Goldenbridge

Goldenbridge

H/t B&W

Yikes again. No wonder those comments are not light reading. I Googled Marie-Therese O’Loughlin – with results.

Look.

At some point during her second year in the Regina Coeli hostel, her mother was admitted to hospital with TB…When Marie Therese’s mother was ill in hospital, Marie Therese’s high chair fell into an “open blazing fire”. She sustained injuries that have left her with scars on her face, hand and leg…Marie Therese went to Goldenbridge, a childcare home, when she was five years old. “There was a lot of name-calling (one of the names they called her was “scarface”), children were frightened of me, and deformity was used against me.” During her time in Goldenbridge, Marie Therese made rosary beads: “nobody ever questioned throughout all my years in Goldenbridge [about] my deformity or whether I should or should not be making rosary beads… no child should be making rosary beads but especially not a child with a deformity… as far as I am concerned it did untold damage to the tissue”. She describes her time in Goldenbridge as very lonely and unhappy, “I don’t remember every getting close to anybody, I just can’t remember… it had a cold atmosphere, I don’t ever remember people saying nice things.”…She had grown up believing that her mother was dead as this was what the nuns in Goldenbridge told her. She returned to Dublin to find her mother’s grave. It was then that she discovered that her mother was alive.

Sad, sad stuff.

18 RESPONSES TO “GOLDENBRIDGE”

  • #1

    So, the good christian nuns exploited a child, and led to her, and effectively blackmailed her (over her mother’s supposed death).

    Why should we be surprised?

    Why should we expect anything else of a religious institution?

    I’m reminded of how J. Djugvlashi (sp?) learnt all the tricks of control and spying and secret informers from his Orthodox seminary years.

  • #2

    G. Tingey, another of your bad hair days? Tut, tut, but what a hanging judge you are! You write:

     Why should we expect anything else of a religious institution?

    We should expect lots of other things because religious institutions come in the proverbial 57 varieties. For what a couple of personal anecdotes are worth: (a) the primary school I attended in the West of Ireland from the age of 5 to 7 was run by the Sisters of Mercy, and the ones I remember were kind and decent women who provided basic educational services free of charge. (b) My aunt (a nun) was for many years headmistress of a large girls’ school West Belfast and she can hardly go down the road to buy a newspaper without being ‘assailed’ by her former pupils, who seem to adore her (well, perhaps I exaggerate, but just a tiny bit). (c) And the secondary school I attended was run by the Jesuits, who were bleeding-hearts compared with the teachers in many a secular British public school. They were also pretty tolerant. The question I once put to my religious doctrine teacher as to whether a spoilt priest could transubstantiate an entire bakery caused bafflement rather than anger. The good priest said he would ‘look into the matter’, I think. I can’t remember his response when I asked whether it would not be justified for a good Catholic to mow down with a machine gun all small children immediately after their First Holy Communion, since they would then be 100% sure of a place in Heaven. Perhaps we could ask Swinburne. Anyhow, that’s the relatively sunny side.

    Now to the less pleasant side: my father was initially enrolled in the local Christian Brothers’ primary school at the age of seven. He was so badly beaten during his first week that his hands had to be bandaged. My grandparents forthwith transferred him to the fee-paying Jesuits – they could afford it. That was in the 20′s of the last century – needless to say nobody even thought of filing charges against the sadists of the Lord.

    So it was a very mixed bag. Remember that it’s always the bastards who hit the headlines. The others remain unseen and unheard. Good guys are bad copy.

  • #3

    “Good guys are bad copy.”

    True, but also, it’s the bastards who need fixing. In the case of places like Goldenbridge, need it urgently. So the bastards in headlines situation is far from all bad.

  • #4

    And, what has the wonderful RC church done about all the bad apples (such as paedophile priests) over the years?

    As little as possible seems to be the answer.

  • #5

    Barney F. McClelland

    I had the Christian Brothers – albeit here in the States – for high school. One of their favorite punishments in my day was sprinkling rice on the floor and making you kneel in it. I guess they learned not to leave black and blue marks for evidence.

    Still, people ask me how I became an atheist…

  • #6

    What is the connection between (some) Catholicism and sadism? Why are these tales so commonplace?

