A History of Neglect

A History of Neglect, and Worse
Dec 28th, 2006 | By 

Category: Notes and Comment Blog

Paddy Doyle has this page on Irish Industrial Schools. It’s useful background for Marie-Therese’s account. It’s wrenching stuff, too.

1868- The Industrial Schools Act. Industrial schools were established to care for “neglected, orphaned and abandoned children.” They were run by religious orders and funded by the public…1929- The Children Act allowed destitute children to be sent to industrial schools, even if they hadn’t committed a crime…1933- The Commission of Inquiry Into Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions found only 350 of the children in industrial schools were orphans (5.3 % of the total)…1933- Industrial schools were abolished in the UK, but not in Ireland. 1934- The Cussen Report, which investigated industrial schools, had reservations about the large number of children in care, the inadequate nature of their education, lack of local support and the stigma attached to the schools, but concluded that “schools should remain under the management of the religious orders”.

I934. The Cussen Report had ‘reservations’ in 1934, and yet the horrible places went on for decades and decades.

1944- P. Ó Muircheartaigh, the Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory Schools reported that “the children are not properly fed,” which was “a serious indictment of the system of industrial schools run by nuns-a state of affairs that shouldn’t be tolerated in a Christian community” where there was “semi-starvation and lack of proper care and attention.”…1946- Community pressure in Limerick, led by Councillor Martin McGuire, on the Dept. of Ed forces the release of Gerard Fogarty, 14, from Glin Industrial School after he was flogged naked with a cat of nine tails and immersed in salt water for trying to escape to his mother. A call for public inquiry into industrial schools was rejected by Minister of Education. Thomas Derrig because “it would serve no useful purpose”.

For trying to escape to his mother. Well we can’t allow that. No, obviously not, he has to be kept locked up in the nice Industrial School and starved, not to mention flayed and soaked in salt water.

1946- Fr. Flanagan, famous founder of Boystown schools for orphans and delinquents in the US, visits Irish industrial schools. He describes them as “a national disgrace,” leading to a public debate in the Daíl and media. State and Church pressure forces him to leave Ireland. 1947- Three-year-old Michael McQualter scalded to death in a hot bath in Kyran’s Industrial School. Inquiry found school to be “criminally negligent,” but the case was not pursued by the Dept. of Education.

Church pressure forces him to leave Ireland, so they could get on with scalding children to death and then doing nothing about it.

1951- The Catholic Hierarchy condemned the ‘Mother and Child’ scheme (4 April), which provided direct funding to expectant mothers for their children; Dr Noel Browne, Minister for Health, resigns; the scheme was abandoned on 6 April…1955- Secretary of the Department of Education visited Daingean Industrial School, Offaly, and found that “the cows are better fed than the boys.” Nothing was done for another 16 years.

That would be while Marie-Therese was at Goldenbridge. And on it goes, into the ’70s. Horrifying stuff.

51 RESPONSES TO “A HISTORY OF NEGLECT, AND WORSE”

  • #1

    Do you live in the UK, and would you like to sign a petition for the abolition of faith schools?

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/faithschools/

    You may want to forward the link to likeminded individuals.

    Thanks.

    Gill

  • #2

    I don’t live in the UK but would love to sign such a petition but am probably not eligible. I think I posted that petition in News awhile ago…though I’m not sure of it.

  • #3

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    >The Children Act allowed destitute children to be sent to industrial schools, even if they hadn’t committed a crime<

    This “destitution” lark was a ruse used by the judiciary/religious in order to obtain convictions.

    I was, for example, in a feeder institution, known as The Regina Ceoli, Mother/ Baby unit for over four and a half years. So how in Gods name could I have been even considered” destitute” by the judiciary!

    “Destitution”, this terminology, was in my estimation “illegally used” on my committal order to Goldenbridge

    Industrial School – where I was incarcerated until I was sixteen years old!

    There was no limit on my stay in the “hostel”.

    It is imperative for people out there to comprehend that “touting for business” explicitly from feeder institutions; such as the aforementioned hostel went on big time!

    As well as, I might append, “baby farming” which is an additional gigantic undeclared subject.

    Like the Magdalen Laundries, the concluding it is also an extraordinarily brittle substance.

    The Irish powers-that-be are fearful to shine the torch down that very indistinguishable shadowy road.

    It is too eerie for their predilection to ever reflect.

    The religious colluded in this complete contemptible unauthentic committal lark in order to boost up their numbers in the mainstream industrial schools.

    They accurately shouted from the rooftops at the judiciary who were becoming unenthusiastic a propos in sending children to the gulags.

    They insisted on wanting to know why their wishes were not being adhered to as they {religious} were impressively bothered about the up-keep of their extremely mammoth Victorian “private” buildings.

    As with all, they unquestionably won out!

    Irish Church/State was/is synonymous with conjoined twins.

    At first, girls only, went into the industrial schools run by the Sisters of Mercy etc, but when numbers began to diminish, they asked for boys up to the age of ten, their wishes were unsurprisingly commanded.

    Consequently, survivors like Paddy Doyle landed up in one.

    On attainment of ten years the boys customarily, thereafter graduated to the industrial/reformatories schools such as Artane, Daingean, and Letterfrack.

    These boys only child labour camps were run by the Christian Brothers,

    Oblate Fathers and other orders of that ilk.

    A majority of older boys in these industrial schools were there for minor criminal activities, such as mitching {skiving} from school or stealing apples from orchards,.

    A smaller amount of “older boys” would have been there for more serious demeanours.

    These boys were naturally more streetwise.

    They had the wherewithal to be able to differentiate between the outside world and their newfound abodes.

    Boys who came from the female religious run congregations/ institutes, {to put name into proper perspective}on the other hand did not have a clue about outside life and were thus treated abominably by the system, which could/would not tolerate their social inadequacies.

    They were classed as orphans, yet they too, like myself, would have been taken from their parent/parents, and would have been hauled before the courts and would have been considered to have been “destitute” and would have been sentenced until they were sixteen years old.

    Boys who were criminally committed would have received sentences ranging from as little as six months to roughly six years.

  • #4

    This “destitution” lark was a ruse used by the judiciary/religious in order to obtain convictions…It is imperative for people out there to comprehend that “touting for business” explicitly from feeder institutions; such as the aforementioned hostel went on big time!

    Yes…that’s becoming ever clearer.

    I would guess that it’s especially imperative for Americans to comprehend it – it’s well known that we tend to have a rather romanticized view of Ireland.

    You mentioned the capitation payment in your article. That’s why the church wanted to boost the numbers, of course…

    How appalling.

