Martin Ridge

Martin Ridge is a retired Garda who investigated many cases of child sex abuse in Donegal. These pieces below prove that he too is a survivor of the pain of child abuse.

Silent Pain
Crumbs of Hope
A Damaged Child
Let’s Lavish Praise
Lost at a Child’s Airport
A Rag
Sculpture of Pain

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To wash my mind of these dreadful deeds

It’s like trying to wash away Croagh Patrick

You can scrub and scrub

It’s like trying to empty a stream with a pitchfork or a tub

That is sleeveless and with no bottom.
Silent Pain

Silent Pain

Silent pain that reigns within

My wish it would be forgotten

It weaves and ebbs like an eel

In a stream

Oh! But it is sad and rotten.

Like a tailors needle with sharpened edge

That pulls through cloth forever

That is how you gored my childhood dreams

With your shameful acts of terror.

If my mind had wings that could fly and fly

Oh! I would let my pain fly away forever

But Alas, Alas there is no gleaming glow

That could erase the trembling pain of terror.

It’s like a slashing sword in a swirling wind

Where you gashed me with your reign of terror

Like a raging bull trapped in your ring

Where you speared and gored forever.

Like a thief in the night you robbed at will

And left scenes that won’t be forgotten

One’s dignity is a precious thing

That you destroyed, tore up, and up on it, left trodden.

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(This is about a senior advisor to the Bishop who wrote a glowing character reference for a paedophile.)

Crumbs of Hope

Crumbs of Hope, that’s all we’ve seen

Lavish praise on a paedophile with a glean

You remain in charge of children

I want to scream.

You turn up with children with a cynical smile

It’s like leading them into a ‘Bee-Hive’

They were stung before and they will be sung again

But you keep on doing the popular thing.

‘Oh! What a wonderful man’ I hear them sigh

Wouldn’t harm a bee nor indeed a fly.

But behind the scenes things are so vile

Oh’ you don’t want to hear it

Just let’s look at the cynical smile.

Children were abused when they were so young

It was them who were really stung

But there are no cups or medals to be seen

Or presented to those with their dying dreams.

Dreams of despair instead of dreams of Hope

Some see no way out except to hang themselves with a rope

Or drown themselves in a silent stream

Or are they already dead in their silent dreams.

Instead of giving these people some dreams of Hope

Is it any wonder they cannot Cope.

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A Damaged Child

He lay in bed last night crying

Like many’s a night before

When nobody heard him he gave up

He planned and simulated his own death.

He was already dead by childhood and sexual abuse

He recounted his friends getting medals

From a monster who praised so highly, the pervert

Who stole his life and that of his friends

He was silenced.

We just helped him to tighten the rope.

May God give him Peace.


And may God forgive all of us.

I mbóthán Dé go raibh muid ar fad. Written in October 05.

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Let’s Lavish Praise (Satire.)

In charge of children – well indeed you are

You are well known both wide and far.

Children would be safe under you – wouldn’t they!

They could live in harmony and be safe at play.

Safe at play and with ease of mind

With no perversion of any kind.

It’s a God given right – can’t you see

That children should live in harmony.

But harmony was far from the mind

Of the pervert fiend to whom you were so blind!

He made children’s lives a pure misery

With all kinds of perversion – can’t you see?

You lavished praise – Oh! He was your friend; I see!

But that doesn’t make it any easier for victims or me.

Did you ever think you might have an erring mind

OR do you think this should be the norm for all mankind

To carry out such acts of depravity

On children that should be allowed to roam free.

Did you ever think of the consequences and the living hell

That was caused to victims, who were slow to tell,

Of their lives and the pure misery,

Where it’s not a pretty place to be.

But let’s get busy with some other schemes

And let’s forget these shattered dreams.

As I sat in Court on that dreadful day

The Judge read out what you had to say.

I was in shock and I WANTED to scream.

You showed a picture of a man so kind

That would not harm children of any kind,


WE INVENTED and made up these SCENES,

Of sub-human acts that shattered dreams.

So, we are the liars and you are telling the truth,

Our lives doesn’t matter, it’s YOURS that rules.!

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Lost at a Child’s Airport

Oh! Do you want to see my Airport

Which really is my mind

Fogged up with such pollution and perversion of all kind.

Do you really want to see my Airport

It’s not a pretty place to be

It’s a landing space for paedophiles and little room there for me.

Do you want to see my Airport which is an Airport of despair

Full with such intrusiveness and where no one really cares.

You see someday at that Airport, I hope someone will rescue thee,

Is it because it’s a child’s Airport that no one really wants to see.

It’s an Airport of convenience for paedophiles, you know.

They use it as their landing space and put their skills on show

But I am choking at that Airport and I really want to scream

An Airport of avoidance and that of shattered dreams.

Those in charge at the Airport, should be caring for children’s wellbeing

But were more concerned about paedophiles and covering up such drastic scenes.

Like any normal Airport that has proper air traffic control

But those in charge of thee didn’t care about such a role.

This is so confusing, for any child, can’t you see

To be more concerned about paedophiles

And showed little or no concern for ye.

So is it any wonder that I am lost at the Airport and want to fly away,

Where I will have some peace of mind and someday I can have my say.


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A Rag

Left like a rag, hanging on a tree,

Not a pretty place to be.

But when you carried out acts of sub-human activity

That is actually how you left me.

Left with no light, looking at a gun

Will I pull the trigger or indeed will I run.

Put your hand on my heart,

It’s cold you see

At least I am relieved of this misery.

Listen, Listen it doesn’t tick anymore,

But you didn’t want to listen, when it was ticking before.

All are agasp!, Oh ! What could have been done,

But ye left the paedophiles for years on the run.

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Sculpture of Pain

A cascade of pain seeping of Hurt,

The brilliance of torture checked diligently on his posture.

Locked in a childhood of terror, with no rescue bridges in view.

The work of a child’s terrorist, presented like a discarded shoe lace.

The health warning sign of his cigarette package

Warning him, of the damage of smoking,

The unwritten warning sign of his breath,

Seeping of alcohol; in a way to numb his pain.

BUT no warning sign ever given, though known,

Of a child terrorist, landscaping his depravity

With a freedom of unrelenting terror that knew no boundaries.

These warning signs concealed,

In a package of Deceitful Betrayal.

A feast of despair in dire cry for help, with words too saddened to flow.

Damage caused immeasurable on the Richter scale, on the barometer of pain.

His life’s expedition confined to a reign of horror.

Numbed and exhausted by vomit of disgust.

Hanging onto life like a bat hanging onto a thin ledge,

Afraid to move outside the captivity of his cave of pain

The only friend he knows.

Are his wheels of life to be discarded like rusting fragments,

Of a decaying cart wheel!

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Your gushing waters rush to sea

And yet you look so still

With your current gait and posturing

Rocks – caressing them at will.

Your crushing noise puts minds at ease

A baffling mystery

As you escape down through my mind,

Oh, peace totally at ease.

You seem as if you are washing me

My body, soul and mind

I want to stay entrapped in you

If only for a while.

You can’t stay still and have a moment’s peace

But still you give such peace away

With your constant flow, I want to know

What guides you on your way.

You give of life abundant peace

You are weak and still so strong

A gentle pebble can breach with ease

But still you carry tons along.

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