I bumped into Barbara Naughton in O’Connell St. today as I was waiting for the 16A bus (to take me to Camden St. and from there to hail the 83 bus to Rathmines library to return some DVD’s).
I hadn’t seem Barbara since last year when we had both found ourselves sitting beside each other at a computer course class in Rainer St. just up from Guinness brewery. I had dropped out of the class because of wanting to concentrate on the Leaving Cert in English. As much as I enjoyed learning about computers, it was taking up a tremendous amount of time travelling to and fro to Thomas St. Adult Education Hub. Barbara was thoroughly efficient on the computers. I remember asking her why she needed to be in the class as she was already so competent. She said she was very interested in gaining a certificate that would stand her in good stead with respect of a future job.
We always went for tea and cake afterwards and had a good old chin-wag to boot in nearby Thomas St. the area of which is very working class and where one can soak up the down-to earth friendly atmosphere of the real Dubs.
On one of these occasions I recall Barbara laughing her socks off as she reminisced about the time a whole gang of survivors from Aislinn comprising of Rosemary, Emma, Olive, Barbara and myself, who all took off in my swanky Ford Focus car at a minutes notice for a drive to Brittas Bay. We had a whale of a time en-route. We sang at the tops of our voices to the rhythm of the Dublin mountain rolling winds that came in through the open car windows. The winds swiftly swished across our breathless excited faces, as we gave vent to all our pent-up tension and pain. Barbara had hollered out amidst the uproarious laughter that she wanted to take up singing professionally. When we finally arrived at Brittas Bay and headed for the sea, we were in such a state of frenzy that we let out our voices take them where they will with shattering loud shrieks. We had momentarily cast our lifelong worries to the sea-gods and asked why were we chosen to have had such miserable lives? It was so utterly therapeutic. I’d remembered a counsellor who told me to let rip in an open private intimate place like the top of Dublin mountain. Goldenbridge inmates went to Brittas Bay every summer, so it had a resonance with Olive and myself who had hailed from there.
We also loved to gaze around at all the amazing stalls in the infamous Liberties market.
I first knew barbara from when she frequented NOVA on Ormond Quay approximately a decade ago. She is such an articulate person. She suffered dreadfully in her past at the hands of her father.
It must have been overwhelming for her being in the company of throngs of survivors of childhood institutional abuse who were not only twice her age, but who were suffering with every conceivable traumatic symptomology in the medical book.
As Barbara was going though the courts at the time for her own childhood abuse trauma, albeit from a family member perspective as opposed to institutional child abuse.
Scannal – The Barbara Naughton Case
The case in question was the serial rape of Barbara Naughton by her father, Patrick Naughton, over a period a nine years. This crime, which occurred in the idyllic Connemara townland of Camus, was of a particularly horrific nature.
Reporter: Margaret Martin
Producer/Director: Seán Ó Méalóid