Posted By: June 19, 2021


                       The Life of Richard Kerr

By Donal Lavery

My inspiration for this poem springs from my involvement in the heroic and admirable campaign of the Irish National Caucus (INC) to raise the case of Kincora-Richard Kerr in the United States Congress. I pray my words will help to inspire Members of Congress and Irish-Americans to rally to the Caucus’ call for justice for Richard, a Belfast Protestant who is now an American citizen, and who has been horribly mistreated by successive British Governments and British Intelligence.’’ – Donal Lavery. June, 18, 202).

In writing this poem, I have had to tearfully use two ‘euphemisms’ and ‘analogies’ as it is exceptionally dark and touches on very deep, factual sentiments which are ‘incomprehensible’ for children when they are experiencing such evil. The word ‘It’ is a euphemistic analogy for “child sexual abuse’’ and the word ‘They’ refers to both the abusers and those in power who ‘protected’ them.


At the age of eight, ‘They’ took me away,

Mum and Dad were told it was all for the best.

But soon, the nice food and clothes at the Home meant little,

As each night I hugged my teddy bear,

While praying ‘It’ would finally stop.


But ‘It’ never did and God failed me. Always!

Those men told me they cared,

And bought me gifts at times to ‘sweeten’ the sour despair.

My life became their object. My pain their satisfaction.

And I, a mere ‘play-thing’ of the night.


When the Teachers noticed the bleeding and the anxiety,

A Doctor then told me trust him. And naively, I did so.

He had me undress, while he sweated with glee.

Each photograph he took felt like a ‘knife’ through my innocence.

Yet all and all, they were just timeless ‘souvenirs’ for him and his friends.


Things certainly got worse before they got ‘better’,

When suddenly, I found myself lingering the grounds of Kincora House.

It was a ‘boys’ home’, ‘They’ said,

Where ‘They’ would look after me with ‘’affection’’.

Mr. Mains gave me whiskey and even told me he ‘loved’ me.


Then ‘It’ got worse. Much, much worse!

I was sent to big houses, bearing statues of angels.

But where was God or my teddy bear?

As ‘They’ would vulture upon my body,

Like hounds to a young fox.


 “Nobody will believe you, Richard’’, my friend did chant.

As we cried ourselves to sleep.

Others told me it helps not to talk about ‘It’.

Deep down, I just wanted my family back.

I wanted the nightmare of ‘It’ to finally be over!


Off we went yet again,

To strangers houses in Sligo, London, Rome and Vienna.

Their suits all seemed so new,

With cars and gold watches I only had seen in movies.

‘They’ told me ‘They’ would ‘look after’ me, whatever that meant.


Then one day, the Police and authorities came,

They shut down that haunted place I once had to call ‘’home’’ (Kincora).

It was too little, too late, for so many.

The scars ran deep, when ‘They’ had told me ‘They’ would sort everything out.

But I was left with nobody, now a ‘boy’ trapped in a man’s body.


To carry that ‘cross’ forever more,

And bury the shame ‘They’ had induced.

So many times I just wanted not to wake up.

But Stephen Waring and the other boys need me.

They need me, to tell the world, about ‘It’.