    I sort of understand puritanism of various kinds; I understand about askesis, effort, self-denial, etc. But the sadism, not so much.

  • #7

    Barney F. McClelland

    You needn’t be politically correct, Ophelia “(some)”; the Irish version of Catholicism is legendary in its cruelty.

    There have been numerous books and memoirs written about the toxic relationship between the Irish and Catholic church. It’s been said that the ranks of the IRA were educated by the Christian Brothers and the high threshold for cruelty is a bit more than coincidental.

    Most of us now look back on it as a rite of passage and engage in a bit of one-upmanship in comparing our childhood traumas and have a good laugh. Little good it would have done us to complain at the time – if we had, we would have been told we probably had it coming and get smacked again by our parents.

    My brother, Brian, who was in the Marines said you could always tell who were the other Catholics in basic training because they were the ones who weren’t crying.

    I don’t want trivialize the suffering of others at the hands of these people – some of it was truly Medieval in character, I could give countless examples from my own experience. But, in many cases, it just pissed us off.

  • #8

    Barney, I know – I was being not so much politically correct as careful – because I don’t know that Catholicism everywhere is quite like the Irish variety. The Irish version is indeed legendary (I was thinking of Joyce as well as the material linked; also Mary McCarthy’s Minnesota relatives).

    “It’s been said that the ranks of the IRA were educated by the Christian Brothers and the high threshold for cruelty is a bit more than coincidental.”

    Oh. Crikey. I never thought of that. But of course. God what a horrible thought.

  • #9

    Barney F. McClelland

    Actually, Paul Muldoon has a wonderful poem describing the connection:

    Anseo

    When the master was calling the roll

    At the primary school in Collegelands,

    You were meant to call back Anseo

    And raise your hand

    As your name occurred.

    Anseo, meaning here, here and now,

    All present and correct,

    Was the first word of Irish I spoke.

    The last name on the ledger

    Belonged to Joseph Mary Plunkett Ward

    And was followed, as often as not,

    By silence, knowing looks,

    A nod and a wink, the master’s droll

    ‘And where’s our little Ward-of-court?’

    I remember the first time he came back

    The master had sent him out

    Along the hedges

    To weigh up for himself and cut

    A stick with which he would be beaten.

    After a while, nothing was spoken;

    He would arrive as a matter of course

    With an ash-plant, a salley-rod.

    Or, finally, the hazel-wand

    He had whittled down to a whip-lash,

    Its twist of red and yellow lacquers

    Sanded and polished,

    And altogether so delicately wrought

    That he had engraved his initials on it.

    I last met Joseph Mary Plunkett Ward

    In a pub just over the Irish border.

    He was living in the open,

    in a secret camp

    On the other side of the mountain.

    He was fighting for Ireland,

    Making things happen.

    And he told me, Joe Ward,

    Of how he had risen through the ranks

    To Quartermaster, Commandant:

    How every morning at parade

    His volunteers would call back Anseo

    And raise their hands

    As their names occurred.

  • #10

    Sadism makes the world go ’round.

  • #11

    Barney F. McClelland

    Ahh, but isn’t the suffering beautiful? Or, so said Mother Theresa

    What a load of crap…

  • #12

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    SUFFERING,…. CAUSES THE BRAIN TO SPLIT

    SUFFERING,…. CAUSES THE PERSON TO RETREAT FROM SOCIETY

    SUFFERING,….. CAUSES PERPETUAL GRIEF

    SUFFERING,….. CAUSES ONE TO BE ETERNALLY LONELY.

    SUFFERING,…… FROM A VERY TENDER AGE CAUSES AUTISM.

    SUFFERING,….. CAUSES DEREALISATION, IDEATION & ALL THAT THAT ENTAILS

    SUFFERING,…… CAUSES ONE TO HAVE MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES.

    SUFFERING,….. CAUSES ONE TO SPACE & FREAK OUT.

    SUFFERING,….. CAUSES HAVOC TO THE SUFFERER.

    SUFFERING,…… CAUSES ONE TO HAVE BORDERLINE, AVOIDANT, HISTRIONIC & MANY OTHER PERSONALITY DISORDERS.

