Andrew Brennan revisited

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In the picture below are a mining family. My Grandmother – wife of a Miner. My mother – wife of a Miner, mother of 14. My big sister. My big brother – dead but never forgotten and me.

 ENEMIES OF THE STATE- When Ireland Incarcerated Mothers

Here’s the memorable photo that Andrew talked about at Twitter last night. I just love the way everyone – toddler and all – are all focussing so firmly on the camera. Maybe the younger ones responded to the camera because they were given chocolate biscuits. What a treasure to be given by a neighbour.

I haven’t addressed contents of article, as of yet, but placed photo here in connection with the chat we had, so as to give any prospective reader an inkling, via a Twitter conversation alone – a tiny glimpse of a life of an industrial school inmate.

It actually pains me so much reading the harrowing stuff Andrew had to contend with, that the thought of clicking on to the article gives me the horrors. It goes through me like a dagger. That’s the reality of how the past has affected survivors of industrial schools. The type of lives we lived – which is very alien to a world of people- that has grossly stunted our intellectual and emotional growth. Counsellors have claimed that because of the systematic abuse of the past that a lot of us have not emotionally gone past the age of sixteen years of age. That is a fact. I can concur with that sentiment. Survivors of clerical abuse who were never incarcerated are mostly much more emotionally articulate in being able to express themselves, and are amazing spokespersons for the abused. I used to resent it at first, as I thought that some of them were hijacking our cause, but it’s not that way at all. They are damaged in a different way to us. We do share some of their symptoms. I simply get PTSD symptoms reading about it; just as I do reading stories of other counterparts. I bleed for survivors and the pain they had to withstand as innocent children. It’s hard for those who’ve never had trauma as children to comprehend the devastating effects. They can sometimes think we’re just moaners. who’ve never got their over problems. Shackled brains know no rest.

@MarieTherese39 He’s the boy standing to the right of my Mum and Granny – http://theraggedwagon.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/enemies-of-the-state/ …

Yeah, Andrew certainly knows what he’s talking about, having spent his childhood, along with his siblings in two industrial schools. We had reason to attend a meeting at the dept of education on matters concerning child institutional abuse some years ago, and also on other occasions at ultimatedisposal.com – a site that connected survivors to each other, but has now morphed into just gathering media stuff about child abuse. A. frequently comments at online thejournal.ie newpaper, and his comments are pure gems.

I had a very constructive conversation with him via Twitter DM just recently. It amazes me how strong he is considering all his siblings and himself had to go through in their young lives. He has such a wonderful sense of humour, despite everything he endured in the past

Related reading.

[PDF] Research Guide for Relatives of Magdalene Women  Quick View

Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of  

Magdalene asylum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Welcome to Justice for Magdalene

Ireland’s Magdalene laundries scandal must be laid to rest | Mary 

Magdalene Laundries

The Magdalene Story

A very Irish sort of hell – theage.com.a

Magdalene laundries apology motion defeated – RTÉ New

Magdalene Laundries Lyrics – Joni Mitchel  › Joni Mitchell Lyrics

The Magdalene Sisters (2002) – IMDb

Here’a an example taken from his blog at theraggedwagon

In those places EVERYTHING was part of your punishment. Mealtimes were a PUNISHMENT. Our food was vile, it really would have been illegal AND cruel to feed pigs on what we “survived” on. Our main food really was bread and dripping. And the dripping wasn’t the nice white strained stuff you’d see on the shelves of Tesco’s all nicely wrapped, nope it was a funny yellow colour.

Right on, Andrew, I too wrote about the GHASTLY food in Goldenbridge, [I must look it up and link to it here.] I know exactly where you are coming from with respect of saying that it was part of the punishment. There was a cold feeling going into the dining-hall at Goldenbridge, especially at supper time at 6: 00p.m. when you knew that two slices of bread with margarine was facing you, with a cup of sugarless dark cocoa. Nothing else. You were famished going into the dining hall and you were almost the same way coming out of it. You left with the same cold feeling. As Bernadette Fahy said in her book Freedom of Angels. One wondered why they went to all the trouble of having to wash dishes, when all that was placed on them was bread – that was oftentimes damp and mouldy. The chore could have been avoided. After all, a slice of bread was literally thrown at us at 3:00p.m.in the prison yard, that Christine Buckley said “where the sun never shone”. It was just a punishment. I can just imagine the ghastly food that was served up to you. We didn’t have bread and dripping, but I do know that it was not long before my time, that it was in existence. Two slices of bread had to sustain us to well after breakfast the next morning. in the interim, we had to go back to St. Bridget’s to continue with the rosary-bead making. No wonder children fainted in the chapel every single morning, as they were starving. You could hear their bellies rumbling with hunger in the stillness of the chapel. The host was a welcome relief, as it sustained them for a while.

As I said up above I had a very fruitful conversation with Andrew recently. The same thing happened last evening on Twitter, John from Cork joined in on the chat.

The Tweets need to be read in reverse. I tried putting them in correct order. Alas,  to my chagrin I had made a complete mess of same, so left well alone.

Raphael Sensei and 3 others retweeted you
12h:

@walkcork @AndrewSB49 MT: “Cruelty Men removed children from homes. I was 1 of them. This http://twitpic.com/baof9o  criminalises me 2 this day”

@MarieTherese39 Agus codladh sámh duit-sé a Mháire. 🙂

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 @mrpaddydoyle Those women’s rights were taken away by religion and state!