    The same problem exists with foster care here (in the US), I think – people who are not particularly good at caring for children go into foster care as a way to make a living. But there are some controls on that, too. It’s not perfect, but it’s not as bad as the Industrial Schools (I think).

  • #5

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    On a related matter.

    Latest news on the Irish Residential Redress Board horizon.

    State will pay €1.1bn to abuse victims

    ABUSE victims have received more than €580m in compensation from the Residential Institutions Redress Board so far.

    The payments, at an average of €71,000 each, have been made to almost 6,900 people who suffered physical, sexual or mental abuse while attending State or church-run institutions.

    The Comptroller and Auditor General has estimated the final cost of the scheme at €1.1bn.

    This means that the State may pay more than 10 times the amount the Catholic Church handed over as part of a deal reached in 2002.

    Some 18 religious congregations which managed the orphanages and industrial schools paid €128m in return for an indemnity against future legal actions by former residents.

    In its latest newsletter, the Board said it had made 5,256 offers so far to victims following settlement talks and 1,567 awards.

    There were no awards in 345 cases, due mainly to the fact that the residential institution at the centre of the claim was not covered by the board. So far, just one person has been referred to gardai on suspicion of making a false claim – and no criminal prosecution is being pursued in this case.

    Around €488m has been paid out in direct compensation to victims, and legal costs are running at around 20pc of the awards.

    This brings the total figure to more than €585m.

    The Board is only half way through its work. It had a setback with the death of its chairman Judge Sean O’Leary last week.

    The Board said it had received thousands of extra applications before last year’s December deadline.

    Another 166 applications have been received since the deadline passed, but the Board has the discretion to accept them if there are exceptional circumstances.

    Slan go foill,

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

  • #6

    Ah, wasn’t isn’t the “Irish Free State” / Eire / The Irish Republic a wonderful thing, free of that nasty English influence, but cheerfully embracing the joys and benefits of the Catholic Church!

    Reminds me of how people in (Say) Uganda were so much better off with Idi Amin than under that nasty colonialism…

    Never mind the Sudan ……

  • #7

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    1933- Industrial schools were abolished in the UK, but not in Ireland.

    We inherited the system from the British, but unfortunately like everything else we never “let go” and moved on.

    The Church to this day still sits around the government table discussing what is good for dear old mother Ireland.

    Dare anyone try to speak up/out against it.

    Liz o’ Donnell from the Progressive Democratic Party tried to but was soon overpowered.

    Slan go foill,

    Marie-Therese O’ LOUGHLIN.

  • #8

    Of course the Irish were better off under British rule! How dare anyone think otherwise! After all, look at the benefits: they had all their land confiscated from them; were not allowed to own land or to vote or to be members of parliament or to hold government office; Ireland was the only country in Europe to have a smaller population in 1900 than in 1800; the Irish had inflicted on them all the joys of 17th century English sectarianism, which they enjoy to this day; their language and their culture were suppressed; to write nothing of the mass murder required to bring all these benefits. Indeed a decade after part of the country escaped from all this, the UK engaged in a trade war against it because the ungrateful Paddies stopped paying loans made to them by the British to allow them to buy their own country back.

  • #9

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    Liz O’Donnell’s speech to the Dail, came from a woman who obviously feels she suffered at the hands of “the special relationship” of the Church at the heart of the Irish state.

    Referring to the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, she said:

    “This ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’ approach by the State means no longer countenancing the unhealthy enmeshing of the Church in the secular layers of our society.

    It means no more consultation between Church and State

    *on IVF.

    *On abortion services.

    *On stem cell research.

    *On Ireland’s support for family planning in the third world.

    *On contraception or supports for single mothers.

    *On adoption.

    *On homosexuality.

    *On civil marriage.

    In a democracy, all views can be articulated, but the special

    relationship is over. The deference is over.

    The cosy phone calls from All Hallows to Government Buildings must end.”

    Oh well, Bertie pops into All Hallows, a missionary seminary in his constituency.

    Those young men who attend All Hallows, undergo 7 years of education which sort of qualifies them for the best crosswords, and entitles them to be a “minister of public worship” in “the missions”.

    Not one graduate of All Hallows holds a parish in the Irish state.

    They are sent off to convert the world, be it Africa or Birmingham England.

    Please note the Irish state has not seen an equivalent import of tanned or dark skinned curates from wherever it is the Holy Men of All Hallows go.

    Liz O’Donnell’s rage at the Ferns Report which yet again reminds of the very special position the RC church holds in systematic sexual, physical, emotional and pyschological abuse of Ireland’s youth since the formation of the state was lost behind her little jibe at Bertie Ahern.

    If she had left out the All Hallows, and told us more about her wish list, attention might not have been taken from the systematic institutional

    abuse in in Industrial Schools, Hospitals, Orphanages and Seminaries.

    Liz O’Donnell has got her little list and Bertie the daily communicant does not like it one little bit.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Pass the plate.

    Slan agus beannacht.

  • #10

    Paul,

    Shit happens in history. But as an Irishman who has had Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic nationalism stuffed down his throat for over ten years, I find this dreary catalogue of ethnocentric grievances all too familiar. Isn’t it time for us to stop competing for the ‘MOPE’ award (= Most Oppressed People Ever — Conor Cruise O’Brien)?

    There are more useful things to do than turning on the anti-British waterworks — such as determining the role of mass hysteria and sheer financial opportunism in the ongoing campaign against child abuse in Ireland. I’d say there’s a fair bit of false memory intermeshed with a lot of true horror stories in this area.

    Just to make sure we don’t go too off-topic.

  • #11

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    “Shit happens in history”

    If shit happens in history, why then should it not be wiped up as it invariably leaves a dreadful stench.

    Shit, too, was symbolic when it was used to paint the prison walls of oppressed Irish people who considered they were being persecuted.

    Regarding:

    “I’d say there’s a fair bit of false memory intermeshed with a lot of true horror stories in this area.”

    Have we another British based Margaret Jarvis here from the False Memory Syndrome Society making assumptions.

    Did you read the latest Residential Institutions Redress Board Newsletter?

    I posted it on notes/comment pertaining to Goldenbridge Industrial School.

    If there are people making false claims why has the board not detected the wrongdoing?

    A cottage industry has been created out of all this child abuse debacle and I can guarantee you thatthe victims/survivors are not the real beneficiaries of same.

    Slan!

  • #12

    “I’d say there’s a fair bit of false memory intermeshed with a lot of true horror stories in this area. Just to make sure we don’t go too off-topic.”

    Oh would you. Based on what? Just your hunch? Skepticism is a fine thing, Cathal, but you haven’t cited any evidence, you’ve just said ‘Nuh uh.’ That doesn’t count.

