Current child abuse scandals are opening wounds for Costa Blanca restaurateur Richard (Mickey Finn). The owner of La Zenia’s American Bar has battled demons after years spent in a children’s prison in Ireland.As a 12-year old child he was sentenced to three years hard labour for what would now be considered minor misbehaviour.

For the immoral Christian Brothers who managed the detention centre it was safe from prying eyes. Youngsters, many of them orphans were at the mercy of a coven of depraved monastic brothers.

Mickey, and hundreds of boys who passed through this den of degeneracy, were routinely physically, sexually and mentally abused. Ireland’s judicial system was responsible for providing a steady supply of child victims.

With Taliban-like zeal Christian Brothers routinely administered life-threatening beatings on a whim. Many such acts were witnessed by fellow brothers and terrified children.

Ghost writer Michael Walsh, who ghosted Mickey’s book Still Running, was often distressed as he set down the author’s recollections. “There were times when I had to walk away from my keyboard; I needed space to compose myself,” he says.

The children’s labours were invariably accompanied by kicking, beatings and constant demands that they work harder. 147 children died at Letterfrack; untold numbers simply disappeared.

Michael Walsh is urging victims of institutionalised violence to get in touch. For Mickey, telling his story opened wounds but were therapeutic in that it allowed him to confront his ghosts and come to terms with his abusive past.

Michael Walsh

International Journalism, Broadcasting and Media Columnist

Professional Editing and Ghost-Writing

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