    SUFFERING,……….CAUSES COMPLEX POST TRAUMATIC STRESS – DISORDER NOT OFFICIALLY SPECIFIED. {DESNOS} DISORDER OF EXTREME STRESS – NOT OFFICIALLY SPECIFIED & VARIOUS ANXIETY DISORDERS.

    SUFFERING CAUSES PHYSICAL ILLNESSES, ETC ETC

    SUFFERING, FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD……….HAS ALBEIT MOULDED & SHAPED ME & I WOULD NOT WISH IT UPON MY WORST ENEMY.

    A PERSONS FORMATIVE YEARS ARE THE MOST PRECIOUS AS THEIR TENDER BRAINS SOAK UP EVERYTHING. FROM THEREAFTER IN LIFE ALL IS REPETITIOUS. A SHACKLED BRAIN KNOWS NO PEACE, NO REST, NO LOVE, NO EMPATHY..

    TO KATHLEEN O’MALLEY I SAY PLEASE CONTINUE TO BE PROACTIVE IN STANDING UP FOR THOSE OF USE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO VOICE OUR CONCERNS. THANK YOU FOR TELLING YOUR STORY ABOUT THE HARSH REGIME THAT EXISTED IN THE PAST IN GOLDENBRIDGE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, INCHICORE, DUBLIN, IRELAND & IN OTHERS AS WELL.

    SLAN AGUS BEANNACHT.

    MARIE-THERESE O’ LOUGHLIN.

  • #13

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Cathal, I was at four years ten months old, through the court system, sentenced to Goldenbridge Industrial School Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland, to remain there till I was sixteen years old. I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD WHICH TO DATE HAS STILL NOT BEEN EXPUNGED. The good Sisters of Mercy were paid a capitation grant to feed, clothe & educate me. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. Instead, I was put to work in a make-shift factory every day of my young life after supposed school. I MADE SIXTY DECADES OF ROSARY BEADS & TWELVE THREES, {despite a deformity, which was never questioned} I had to fulfill this quota and could not leave the class-room/turned factory, {St bridget’s} until this complicated intricated highly skilled task was done. Children as young as six years old were put under the desks {like puppies} to string beads on to silver wire for the older children. They invariably fell asleep thruough sheer tiredness. some children were so bored that they put the beads in their ears, or swallowed them. At 6:pm each evening we had the last meal – SUPPER of the day, it consisted of two slices of bread & black sugarless cocoa. This was to sustain us despite the arduous task of bead-making which lay ahead of us. OLDER GIRLS WORKED LATE INTO THE NIGHT GETTING ROSARY BEADS PREPARED FOR THE DUBLIN BASED FACTORY.

    In all honesty Cathal, I do not think you can make comparisons about how well you were treated in your day school and that of Goldenbridge HELL-HOLE.

    SLAN AGUS BEANNACHT

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

  • #14

    MARIE-THERESE O’ LOUGHLIN

    RE: SADISM MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND.

    ————————————-

    EVERY MORNING IN GOLDENBRIDGE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, INCHICORE, DUBLIN, IRELAND, CHILDREN WERE LINED UP BEFORE SISTER X WAITING TO BE FLOGGED FOR HAVING WET THE BED THE NIGHT BEFORE. CHILDREN HAD TO DISPLAY THEIR SOILED SHEETS. DURING THIS DAILY RITUAL CHILDREN WERE REMINDED OF WHY THEY WERE IN GOLDENBRIDGE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE. FOR EXAMPLE THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEIR PARENTS/PARENT WERE EITHER DRUNKARD/S, PROSTITUTE/S, GOOD FOR NOTHING, OR OTHER DEROGATORY TERMINOLOGY SUCH AS THEIR PARENTS HAD ABANDONED THEM ETC, ETC. THE HUMILIATION WAS SOMETHING TO BEHOLD. SISTER X FROTHED AT THE MOUTH AS SHE FLOGGED & WHIPPED AWAY. SHE LITERALLY DID A DANCE & BECAME VERY EXHAUSTED DURING THE PROCESS. SHE WAS A VERY TALL NUN & THIS ADDED TO THE STRENGTH AS SHE LASHED & LASHED AWAY AT VULNERABLE YOUNG CHILDREN, SOME MERELY INFANTS.