  • #13

    Cathal:

    I was trying to educate someone who is so ignorant of his own country’s history that he thinks British rule in Ireland was better than what replaced it. That’s all.

  • #14

    Ophelia writes:

    Skepticism is a fine thing, Cathal, but you haven’t cited any evidence, you’ve just said ‘Nuh uh.’ That doesn’t count.

    Ophelia, I cited evidence in some earlier letters (following your Goldenbridge posting of 17 December): (a) the case of Christine Buckley, in which I provided a link with an article published in The Sunday Times on 28 April 1996 (entitled “Medical View ‘Inconsistent’ With Goldenbridge Abuse”) and (b) the case of Kathy O’Beirne, with a link to an article published in The Irish Times on 20 August 2006 (entitled “’Magdalen’ Author Challenged”).

    Kathy O’Beirne is a particularly interesting case. Her ghost-written book ‘Don’t Ever Tell: Kathy’s Story – A True Tale of a Childhood Destroyed by Neglect and Fear’ has sold over 300000 copies in the UK alone.

    O’Beirne is obviously deranged . Here is an extract from the transcript of a radio interview she had with Irish journalist-pundit Vincent Browne (undated, sorry, I hope the interview itself isn’t a falsification):

    O’Beirne:

    “They were somebody’s children and they are only the ones we know about, there is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bodies buried on the land of the Magdalene Laundries all around Dublin and the country and in Letterfrack, hundreds, hundreds and they just didn’t die from being under-nourished or anything else, a lot of the children were murdered and they were left to starve to death, you know.”

    […]

    O’Beirne:

    I was there, I was there, you could buy a boy for 50 shillings [for adoption – CC], you could buy a girl for 10 shillings, you got a girl cheaper and they were all shipped down, because I was on a programme and the man that drove the babies heard me and he rang in and he said, I am the man that she was talking about, I am the man that drove the babies. That was only last year and he came forward to the Inquiry and the babies were taken in his taxi once a month and they were brought down to the North and they were put on a ship to America and they were sold to the wealthy Americans, a good Catholic family in America where the Godless bastards would be brought up to have a good life, and their Mother’s washed away their sins in the Magdalene Laundries, un-human, un-human. Hitler didn’t treat his people like that, he was decent, he put them all in and he gassed them.”

    The isn’t hyperbole – this is ueber-hyperbole. This is madness. Hundreds of dead bodies. ‘Lots’ of murdered children. Hitler didn’t treat his people like that, he was decent, he put them all in and he gassed them.

    Jesus C-hyphen-forking Christ! And she has sold over 300 000 copies of her book.

    More about O’Beirne at the ‘Kathy Story Scam’ website – http://kathystoryscam.blogspot.com/” target=”new”> here. This site contains inter alia newspaper articles on the ‘Kathy Story’ scam published in The Guardian, The Times, The Scotsman, The Daily Mail, The Sunday Times, etc. plus the undated radio interview transcript I quoted above.

    If link fails:

    http://kathystoryscam.blogspot.com/

    To that I should add that (according to newspaper reports) Irish solicitors have been trawling and dredging the country to find victims and ‘survivors’ seeking compensation. Do you think these ‘survivors’ are going to play down their sufferings? We’re talking big money – to date approx. €70 000 for each ‘certified’ victim. Figure it out for yourself. At any rate I smell not a rat but an ‘exaltation’ of rats (not that I’m saying that ‘it’s all a lark’, though).

    Recommended introductory reading for all who are interested in the Irish child abuse scandals:

    Ofshe and Watters’ ‘Making Monsters – False Memory, Psychotherapy and Sexual Therapy’, Prendergrast’s ‘Victims of Memory – Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives’, and the Afterword to Webster’s ‘Why Freud was Wrong’.

    [BTW all three books contain references to Allen Esterson’s ‘Seductive Image’ – just for your information.]

  • #15

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    The way we were.

    Believe it or not the Irish Government could barely afford to pay fares for a 1976 visit by the Taoiseach to the United States of America.

    Things were so bad thatplans for an expensive present to the Americans were ditched to save money for the fares of Liam Cosgrave and his party.

    The St Patrick’s Day Trip was being paid for by the US Government.

    It certainly paints a picture of doom and gloom in sharp contrast to the booming Celtic Tiger.

    On a relevant note.

    I was told by a prominent leader of the institutional abuse groups that monies from “the off shore accounts” that the State collected will be directly going to foot the Residential Institutions Redress Board bill.

  • #16

    Paul writes:

    I was trying to educate someone who is so ignorant of his own country’s history that he thinks British rule in Ireland was better than what replaced it. That’s all.

    Well, Paul, you did lay it on a bit heavy. When did the British last perpetrate (three or four or five-digit) ‘mass murder’ in Ireland?

    And didn’t the Irish have the right to vote in the UK Parliament since the beginning of the 19th century? Shure and didn’t we hold them all to ransom begorrah from the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 onwards?

    And so what anyhow? Apologies? From whom? From the English ‘race’ or ‘ethnie’? We’re all a pretty miscegenated bunch. So on behalf of my 20% ‘planter’ genes I apologise to my 80% Celtic genes. Nasty business under Cromwell at Drogheda several million years ago.

    Thank you, oh 20%! Don’t do it again, though …

  • #17

    Thank you Cathal.

    Yes, the Irish had the same rights to vote (in the Wewstminster parliament) – and I speak as an Englishman, who thinks that Home Rule should never have been removed from Ireland – as any English or Scots’ person at the time.

    The Irish whingers (see Conor Cruse O’B) carefully forget/ignore the fact that the whole of Europe was starving, or at least short of food in 1846-48: the weather was foul, and the harvests failed. Only the most industrialised counties (England, Scotland parts of Wales, Belgium and the Netherlands managed to feed themselves, and there it was close. That is why 1848 was a year of revolution.

    Ireland got shafted because of the reliance on potato monoculture, and Brit administrative gross incompetence.

    There WAS food in Ireland, but it went the wrong way.

    As for sectarianism, the English had very good reason to loathe and fear the catholic church and its’ heirarchy.

    For the same reasons we should fear the islamists today.

    The pope(s) had made it clear that killing the English monarch was legitimate, and overthrowing the state was, as well, and re-lighting the bonfires at Smithfield and elsewhere ….

    But then, what do you expect of christianity -love & peace?

    Which is where we came in, I think.

