogs in the machine to say, "We were just obeying orders, we didn't have the full picture, we didn't really know what was going on, we were just pushing paper around...."
Somebody knew, though, and at the end of the day the responsibility lies with the organisation as a whole. Both for the Catholic Church and the Irish authorities.
But of course there was a previous discovery at Tuam that led to absolutely no recognition of responsibility, so I am under no illusion that this will be different.
(In that respect, Tuam mimics the way Britain is handling their legacy of empire and the way Denmark is handling our slave-trading past; the former Danish West Indies islands have actually donated a sculpture commemorating that past to the State of Denmark, but it's in storage because "we don't know where to put it" or some other inane excuse. I think we all need to take a leaf out of Germany's book on how to handle past guilt, really.)
Germany had its feet held to the fire. That hasn't happened to other European states.
Have you been following events in Bristol where there are moves afoot to expunge the memory of the slave trader Edward Colston whose name and memorials are all over the city?
Still, they managed well on the whole, I'd say.
And no, I haven't been following the Colston thing, though I've been unable to avoid the Rhodes issue in many academic institutions.
I generally like explorations of communal memory. Berlin has some wonderful museums with that focus.
There's a balance to be struck between memory and denial. Rhodes and Colston are historical facts; we may not want to celebrate them but it would be irresponsible to wipe them from the record.
Then again, it could just be that he's a paranoid idiot!
Don't get me started on Tuam- a friend of mine in Ireland has just given birth and she's both ashamed to be Irish and furious.
I don't think we should underestimate Trump. Paranoia goes with the job- and he was thin-skinned to begin with. Mind you, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
He is the master of the diversionary tactics. Whenever there's something going on that he doesn't want the press talking about, he goes off on some outrageous tangent. Having said that, I don't think he's clever and he's a thin-skinned narcissist. I really don't know how long he can last, but it will have to be his own party that take him down.
I'd say "clever but not intelligent". He knows how to duck and weave but he's not very subtle about it. On the other hand we've never seen anything quite like him before...
The church has a long, long history of atrocities. One more or less on the counter doesn't make that much a difference anymore - in the eye of people looking at the church, when asking about being surprised about another one, as well as from the point of view of the church itself. At all, one must say: Has any atrocity that ever made it to the public make people tearing churches down and burn priests and all the people that belong to this lot that keeps doing these things? As long as they don't need to fear this, why caring about it too much (from their point of view? Just a recognition from practical circumstances.
The reaction to the scandals in Ireland hasn't been violent. People, especially the young, have just turned their backs on the Church. The ju-ju doesn't work any more and the power has been broken.
If people turn away in one place, just move to another...
The problem is that there is a backlog of past crimes and outrages perpetuated by a tight nexus of dynasties interlocked with church interests. Rumour has it that Eamon de Valera's son was one of the principal agents in the selling of babies abroad for adoption (without their mother's position and often lying and pretending they were dead.) A file for Eamon Junior's arrest was never sent to the director of public prosecutions.
And there are so many more like this. There is a whole pile of culpability, secrecy and cover-ups.