    ALSO, EVERY NIGHT CHILDREN HAD TO WAIT FOR HOURS, SOMETIMES THE WHOLE NIGHT ON A COLD LANDING {OUTSIDE THE SISTERS’ CELL} FOR PUNISHMENT FROM THE SAME SISTER X FOR SOME MINOR MISDEMEANOUR, SUCH AS NOT GETTING THE BLACK MARKS OFF THE FLOOR, LOOKING AROUND AT THE NUNS IN THE CHAPEL, WHISPERING IN CHAPEL, FOR SMIRKING AT A LAY SO-CALLED TEACHER, LOOOKING FOR ATTENTION, NOT GETTING FULL QUOTA OF ROSARY BEADS FINISHED ON TIME, THE LIST WAS ENDLESS. SISTER X HAD A SPECIAL ‘SLAPPER’ IT WAS A THICK BARK OF A TREE WHICH WAS FAITHFULLY POLISHED BY SAME. THE HEAD HONCHO WAS A VEY SADISTIC PERSON WHO RULED THE ROOST AT GOLDENBRIDGE. EVERYONE WAS AFRAID OF HER. SHE STILL HAD THE CAPACITY TO INSTILL THE SAME FEAR INTO US AS WE FACED HER AT THE COMMISSION TO INQUIRE INTO INSTITUTIONAL CHILD ABUSE IN JULY 2006. SADISM SURELY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND.

    SLAN AGUS BEANNACHT

    MARIE-THERESE O’ LOUGHLIN

  • #15

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Cathal, I have encountered many kind nuns throughout my life. Ones, precisely of the same calibre that you had the fortunate experience of having been taught by………….Coincidentally, a small percentage of children who were permanently locked away in Goldenbridge Industrial School, also had relatives who were either Sisters of Mercy, or were from other religious orders…. or indeed were priests!! These specific children were more isolated by the penitential system because of this fact. It was one of the biggest kept secrets from the children AS IT WAS CONSIDERED TERRIFYINGLY SHAMEFUL, especially if one was illegitimate. There was always a strange aura about such children. WHISPERS GALORE ABOUNDED in the presence of the nuns.

    SR X from Goldenbridge refused for over 50 years to tell interned GB twins THAT THEIR 2 AUNTS WERE SISTERS OF MERCY FRIENDS OF HERS – THESE 2 CHILDREN WERE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER BY THIS CRUEL NUN WHEN SHE TOOK ONE OF THEM AT 13 YEARS OF AGE TO WORK WITH HER WHEN SHE WAS TRANSFERRED TO A NEW CONVENT. THE SISTERS MET ACCIDENTALLY WHEN THEY BUMPED INTO EACH OTHER SOME YEARS LATER.THEY HAVE NEVER RECOVERED FROM THE SHOCK. The twins pleaded for years with Sister X to divulge TO THEM who they were… but she refused downright to give them information. NONETHELESS they have now RECENTLY met their mother, as they were helped by other sources. MY PAST WAS ALSO HIDDEN FROM ME IN A SIMILAR FASHION.

    Slan agus beannacht.

    Marie-Therese O’Loughlin.

  • #16

    Marie-Therese –

    Could you email me? Please do if you’d like to – I’d like to run an article about all this. (I’ve tried to email you but the messages didn’t go through.)

    Thank you for commenting.

    editor@butterfliesandwheels.com

  • #17

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin

    Dear Editor,

    I sent you an e-mail at 16:18 approximately – on

    this day, Monday, Nov, 2006.

    If difficulties should arise again there is another e-mail address linked to same, so do not hesitate to inform me and I will e-mail the latter.

    Thank you, for highlighting Goldenbridge Industrial School, Inchicore Dublin. Ireland. It was a very sad place to grow up in – as indeed were hundreds of such type institutions that were scattered throughout the small Island of Ireland, up till the 70s.

    Slan agus beannacht,

    Marie-Therese O’ Loughlin.

  • #18

    Thank you, Marie-Therese. The email arrived and I replied. Thank you very much for informing us about Goldenbridge. This is a subject that should be more widely known outside Ireland.

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