  • #18

    I’ve read Making Monsters and Why Freud was Wrong. They’re two of the many causative agents that got me here doing this. However – Marie-Therese’s account is not like the claims made either by Freud or by Paul Ingram or the children at McMartin preschool. It’s not far-fetched stuff; on the contrary it’s drearily familiar and plausible, despite being surprising. It’s sadly recognizable petty tyranny, neglect, and cruelty. Therefore, given that you have no actual knowledge that things were otherwise, I don’t want you bouncing around here announcing your incredulity about Marie-Therese’s account. This isn’t a court of law, you’re not a witness, you have no special information, so your doubts or whatever they are are not useful or relevant. And they’re bloody unpleasant and rude, so I’d like you to shut up about them now.

    By the way, the Dáil spent a little time discussing Marie-Therese a few months ago –

    http://debates.oireachtas.ie/DDebate.aspx?F=DAL20060208.xml&Dail=29&Ex=All&Page=2

    They had the opportunity to express skepticism about her account of what was done to her, and they didn’t take it; if anything they seemed to take its truth or plausibility for granted. Maybe they have some background knowledge that would account for that; maybe you’re overlooking that possibility.

    And what is the point of talking about someone else’s exaggerated account in order to substantiate your suspicion of this one? When I said you hadn’t offered any evidence, I meant evidence about Marie-Therese’s account in particular. Damn. Again, skepticism is a fine thing, but it cuts both ways. A little skepticism about your own perspicacity might be in order. Suppose someone you know is assaulted. Do you tell her about some other person who claimed to have been assaulted but wasn’t and then say ‘therefore I don’t believe you were assaulted?’

    In short, stop it. I invited Marie-Therese to contribute that article; I do not want your baseless speculations about it.

  • #19

    The above is addressed to Cathal, by the way.

  • #20

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    It was exactly a year ago that I first started asking questions about the High Park burials.

    Of the 155 remains in the unmarked plot, I discovered that 80 of the deaths had never been notified to the authorities.

    The nuns had no names for 45 of the women – several of them were identified merely as Magdalen of the

    Good Shepherd, Magdalen of Lourdes, and so forth. Most of these women had died as recently as the 1960s and ’70s.

    Since 1880, it has been a criminal offence to fail to register a death which occurs on your premises.

    In the case of High Park, it was the duty of the nuns (the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge) to do this. The current penalty for this offence is a fine of €2,000, six months in prison, or both.

  • #21

    I don’t want you bouncing around here announcing your incredulity about Marie-Therese’s account. This isn’t a court of law, you’re not a witness, you have no special information, so your doubts or whatever they are are not useful or relevant. And they’re bloody unpleasant and rude, so I’d like you to shut up about them now.

    I didn’t comment on the substance of Marie-Therese’s account. I referred to two other dubious cases.

    It’s true that I am not a ‘court of law’ — but I still think it more ‘useful’ and ‘relevant’ to try to play the role of judge than the role of barrister in highly controversial cases.

    Thanks for the reference to the Dail debates.

  • #22

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    The Magdalen Laundries: Ireland’s Shameful Past

    In 1993, the Sisters of Charity, who owned a large piece of land in Dublin, Ireland known as the High Park Convent, were forced to sell a substantial portion of this property for public use. The sale came as a result of heavy losses suffered due to a bad investment in an experimental, new Guinness Aerospace company which went bust. As arrangements were being made for the sale of the property, it came to light that some 133 graves existed on this piece of land — graves belonging to women who had worked in the Convent’s laundry and in other areas within the Convent as housemaids, domestics, and the like. These women, known as “penitents,” or, popularly, as the “Magdalens” worked behind these and other walls for a variety of reasons.

    Since the early 1900′s, Ireland has fostered a system of convent laundries — some ten or more, spread across the country in cities like Dublin, Limerick, Galway, and Cork. They existed to provide laundering services for nearby prisons, orphanages, and to launder the clerical robes of the Catholic clergy. The women and girls who worked in the facilities did the highly symbolic task of laundering and ironing as penance for a variety of crimes. Some became pregnant outside of wedlock and, disowned by their families, were forced to seek refuge behind Convent walls for the rest of their lives, many after relinquishing their children to the State. Others were remanded to Convent care because they were ‘delinquent,’ of ‘poor moral character,’ ‘dysfunctional,’ or simply too pretty — too much of a ‘temptation’ to the males of their village. Some of those who entered pregnant became that way by their parish priest, fathers, or brothers. They were societal outcasts, a shame and a burden to whatever family they may have had. Many had no family at all — orphans themselves, or also born out of wedlock. Their “penance” was to spend a life in sad servitude to the various religious orders who gave them food, shelter, and in equal measures, pity and abuse.

    mor

    When the 133 graves at High Park were discovered, a huge cry went up among Irish society. What would become of these sad women and their legacy? Many of the graves were unmarked. With no family to claim or name them, so many women died within the system itself, actually cared for in their last days by their own sisters in shame, but with no other family member to step forward and bury them decently. And so the good Sisters of Charity did what they could, quietly interring these 133 souls over a period spanning nearly 100 years.

    As public outrage grew, a decision was made to reinter the bodies in nearby Glasnevin Cemetery. Some were identified in the process and claimed by younger generations of whatever family they had left. Slight memorials exist at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin and in St Stephen’s Green, where a simple, sad bench and plaque sit.

    Society — still outraged at the sad history of these women — continued to stew over this state of affairs in the media, in books, and in plays. Recent allegations of abuse at the Goldenbridge orphanage in Dublin as well as newly-discovered archives of some 2,000 Irish children exported to the US and elsewhere had already added to the fury and questions began to fly. What kind of so-called al, decent society could so shun and penalize its women?

    Today we hear horrifying stories of ritualistic genital mutilation in some sectors of Muslim society; we hear of the thousands of Chinese infant girls left to languish and die at birth because they were not born male and exceeded the one-child-per-family rule in effect in China. We hear of Romanian orphans, illegal Brazilian adoption schemes, Chile’s horrifying baby-brokering history — each and every case a horrible example of man’s inhumanity to mankind, or in this case, womankind.

    But in a relatively civilized European country? It seems unfathomable. But there it is — and the Catholic Church staunchly defending its actions, asking us to place it within the ‘context of the times.’ This is just the way it was done back then and besides, it was society who judged and sentenced these women, not the church, they say.

    Well, there are two vital flaws in their theories:

    If we accept their ‘place it in the context of the times’ excuse, then what next? Do we excuse Nazi genocide of Jewish and other people because it was ‘just the way things were done then’? Do we next excuse the Inquisition by placing it in a ‘time context’ as well?

