Thank you Ophelia Benson

In August of 2005 Ophelia Benson had written a post about what happened to Irish children of single mothers in the past. I replied to the post in June and also in Nov of 2006. Trust me not to have looked at the dates – not that they’d have mattered in the slightest bit given the subject matter. Think time-warp!

OB’s response:

Ireland’s Past Revisited Nov 8th, 2006 | By  Category: Notes and Comment Blog

Yikes. I’ve just accidentally found a couple of comments on a post from August 2005 – one comment last June, the other yesterday. The post was about the tragic mess of what happened to children of single mothers in Ireland; the comments are from one of those children. Because the post is so old, they’ll naturally go unread; so you should have a look. They’re not light reading.

Delving deeper:

They were shivering and were all colours of the rainbow as they stood there waiting to be cleaned

December 17th, 2006

[OB] You may remember that last month I did a brief comment on Goldenbridge, which I knew little about until I saw some comments Marie-Therese O’Loughlin had recently left on a comment from 2005 on industrial schools in Ireland. I asked Marie-Therese to tell me more, and she has; we’re working on an article which will be on B&W soon. Yesterday I asked Marie-Therese for a little basic detail about daily life – and she sent some. I don’t feel like waiting to publish it.

Warning: the following contains material which some readers may find disturbing. I know I do. Marie-Therese finds it very disturbing to recall it.

Morning at Goldenbridge

The children got up at… Read the rest

When I accidentally came upon the 2005 post in B&W Notes & Comment section, I remember distinctly reading it on several occasions. The contents therein that pertained to the Regina Ceoli Hostel, Nth Brunswick St, Dublin, for unmarried mothers and the subsequent happenings of the young lives, resonated hugely and had a profound psychological effect. I subsequently made some very strong comments, as I’d experienced dreadful flashbacks. Heretofore I had very little experience in knowing how to interact properly in the blogosphere, not to mention writing/critical thinking skills being very minuscule. I’d only ever communicated in survivor circles, and invariably they were full of emotional outbursts. It was to be sure a new ball-game entering into the B&W arena full of educated people. I remember Ophelia explaining nicely about not writing in capital letters. I did not know the difference. I thought that by writing in big letters, it would at all costs disguise lack of punctuation wherewithal. Suffice to say – am still useless at same.


So In light of OB having read comments from an old post, it was followed up by an e-mail, which now brings me to the main essence of this post.

I received the following e-mail dated: December 2006 and have been given permission to post it here. It sums up succinctly a social justice issue which Ophelia Benson took on board way back then in 2006. I won’t even go into details here, as said e-mail is self-explanatory. In my estimation, anyway, it speaks volumes.

Dear Ms O’Loughlin,

 This one did reach its destination! I hope my reply does.

I would very much like to run an article about Goldenbridge, if you would like to write one – simply the kind of detailed account you’ve given in your comments. I’m sure the facts are well known in Ireland, but B and W has an international readership, so this would be a way to spread the story. Would this interest you? You’ve already written most of it, really; in fact I was planning to put your comments together as an article if I didn’t hear from you; but if you want to add more, this would be an opportunity.

It makes the blood run cold, this kind of thing. What on earth possesses people? How do they live with themselves? What are they thinking? It’s baffling. But that’s all the more reason we all need to know about it.

 All the best,

 Ophelia Benson


Ophelia Benson, Editor

Butterflies and

Dear Ophelia...

Photo - by Marie-Therese

On behalf of all survivors of industrial schools in Ireland, especially Goldenbridge. I would sincerely like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done over the years in helping to highlight our serious social justice issues. OB, you, a fierce advocate of social justice, will always be remembered by survivors for the stance you’ve taken in helping survivors via your supportive writings. You’ve been utterly consistent in your erudite writings in solidarity with survivors throughout the years. You’ve never been – a come day, go day person – in your expressions of compassion and empathy.

I would sincerely like to take this opportunity in acting in solidarity with those from other sources, such as, Alex Gabriel’s unanticipated and lovely mash-note to Freethought blogswho want to thank you OB for the relentless work you’ve done / still do in similar human rights fields.

Here are a few more additional links pertaining to your social justice voice – from industrial *schools* standpoint – which helped those enormously who were crying out in the wilderness.:

The comments thusly were talked about and subsequently put together and edited by OB. The following article is the final result. It acts as both a link to this learning journal and that of my twitter A/C.

Am proud to say that even Dr. Zimbardo of the Stanford Experiment was privy to the contents.

One article begot another

And then I went back into education and got some good results.

I’m still presently in adult education. I’m a very slow learner, but am getting there somehow.

More stuff.

H/t: B&W Banner Logo.


Angie Bee and 4 others retweeted you
donie brady followed you
donie brady

@OpheliaBenson Greetings. I am now following you, via@MarieTherese39 Thank you.

@MarieTherese39: Tweeted @ShameOfIreland Thank you @OpheliaBenson for supporting survivors with prolific writing.”  

kath retweeted you

@MarieTherese39 you are so welcome Marie T. Martine

Andrew Brennan favorited your Tweet
Andrew Brennan
Andrew Brennan retweeted you
Andrew Brennan
Martine Brennan retweeted you
Martine Brennan
Belinda Evangelista retweeted you
Belinda Evangelista
Tim Nelligan retweeted you
Tim Nelligan

@MarieTherese39 Sure, no problem. Good on @OpheliaBenson for her support

Leo Forde retweeted you
Leo Forde
Paul Moloney retweeted you
Paul Moloney
Mari Steed retweeted you
2 Jul:

@culchiewoman  @OpheliaBenson has supported survivors with prolific writing. Will you retweet solidarity thank-you note?
Mari Steed

@marietherese39 @opheliabenson Happy to!I’ve read lots of memoirs detailing #institutional #abuse and hate 2think there wr so many #victims!

Liz K retweeted you
Liz K

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