A blessed life

I was scrolling though the Irish Times news app this morning as I had my breakfast, when a story ‘I have been in prison for 40 years in my head because of Billy Kenneally’: abuse survivors speak out’, caught my attention.

An accountant and basketball coach, Billy Kenneally from Waterford was sentenced to a further four and a half years for more deviant sexual crimes committed on young boys in his care.

The survivor who spoke out, Jason Clancy, spoke about carrying the hurt around for 40 years, being imprisoned, the failure of his marriage, and addiction problems which flowed from the abuse he suffered.

One image in particular struck me, however.

He spoke of the difficulty of the cross-examination he was forced to endure and trying to describe to a jury what ‘hog-tied’ meant, in attempting to describe the type of sick activities he and his fellow victims were forced to endure.

Other survivors endured days of cross-examination, too.

It struck me that I have lived a blessed life. I have never had to endure what these victims faced and what they have carried around with them for their entire lives.

One positive thing Jason Clancy can carry around is the fact that it was his decision to go to An Garda Siochana in 2012 to report what had happened him 30 years earlier that led to Kenneally being put behind bars for over 14 years.

Read the full Irish Times account of Jason Clancy’s story here.