    And as for placing the blame on society — it is and was well-known that Irish society has been Church-driven since at least the 6th century AD, when Ireland’s native Brehon law was completely eradicated and replaced with Roman/Canon law. Interestingly, under ancient Brehon law, if a man impregnated a woman he was not bound to by marriage, regardless of her societal station, mental status, etc., he was required to care for her and the resulting child. The child was then accorded the same rights and privileges of inheritance and ascendancy as a child born inside the bonds of marriage.

    How far Ireland has come. While it has always been and is still a highly matriarchal society, Ireland’s laws and social mores have for hundreds of years been not only Church-driven, but male-dominated. If the Church says birth outside marriage is wrong, then society would simply march in step and agree, not the other way ’round. Which throws a fly in the ointment of Mother Church’s other infamous excuse.

    And what of the men who impregnated women in this modern Ireland? I have been asked so often what role Irish birthfathers play. The answer: none. These randy old goats simply went their merry way, or if they wanted to be involved, were forbidden by church and family. Many went on as if nothing had ever happened, still holding their head high, with no recriminations on the part of church or society. Perhaps a muffled, “Best be careful Paddy, boyo, next time…” on the part of a slyly winking father, would have been the only admonition. More likely, the lad’s evidence of virility would have been celebrated over a pint in the nearest pub, amid much laughter and derision over the poor girl’s plight.

    The last wave of this legacy, women like my birthmother who bore the final vestiges of Catholic guilt and shame by bearing children out of wedlock, still hide shamefully in the shadows. Much like many of us sitting here today, they silently bore their stigma, doing as they were told to get on with their lives, forget the past, marry and never tell a soul your dreadful secret. Until the mid-1970′s, the birthmothers, the ‘penitents’, the Magdalens of Ireland, bore an unimaginable cross of ill-treatment, ritualistic abuse and, most cruelly — were often required to stay with their children until the time came for them to be adopted into new homes: some in Ireland, many far away in America. My birthmother and many of the women who entered homes like the Sacred Heart Convent in Cork, Castlepollard in Westmeath, St. Patrick’s in Dublin, and Sean Ross Abbey in Tipperary, even breastfed us and cared for us — often up till age two or older. They were then cruelly parted from us, often under questionable circumstances. Many were told the relinquishment was a fostering arrangement, that they could reclaim their child if they proved themselves ‘decent’ women and came back with marriage certificates in hand. I know of one woman who did just that, only to learn her daughter had already gone to America. She was given a photo of her daughter’s first Christmas with her new American family. I cannot even begin to fathom that sort of heartbreak, even having relinquished my own daughter through the Catholic Church in Philadelphia in 1978.

    Even today, the Irish birthmothers I have come into contact with are extremely skittish, scared, and unwilling or unable to come forward with their secret. It’s as if some invisible sword of Damascus hangs over their heads, ready at any moment to strike them the minute they publicly acknowledge their relinquished children. I have shared the success empowerment has brought to many of us here in the US with these women. Successes like the march on Washington, DC, the full-page ad we sponsored in the Oregonian prior to Measure 58′s passing. Still, the stigma hangs so heavy, they have only taken feeble, tentative steps towards making their voices heard to the Irish government and the Catholic church.

    Much remains to be done. And for my part, I have made it my goal to continue educating people on the story of the Magdalens. Their voices have been silenced; mine has not. I will continue to speak out so that these women will be remembered.

  • #23

    Cathal, think what you like, but don’t play the judge in this instance. And don’t be disingenuous, either – you didn’t need to comment on the substance of Marie-Therese’s account; you’re urging skepticism about it on the grounds that other cases are ‘dubious’. Don’t.

  • #24

    Also, there’s a somewhat interesting epistemic issue here.

    “Do you think these ‘survivors’ are going to play down their sufferings? We’re talking big money – to date approx. €70 000 for each ‘certified’ victim.”

    What you say is true as far as it goes – compensation can of course provide a motivation for fakery or exaggeration; but it is also true that people do bad things to each other; your point does not cancel out the second point. The fact that some people may be motivated to invent or exaggerate claims does nothing to demonstrate that abuses did not happen. I’m sure you realize that, but I’m not sure you don’t lose sight of it when you post these things.

  • #25

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Magdalen Laundries have not been included in the Irish Residential Institutions Redress Board.

    I find this a gross travesty of justice.

    However, children who went into them directly from the Industrial Schools will be catered for in the RIRB up to the age of eighteen.

  • #26

    They haven’t!? That’s grotesque.

  • #27

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    Kathy O’Beirne was never in an Industrial School so she will obviously not be dealt with by the RIRB. so there is no fear of her ripping off the Irish Governments – off shore accounts.

  • #28

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    A young Irish Solicitor with five years experience earns the same amount as the average amount being paid out by the Redress Board = E70K.

    A Goldenbridge contemporary of mine who went into the system at three years of age was last year offered a meagrely sum of 25k. She naturally refused same.

    I wont go into the pendantics of case as it would not be my remit, but at the end of it all she got 90k.

    This person was classed as “slow” in the institution, so the RIRB thought it

    would get away with its shenanigans.

    Thought, though, left it thinking.

  • #29

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Magdalen Laundries were privately religious run/ownned and very profitable enterprises so the Government does not see that it had/has any responsibility.

    The same is applicable to Boarding/Day Schools which were/are totally autonomomous from the Government.

    Mother/Baby homes on the other hand are on the RIRB schedule, albeit too few, as they come under the Department of Health.

    I am presently seeking to get my respective institution on the list.

    It’s a hard slog.

    The Government to this very day owns the building which was once a work-house.

    It is no longer a mother/baby unit but instead a hostel for the most downtrodden of Irish society.

    Regarding injuries that I received in above feeder institution, there is no dispute as to same not having occurred.

    Documentation concerning matter is to be had from the institution per se.

    I suspect there is another more sinister reason as to why the government has not put it on the RIRB list.

  • #30

    Ah – Regina Coeli/Morning Star. I saw the discussion in the Dáil – that explains what they were talking about.

  • #31

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    Re: Kathy o’ Beirne

    >O’Beirne:

    “They were somebody’s children and they are only the ones we know about, there is hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bodies buried on the land of the Magdalene Laundries all around Dublin and the country and in Letterfrack, hundreds, hundreds and they just didn’t die from being under-nourished or anything else, a lot of the children were murdered and they were left to starve to death, you know.”<

    Re: LETTERFRACK

    Brother Gibson said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the death of 100 boys during the history of the former industrial school.

    The deaths at St Joseph’s occurred from illnesses such as pneumonia, TB and meningitis or from fatal accidents. Brother Gibson said there was not a shred of truth to the recent allegation that the boys had been killed by brothers and buried in unmarked graves.

