‘Sometimes my wee best seems just not good enough’

In a letter to his friend Stephen Bann, the artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay once concluded “Sometimes my wee best seems just not good enough”. This is a feeling that I am familiar with.

With a guid friend I visited Smyllum Park earlier this year. It is not a building that I find in any way attractive and this would have been my view even if I had not been aware of its monstrous history as an orphanage.

This week the inquiry into Smyllum Park has been published. Given the reports of it in the news report I am not sure that I could ever read it. How could these nuns and priests  not see ‘the wee best’ in these weans? How could they go on to abuse them?

I heard one of these weans on the radio – a wean now in his sixties – remark that what was even worse than the abuse was that nobody had believed any of them.


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