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When I was seven years old (as I am in this photograph), every child I knew of my own age went away to boarding school.
The new headmaster, Crombie, had underlined it in his blue-black ink and scrawled, 'Well that bloody explains everything...' , and shake my head at the person I was.
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, a qualified barrister who campaigned against the introduction of the law in 2009, said this was a "most unusual" case.
She said then Justice Minister Dermot Ahern made a grave error introducing the blasphemy law in 2009 and while criminal prosecutions haven’t been pursued in Ireland the law has been used as a model by other less democratic states.
When people today hear I was sent away to board at a school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, they often raise a disapproving eyebrow, snort a contemptuous snort or fling up a despairing hand at the coldness, the cruelty and neglect of parents who could do such a thing to a child of such tender years. What is forgotten by those who dislike the idea of children being sent away at an early (or any) age is the matter of expectation and custom.
The rightness or wrongness of private boarding education is a separate issue, and I change my opinion of it as regularly as I change my socks and my views on God.