    He added the school had kept records of each of the 100 boys who died during the 86 years it was in existence and that every one had been fully accounted for.

  • #32

    MarieTherese O’ Loughlin

    >Hitler didn’t treat his people like that, he was decent, he put them all in and he gassed them.”>

    I presume that Kathy means that Hitler was decent in that he took them out of their agony.

    Kathy, like myself, would not have been educated so our way of expressing ourselves could be easily misconstrued.

    The following is the last sentence of my statement to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

    Why were we not exterminated altogether as it would have put an instantaneous end to the pain and suffering.

    Reading excerpts from Kathy’s that Cathal posted I can plainly see that she is all over the institutional shop.

    I hope dementia never darkens Cathal’s door door. It would not do for him to become deranged.

    You are making judgments on peoples lives you know nothing about.

  • #33

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    >I cited evidence in some earlier letters (following your Goldenbridge posting of 17 December): (a) the case of Christine Buckley, in which I provided a link with an article published in The Sunday Times on 28 April 1996 (entitled “Medical View ‘Inconsistent’ With Goldenbridge Abuse”)<

    It has not been proven that it did not occur irrespective of the Medical View Inconsistency theory.

    The outcome of this has still yet to be decided by Judge Sean Ryan.

    The Commission to inquire into Child Abuse Report should be out in 2007

  • #34

    Marie-Theresae O’ Loughlin

    >To that I should add that (according to newspaper reports) Irish solicitors have been trawling and dredging the country to find victims and ‘survivors’ seeking compensation. Do you think these ‘survivors’ are going to play down their sufferings? We’re talking big money – to date approx. €70 000 for each ‘certified’ victim. Figure it out for yourself. At any rate I smell not a rat but an ‘exaltation’ of rats (not that I’m saying that ‘it’s all a lark’, though).>

    Because of the systematic atrocities endured in the institutions, inmates were left with no other alternative but to take the boat to various corners of the world.

    Hence the massive campaign that Christine Buckley and others took, without the help of the government. The latter wanted to deal with few as possible.

    Solicitors were needed for this as is only natural.

    Compensation for Residents of State Run Institutions

    ABUSE SURVIVOR URGES 100,000 MISSING IRISH CLAIMANTS TO COME FORWARD

    CUT OFF POINT FOR CLAIMS EXPIRES 2005

    A worldwide campaign has been launched to locate some 100,000 Irish people who went through State Institutions in Ireland. Children who suffered abuse may now be entitled to compensation and education grants as survivors of abuse.

    The search for survivors is taking place in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Approximately 150,000-plus children and teenagers went through residential institutions in Ireland between the 1920s and the 1980s.

    Many of these experienced abuse at the hands of religious and others while in orphanages, industrial schools and centres for young offenders.

    It is estimated that as many as 100,000 of those, who went through 100 such institutions, fled Ireland and went abroad. But of these, only a proportion appear to be aware of the Residential Institutions Redress Board which has been set up by the State to compensate and assist people who were abused in institutions.

    Ms Christine Buckley of Aislinn is leading the campaign to alert survivors of abuse to the existence of the Redress Board.

    Aislinn is one of the foremost leaders in the campaign in Ireland which led to the Irish Prime Minister’s apology to victims, the establishment of the Residential Institutions Redress Board, the Child Abuse Commission, which is investigating the abuse suffered in institutions and nationwide counselling.

    “Aislinn receives some calls from around the world, including Canada, from people who are vaguely aware that there is a Redress Board.

    There needs to be a much greater level of awareness and this campaign is an attempt to connect with survivors and to make them aware of their right to counselling, education, compensation and assistance in tracing their records,” Ms Buckley said.

    Ms Buckley has been critical of the Irish Government’s failure to put resources into notifying survivors in the US and Australia. This has led to her travelling to many international centres to raise awareness of the Redress Board.

    Ms Buckley was put into care at three weeks of age. At four years old she was sent to the notorious Goldenbridge Industrial School, which was run by the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin. Whilst there from 1950 to 1964, she suffered severe physical abuse.

    Many of the victims who fled Ireland once they were old enough to do so ended up in difficult circumstances. Because they were denied an education, many cannot read or write and may be unaware that there is a compensation process in Ireland. Hopefully through radio and television publicity, these people will be aware of what is happening in Ireland and will get applications in before the closing date.

    Aislinn was set up in 1999 by Ms Christine Buckley and Ms Carmel McDonnell-Byrne, both victims of institutional abuse in Goldenbridge. Aislinn has been heavily involved in lobbying the Government and religious orders to receive compensation for its members.

    Aislinn is both an education and counselling centre and has assisted over 4,000 people since its inception. Its many services include literacy classes, intervening with the government on behalf of survivors and helping victims trace their parents and families.

    A call save number ( 617-737-9969 ) has been established in America and Canada for abuse survivors to leave their details in strictest confidence. Callers will be contacted and provided with legal advice and assistance with the application process.

    Survivors can contact call number 617-737-9969 for further information.

    PS; Am I putting up too much in the one comment.

  • #35

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    >To that I should add that (according to newspaper reports) Irish solicitors have been trawling and dredging the country to find victims and ‘survivors’ seeking compensation. Do you think these ‘survivors’ are going to play down their sufferings? We’re talking big money – to date approx. €70 000 for each ‘certified’ victim. Figure it out for yourself. At any rate I smell not a rat but an ‘exaltation’ of rats (not that I’m saying that ‘it’s all a lark’, though).

    Yes undeniably,

    there were a myriad forager solicitors from all over the country who got on the Residential Institutions Redress gravy train {in this context} through the back door trying to sing the praises of not a soul but themselves, they thought and still think it is a great prank with all the extra pennies they have rattling in their back pockets., Why wouldn’t they?

    There is no larking about with these fellows.

    They get paid approx 11k per client, commit to memory this also that the statement used for the CICA is also practically the same one used for the RIRB and who knows it could also be the one used if one decides to take the court route.

    ” Do you think these ‘survivors’ are going to play down their sufferings? “

    The RIRB, which is half way through its work is quite well aware of the institutions make-up and would be well competent of sussing out the “suffering” repartee from the “suffering “truth . “Suffering wise” They are experts and know their job.

    Figure it out for yourself.” “We’re talking big money – to date approx. €70 000 for each ‘certified’ victim

    I am trying to figure out all this “big money” that you go on about,

    Ireland is a very expensive country, to give an example: a trainee {school leaver} Legal receptionist’s wage per annum would be in the region of 25/30k

    So a school leavers two and a half years wage is awesome in your mindset and way over the top to give to a victim/survivor who may have spent their whole childhood working in a factory, farm, or laundry?