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 @mrpaddydoyle In Magdalen laundries adults were held against their will. Police forcibly returned ‘escapees’.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 @mrpaddydoyle Me too, but as I said earlier, children had rights then too, but they were ignored. Vigilance.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 Yeah, it was the poor that we’re preyed on by these vampires. The state handed over children in droves.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 @MrPaddyDoyle Yes, Paddy tweeted this recently. It is a disgrace, the way children were treated in this country.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 What’s not to unðrstand, Marie Thérèse? They wanted to make as much money as possible out of the children.

@AndrewSB49 @marietherese39 I have never heard of these aspects of industrial schools and court orders, Andrew. They should be broadcast.

13h
Andrew Brennan favorited your Tweets
15h:

@AndrewSB49 Weren’t you blessed to get photo! What a treasure. I remember getting first photo of my mother & uncle. Overwhelmingly emotional
2 other favorites

@MarieTherese39 The only music we heard (or sang) was church music: Tantum Ergo etc. and Jim Reeves! A real Taliban state

@MarieTherese39 He was ordered by judge to pay half a crown each for myself, my brother an sister. 7/6 a month. By 1967 he owed £62.

@MarieTherese39 I was supposed to sing Bless This House – I had Angel’s voice – instead I belted out ‘Off The Hook’ a phone-sex song!

@MarieTherese39 @YouTube I was beaten to within an inch of my life for singing a Stones song in 1965 – in front of local dignitaries.

@MarieTherese39 I have official Garda Siochana files referencing the nuns 18 demands that they search for my father!

@AndrewSB49 @MarieTherese39 @walkcork That’s such an awful thing to have happened to u. So sorry to hear that. Hard to get over, I’d say.

@MarieTherese39 I was out on licence working in Hotel/Guesthouse in Waterford when he died. The owner just told (cont) http://tl.gd/jv7mf9 

@AndrewSB49 Thanks for link. I’ll read it in due course. ‘Out on licence’ caper sickens me 2 the core. We were only children who never erred

@MarieTherese39 They used the ‘out on licence’ to get the Parental Monies. That’s an issue – along with the judiciary – that Ryan avoided.

11:27 PM – 10 Nov 12 · Details

@AndrewSB49 Clever. Child prisoners, eh! Nuns persecuted children whose parents were slow in paying dues. Ryan just dealt w/ certain angles.

@MarieTherese39 I have official Garda Siochana files referencing the nuns 18 demands that they search for my father!

@AndrewSB49 That’s amazing that you got hold of them. Historical data. Was that 2 retrieve monies initially ordered by court? He scarpered?

@MarieTherese39 He was ordered by judge to pay half a crown each for myself, my brother an sister. 7/6 a month. By 1967 he owed £62.

@AndrewSB49 Blimey, he could have bought house with that amount of dosh. You must have felt doubly cheated b/c of his debt. It was so common

14h
John Collins retweeted you
14h:

Survivors of industrial schools/clerical child abuse never got where they did with government by being nice. They’d 2 bring it home sharply
John Collins

@MarieTherese39 I was out on licence working in Hotel/Guesthouse in Waterford when he died. The owner just told (cont) http://tl.gd/jv7mf9 

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 I totally agree with you, Marie Thérèse!! Well, how about it Andrew?

@MarieTherese39 My contact in Southampton was called Muldowney – I think relatives still live in ‘Comer still

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 They had their rights taken from them by religious and state, with no-one to defend their rights.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 Marie, all inmates of industrial schools, Magdalen laundries etc. had rights but these rights were just ignored.

@MarieTherese39 @andrewsb49 Yes, Andrew is very articulate, and speaks with passion and commitment, based on truth and experience.

15h
Andrew Brennan favorited your Tweet
15h:

@AndrewSB49 Weren’t you blessed to get photo! What a treasure. I remember getting first photo of my mother & uncle. Overwhelmingly emotional
Andrew Brennan

@MarieTherese39 Never saw him again after 1958 – he was 8 years old then. I was 5. Only saw his grave in1982

@AndrewSB49 @marietherese39 Yes, Andrew, slowly but surely. And we can’t do it, without people like you telling your story.

@MarieTherese39 Quite militant miners as well~http://www.sip.ie/sip019B/index1.htm … ~They went on strike once to demand their pay in English pounds!

@MarieTherese39 Our Granny kept him. He wasn’t child of the marriage so he wasn’t hauled before court. He was also born in Magdalene asylum

@walkcork @MarieTherese39 We’re slowly but surely coming out of the dark past I think – despite present circumstances. There’s Hope

@MarieTherese39 Castlecomer mines in Kilkenny! Ironically if he had been consigned to Ind.Schs. he’d be alive today. He died of TB in 68

@MarieTherese39 He knew my family very well and took a raft of photos … he also supplied to me my family genealogy!!

@AndrewSB49 @marietherese39 Andrew, that is a very sad story. Irish society has a lot to answer for.

@MarieTherese39 I got the photo from an elderly Kilkenny man who emigrated to Southampton in 1947 – he revisited Eire only on holidays

@MarieTherese39 “To those whom much is given much is expected.” [Luke –12:48] There are those who don’t draw people to give them attention. Charmed

23h
Martine Brennan retweeted you
23h:

World-wide people are coming forward re: clerical/other child abuse. Irish survivors of institutional & clerical abuse set the ball rolling.
Martine Brennan

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