[I]t is important to understand the multiple dimensions of the calamity that Irish Catholicism finds itself in. The abuse crisis in Ireland is really two crises. The first is the sexual abuse of minors by priests.... While in most countries a crisis of Catholicism is just that, in Ireland it has taken on the character of a national identity crisis as well....
The second abuse crisis is more uniquely Irish....The church’s role included drawing on public funds to operate a vast network of hospitals, schools, and other social welfare institutions on behalf of the state. Even today, the majority of public primary schools in Ireland are essentially Catholic-run.
Among these institutions were homes and industrial schools, primarily run by religious orders, for orphans, destitute or delinquent children, and unwed mothers. ...The history of mistreatment in these institutions is a scandal for the Catholic Church, but the church was not so much a force imposed from outside the country as one woven into Irish society and made up of Irish people themselves.
You can read all of "Irish Catholicism's Two Abuses Crises" here.