    I do not see the fairness in this.

    Ireland is also awash with dosh, victims/survivors are not exactly bleeding the country dry.

    What is your definition of “certified “victim?

    Am I reading into centre word too much?

    Perhaps, if you started smelling the roses you too might become illustrious

    How can you smell an exhaltation of rats when you cannot even distinguish between the smell of the individual rat. What a lark indeed!

  • #36

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    Corrections in earlier postings. “autonomous” “owned”.

    Micheal E Hanahoe Solicitors of Sunlight Chambers, 21, Parliament St,

    Dublin 2, is a fantastic firm.

    It was there at the outset of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

    There are innumerable victims/survivors who are eternally indebted to it for its understanding of very complex and traumatised people. The firm believed in us when others were not in the least bit interested.

    It has been exceptionally kind and patient, well, most times anyway.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

  • #37

    Marie-Therese, thanks for the information on the ‘trawling solicitors’ — no wonder lawyer jokes will never go out of fashion.

    Please don’t misunderstand my mild skepticism. It’s just that so much is based on testimony rather than palpable evidence, which I suppose is unavoidable given the many years that have elapsed since you were so badly abused (on the other hand, given Goldenbridge’s horrific reputation, I’d almost say you had been abused even if you yourself denied it).

    I’m still flabbergasted that you haven’t received entitlement to compensation, though. Isn’t Goldenbridge covered by the RIRB?

    Slan,

    Cathal

  • #38

    “It’s just that so much is based on testimony rather than palpable evidence”

    Sure; and in many circumstances that is reason for caution; in some circumstances it’s just plain inadmissable. But, Cathal, I did invite Marie-Therese to contribute precisely because I wanted her testimony. I’d read enough (little though it was) about the overall subject to want to know more and to be very pleased to have access to some personal testimony. (And I’d googled her and read about the protest outside the Dáil, so I knew the Dáil took her testimony seriously.) It’s an article, not a sworn statement, and it’s an article I requested. Under the circumstances I just think it’s unpleasant and uncivil for you then to express skepticism.

    But, I daresay you’ve taken that in by now. But I wanted to explain that this particular testimony already had a certain credibility; that’s why I requested it.

    In future how about emailing me first if you have questions.

  • #39

    Cathal:

    You’ve lost it completely. Mr Tingey thinks Ireland was better off under British rule. I pointed out what Britsh rule entailed in order to demonstate the absurdity of this claim. That’s all. Don’t cloud this issue.

    As for Mr Tingey’s latest comments: it will come as a shock to those who read his regular contribution on how religion is all about lying and blackmail, that he can look upon so much evil perpetrated by members of one religion on those of another and not only not get angry but can actually rationalise it. Hence his paean to sectarianism : “As for sectarianism, the English had very good reason to loathe and fear the catholic church and its’ heirarchy.” All well and good if the English had restricted themselves to their own country. But no, they had to murder and oppress Irish Catholics in Ireland . And Mr Tingey can see no wrong in that – because the victims were Paddies and therefore do not count. The repression of English non-Catholics during the short reign of Queen Mary justifies centuries of oppression of Irish Catholics . Even though the Paddies did not want to have anything to do with England then or later! How absurd can an argument get? To analyse it: it is acceptable to an avowed enemy of religion of all kinds that a group of people who had the same religion as a despot should be persecuted because of their shared religion for centuries after, even though the oppressed group were innocent of involvement in the despot’s activities at the time and even though then and later they wanted to have nothing to do with the despot or her successors and even though the despot and her successors insisted – with violence – on interfering in its affairs.

  • #40

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    >”It’s just that so much is based on testimony rather than palpable evidence, which I suppose is unavoidable given the many years that have elapsed since you were so badly abused”<

    Time, never erased my memories of Goldenbridge, you see Cathal I did not have the added distraction of the outside world to contend with.

    I worked to rule, every day was the same, with the exception of summer time when other children/myself, who had no family went to a holiday home in Rathdrum Co Wicklow, which was, incidentally, paid for with monies accrued from the Rosary Beads “lark”.

    The only happy memories I have are connected to this exquisite environment, {not staff} which was the only positive thing in our lives.

    Not ever having human comforts we could at least enjoy the absolutely natural beauty of our surroundings.

    To this day I still love the Garden of Ireland.

    There is now a statue of Charles Stewart Parnell standing on the spot where once the old rambling Victorian house stood.

    We always ascertained that there should have been a plaque erected to all the Goldenbridge inmates as well.

    Parnell originated from nearby Avondale, and part of the property was sold to Wicklow Co council, the other part was handed over to The Residential Institutions Redress Board.

    I have retained memories of the first book that I learned.

    “There are three pigs, the first pig is fat the next pig is fatter the last is even fater, he is indeed the fattest of them all.”

    “If I were an apple and grew on a tree ,I think I would fall down on a nice boy like me I would not stay there giving nobody joy I would fall down at once and say, eat me my boy”

    Would you like me to go on, and on, and on!

    By the way, Cathal, you might think I am going into my second childhood with this racket, well let me tell you something for nothing, I have not as yet stepped outside of my first one.

    Slan go foill.

  • #41

    I was merely suggesting, perhaps over-strongly, that substituting the rule of the evil black crows was no improvement whatsoever over the rule of the “English” in Ireland.

    I have never suggested in any way that killing and or oppressing “paddies” _ P. Powers own description, not mine – was a good idea.

    He seems determined to ascribe things I have neither said, nor meant to me.

    I suspect Cathal has it right – he is determined to be an oppressed victim.

    Going to the original subject, I knew the church was bad, but Ms. O’Loughlin’s comments were truly shocking and horrible.

    But then, what’s a few tortured children, provided their souls are pure for god to take them up aftrewards?

  • #42

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Goldenbridge “is” on the RIRB schedule, and I do not have a problem with it – with respect to my own situation.

    But I do have with regards others and their treatment to date at the hands of it.

    It, indeed, leaves very much to be desired.

    Victims/survivors are also gagged, they

    are not even allowed to discuss their cases afterwards with their own siblings.

    The RIRB should in my estimation be taken to the European Courts of Human Rights.

    The arrogance is also something to be reckoned with, I experienced it first hand when I went there in the capacity of witness.

    I saw two of the experts sniggering as they left a meeting of a very traumatised highly strung victim.

    Dr. Michael Corry, of “Depression Dialogue,” had a similar experience and wrote to the media concerning it, the letter should be had on Paddy Doyle’s God Squad site.

    Victims/survivors have never forgotten him for sticking up for us.

