Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
That pot Kenny show on Newstalk. Anybody to come out of that place are all in prison or dead or alive on the way back to prison.
I was locked away in institutions run by religious orders of brothers and nuns. No one escaped the harsh punishment for petty offenses. Seven years, six years, five years for not going to school all around me, the same thing was happening to my brothers and my sisters and later to my nieces and nephews. Nobody believed this back then. And they still don't. Poverty, prison abuse, Manics Flynn has had enough suffering for us all, but rather than buckle it up, he's used his experiences to create art and to help others impacted by similar issues.
His documentary, Land Without God, deals with the abuse that his family suffered at the hands of the institutions. And a Mannix is on the line. Good morning.
Good morning. Good morning, listeners.
This had a cinematic release, but now it's going to be on TV after 10:00 tonight. And I would recommend, although harrowing it may be, it is compelling viewing.
Yes, it is compelling viewing, but it's a story of our history. It's a story of our social history, our political history. And it's a story of our class and the way it operated. It's a story about our religion, our church and our institutions and our justice system. And essentially, it's a story about our people and it's a story about our family. My family happened to be a template for certain members of my family, but this also portrays a lot of other families that just happen to have one member of the family is removed to an institution.
As a child, it has a detrimental impact on the entire family. There are many people in this country and abroad who've never spoken about what happened to them and what happened to the families that are too ashamed of it. I'm very, very proud of my family over a 10 year period. Having spoken about this, many of my family members didn't even know each other well in the institutions. So it's an important work. I always saw this work as a state document, as a response from the people of Ireland, the people of Ireland, as a document boyos followers and also to be shared.
But I think it's important that the church, the clergy, the political establishment there will just as establishment and everybody out there looks at this because this is by the witnesses, by those that experienced it without it being mediated. It's not a presentation, you know, a representation and has been told by those who experienced that over a 10 year period, it took 10 years to make this particular work. And, yes, you know, it is, you know, hard.
Yes, it is painful. But these are not I mean, you know, unhealthy things. Pain is not unhealthy and the anger is an unhealthy and this is the best way we can actually approach this particular difficult subject. It's been a long time since the Rome report. It's been a long time since we've had these investigations. And now we need to hear the full truth, the impact that the institutions had on my family and had on my class and how many people are still reverberating today and my family are still caught in this dynamic.
Now, Manics, you grappled with some of the big questions about that time. Why did it happen? How was it allowed to happen? Who turned a blind eye? I mean, even your your title land without God. We know we were a land full of religion at the time, but certainly religion without charity.
Well, we were certainly full of institutional church and we were certainly full of, you know, what's known as kind of sentimentality. But we weren't really full of faith. You can see that nobody amount of people that have turned away from the traditional church and found faith in their directions. I mean, in places like Dentifrice bangin Artane, there was a community around it. And the norm was that all those children were seen as Globish. The norm was that we were subject to huge abuse and had no power.
We were totally disempowered and it took a long time. And the pecking order, I mean, for me, you know, I could say it wasn't too bad compared to the travel of children compared to children of color, compared to children who had disability, you know, like polio or whatever that were in the institutions that had the pecking order was appalling. And don't forget also that that, in fact, wasn't surrounded by a lot of walls and in fact, was in Economia at Unimin and St.
Joseph's was the name of the school. The people in the town and in the villages around were also subject to abuse. So it's for adults to be able to factor these things in and deal with them in an appropriate, responsible manner. And then I'm lucky enough to attend counselling or in my way, I'm a politician. I'm a councillor. And, you know, to this day I attend counselling and I'm studying at the moment, you know, and compassionate and calling the government in order to kind of deal with not just the issues that happened in my childhood, but also to deal with what's coming down the road tonight, because my phone will hop off the table tonight.
But many people who have never spoken about it looking for assistance and help. But I believe that this is the way forward. I believe that we don't have to step back in anger, that we can own our experiences. And that's you know, I'm very, very grateful to the many people who helped me. I mean, it's we go back a long time myself in the south part. And I remember distinctly, you know, in your interviews with me on T all those years back asking these questions.
And it's quite extraordinary that we had to look at all of those interviews and go down this film. And I think it was about six and all at where we were actually the. Taking this issue and it's amazing all those years ago that we know arrive at this particular point where the actual true story of what happened to my family and many other families is now coming out on our TV tonight. This would have been unheard of 20 years ago, 30 years ago.
They never got this kind of coverage and they never got this kind of program on TV and certainly sponsored by the state. So there's a huge change in our society and that's for the better. But nonetheless, there's a lot of work still to be done. Well, it is, as I say, a compelling program and should be watched by one and all, you describe it as at the testimony that nobody asked to hear will hear it. They shouldn't hear it.
They must land without God airs tonight after 10:00 minority and its director and subject of the whole thing as well as many others. Manics Flynn, thank you very much for joining us on the program today.