    Slan,

    Marie-Therese O’Loughlin

  • #43

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    On receipt of Goldenbridge Records which was allowed under the Freedom of Information Act, I discovered therein in medical section evidence relating to the injuries received in the feeder institution, the Regina Ceoli/ Morning Star.

    It is there in black and white, these records would have come from the Department of Education, who was the overseer of the industrial schools.

  • #44

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    I was also horrified to learn when I got my records that at five years old I was on the dying list at a fever hospital in Clonskeagh, Dublin. The only person that was allowed in to see me was my guardian

    who was none other than Sister X.

    No relative was contacted or was any effort made to do so.

    I vividly remember standing in a cot and looking up at a black huge window, the memory haunted me all my life.

    I always associated it with being in hospital with burn injuries and could not fathom how I could have been standing in a cot as I was only eighteen months.

    Christine Buckley, who was a midwife told me the reasoning behind black window. Fever hospitals put black blankets/curtains up to stop the light from entering.

    The Sisters of Mercy should be ashamed of themselves for denying me and thousands of others the rights to our natural parent/parents

  • #45

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Tearing children away from their biological parent/parents was a common feature in Goldenbridge.

    I have one huge memory of this, that so much so I almost went into convulsions.

    The memory of it never leaves, it is virtually relived in very emotional upheavals.

    Like a monster, every now and again, it claws away at me scratching and scraping away at my emotional skin till blood is drawn

    Watching other children being torn away from their parents was also a sore sight, indeed.

    Children who lost their parents through death were also never afforded any empathy.

    They were told to get along with it and the subject was never again raised.

    Such was life in the cold miserable gulag.

  • #46

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    >The Church to this day still sits around the government table discussing what is good for dear old mother Ireland.<

    Re:Impending referendum on children’s rights.

    “Meanwhile Minister for Children Brian Lenihan has confirmed to The Irish Times that he will meet Catholic Church representatives in mid-January to discuss a referendum wording.”

    {The above was taken from todays paper]

    Media, Church and State singing out of the one hymn sheet as per usual!

  • #47

    To G.Tingey:

    You really do need to learn how to think.

    “I was merely suggesting, perhaps over-strongly, that substituting the rule of the evil black crows was no improvement whatsoever over the rule of the “English” in Ireland.

    I have never suggested in any way that killing and or oppressing “paddies” _ P. Powers own description, not mine – was a good idea” is a contradiction. As nothing since independence matches the worse barbarities of English rule either quantitatively or qualitatively, there is no way independence could not have been an improvement. So to admit the mass killing of Paddies is to contradict yourself.

    Your position is that it is ok for the English to do to the Irish what is not not ok for anyone to do to the English. Is this because you have somthing particular against the Irish or because you see the English as better than the rest of humanity?

    As regards the Famine, yet again your blindness to the basic problem leads you astray. The Irish did not want to be ruled by the British, so there should have been no question about the competence of the British administration of Ireland. Only 2 years before the famine started, a campaign to restore Home Rule was ended when the British government threatened to murder those campaigning. Without Home Rule, the Irish doomed because the British were still debating the repeal of the Corn Laws (banning the importation of corn) which together with the incompetence mentioned led to mass starvation.

    As for all this nonsense about being able to vote: I’ll ignore that hardly anyone could vote for most of the period in question, I’ll ignore the power of the unelected House of Lords to veto any legislation (until 1911 – a bit late in the day), I’ll even ignore the fact the the Irish representatives were hugely outnumbered. But I will point out that the Irish were never asked whether they wanted to be involved in the British parliament. And that at first they consistently voted about 80-20 for Home Rule and never got it; and that in the 1918 election they elected 76 out of 100 MPs from Sinn Fein who wanted independence and who promised to boycott the British Parliament. And they never got independence either. (In case you’re confused, in both cases they voted for a single political authority in all of Ireland, not some piece of it). Some “vote”!

  • #48

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    EU foreign ministers approved the Government’s proposal at a meeting today. The new arrangements will come into effect on January 1st, 2007.

    Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern welcomed the decision, saying: “I am very pleased that the Irish language has been accorded official and working status in the European Union.

    “This affirms at European level the dignity and status of our first official language. This represents a particularly significant practical step for the Irish language, and complements the Government’s wider policy of strong support for the language at home.

    In Goldenbridge, the sisters always spoke in Gaelic to each other in our presence when they did not want us to know the content of their conversation. From their demeanours it was obvious that whatever they were prattling on about what not positive.

    One of them hailed from a Donegal Gaeltacht area and was naturally fluent in this ancient brilliant language.

    Unfortunately, she never passed on her talents with the exception of teaching us some enchanting Irish songs which I still to this day retain.

    We were robbed of our cultural rights.

    I am thrilled that Irish has been officially accorded working status in the European Union.

    I dread to think how they will get their tongues around it as it is such a difficult language to learn.

    Slan go foill.

  • #49

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

    Re: Reformatory/Industrial Schools Records

    CRIMINAL RECORDS Page 83 Criminal records. Many victims/ survivors feel strong bitterness at having “a criminal record” as a result of their committal to a reformatory or industrial school thirty, forty or more years ago; some have been refused employment on account of such record. It is their wish for the record to be expunged in some way, so that no reference can no longer be made to their past confinement in an institution. It is still not known, for example, whether a person’s formal criminal record includes the details of his or her detention in an industrial or reformatory school. Victims/survivors have been informed that there would normally have been a record in respect of children who committed offences as a result of which they were detained in a reformatory or industrial school, but that there ought not to be a criminal record in respect of a child placed in such an institution for care reasons.The Children Act, 2001 provides in section 258 a type of rehabilitation. From another source the present Tanaiste and

    Minister for Justice Michael Mc Dowell Justice said that the reason forms with the Heading: ORDER OF DETENTION were used after our trips to the District Courts was because the Court Service had no other types of forms on hand.

    Obviously the Minister has never seen an ORDER OF DETENTION. These Forms had only ONE obvious use and that use was to do with the DETENTION OF CHILDREN IN the Institutions.

  • #50

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Pope Benedict XVI, in his New Year homily in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, described peace as a “gift to invoke with prayer, a task to carry out with courage, without ever tiring”. Peace, he added, can only be achieved if individuals’ human rights are respected. He stressed that there can be no excuse for treating people as “objects”. He’s right that there can be no excuse for treating people as objects. That is the road to dehumanisation and evil.

    SLAN!

  • #51

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Freudianism never really caught on in in Ireland. It was strongly opposed by the Church because it appeared to contradict Catholic doctrine in the area of free will and personal responsibility. By the time the Church started to lose its influence in Ireland, Freudian ideas were also past their heyday.

    Slan!

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