Origins Service for survivors of Industrial “Schools”

Who can apply to the Origins Service?
Origins is for people (and their families) who spent all or part of their childhood in an Irish industrial School and are interested in tracing information about their parents, siblings or other relatives. The service is available to people in Ireland and abroad.

What does Origins do?
Experienced professional staff, offer advice, support and mediation in your search for your family of origin. Around 50% of the cases dealt with by the Origins team have led to reunion with their family of origin. Many of these cases involved reuniting sisters and brothers who were separated as children.

The service is completely confidential. There is no charge for the service as it is funded by the Department of Education and Science.

We wish to ensure that everyone who is entitled to our service has the opportunity to avail of it.

Contacting Us
A: Barnardos, Hyde Square, 654 Sth. Circular Rd. Dublin 8
T: 01 453 0355 (for residents abroad, please call +353 1 453 0355)



Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat, by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children. Barnardos was established in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity.


Barnardos Family Tracing Service | Marie-Thérèse O’Loughlin 


Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF)

Minister Quinn announces establishment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund

The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund (RISF) is to be officially established next Monday, the 25th of March. The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. is also announcing the appointment of the members of the RISF Board and the designation of the first CEO.

The RISF Board is a new body which is being established under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012. The Board will oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million pledged by the religious congregations to support the needs of some 15,000 survivors of residential institutional child abuse. These survivors have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent court awards.

The support to be provided will include a range of approved services, including health and personal social services, education and housing services. To date €40m in cash contributions have been received from the congregations and a further €27m is expected on the establishment of the Fund.

Minister Quinn said, “The establishment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board represents a critically important step in responding to the needs of those who were subjected to horrendous abuse while children in residential institutions. I greatly appreciate the fact that the members have agreed to contribute to the work of the Board and I wish them well in their work. While the tasks facing the Fund are significant, I am confident that it will make a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of the survivors of institutional abuse.”

The composition of the Board is as follows:

Ms Sylda Langford, Chairperson

Ordinary Members (former residents of institutions)

  1. Mr Paddy Doyle
  2. Ms Bernadette Fahy
  3. Ms Phyllis Morgan
  4. Mr Martin Power

Other Ordinary Members

  1. Mr Damian Casey
  2. Mr Austin Currie
  3. Mr Tom Daly
  4. Ms Katherine Finn BL

Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board

Who we are

The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board was established in March 2013 under the provisions of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012.

What we do

The Board will oversee the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million pledged by the religious congregations to support the needs of some 15,000 survivors of residential institutional child abuse. These survivors have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent court awards.

The supports to be provided will include a range of approved services, including health and personal social services, mental health services, education services and housing services.

The Education Finance Board has been dissolved and its remaining functions have been transferred to the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund.



Address: Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board, Floor 3, 24/27 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1.

Phone: 1890 742 742
Fax: (01) 874 5709

See Also

Emma Sharma-Hayes R.I.P. Survivor of St. George’s Industrial “School” Limerick

WAC at Tara

Archaeologists on Tour

Two bus loads of Archaeologists arrived at Tara this morning for a Tour of the Hill.

Conor Newman chats with Campaigner
Conor Newman chats with Campaigner

Greeting the Archaeologists, Tara Campaigners handed out leaflets entitled “What You Can Do To Save The Tara/Skryne Valley ” as well as promotional literature for the Meath Master Plan. The Tour got underway led by Conor Newman who was pleased to have the Campaigners join in -and very enjoyable it was too!

They did not however visit Lismullin or the Sousterrain under threat.

Conor leads the Tour Emma Sharma Hayes
Conor leads the TourJohn Farrelly has been in touch to announce the very sad news of the passing of Emma Sharma-Hayes. Emma was an inspiration to all in the Tara campaign, who had tremendous energy, intelligence and grace. She tried to bring peace to a fraught

campaign, and bring sense to the Green Party, of which she was a member. I
remember her admonishing Dan Boyle and all the green gang who voted to go into
Government with Fianna Fail, outside the Mansion House. But the fools wouldn’t
listen. Thanks you and bless you, Emma.

Also at Tom Hayes (no relation) says:

It is with profound sadness that I report the death on Monday 3rd June 2013 of Emma. Emma worked for survivors in many ways. She was a true supporter to anybody that was in an institution and would never, ever turn anybody away that asked for help. Sadly her circumstances were not good. Sad too that we, who claim to represent other survivors were not able to assist her when she so desperately needed our support. She would often accommodate survivors in need and ensure they were aware of all of the benefits available to them. She was completely un-judgemental and compassionate, used all of her many skills for survivors and was unselfish with her time to others. I was privileged to have known her and call her a friend. R.I.P.

I knew Emma for years. I was even at her house a couple of times. I remember the time too when she was infuriated that the Greens opted to go into government with Fine Fail. It was to be the death knell of the party. Dan Boyle, mentioned above, would be connected to Susan Boyle, who defied all the odds to become a successful singer in her late forties when she came second in Britain’s Got Talent.

Emma spent most of her formative years residing in England. She told me that she was in St. George’s Industrial School in Limerick. I remember her telling me about children being left all night in a black hole as punishment. She also told me that she had to wear a bodice to flatten her chest. She reckoned that this had repercussions on her health in later years.

I hadn’t seen Emma for some years. I then accidentally bumped into her in town approximately a year ago. I had a brief chat with her.

I was to discover only yesterday that she’d passed on, having suffered with cancer. I learned the sad news from Patsy, who is also a survivor, who resides in London, but is staying briefly with her family in Dublin. I’d also accidentally bumped into Patsy. We had both turned up at the same eating house which we hadn’t frequented for nigh on a year. We reminisced about Emma for a very long time. Patsy and myself had known Emma from the time she went to Aislinn Centre on the quays, for survivors of Reformatories and Industrial “Schools.” It was therapeutic offloading on to each other about her demise, as we were in dreadful shock. Patsy had discovered from Olive (a friend of Emma’s) who was in Goldenbridge with me. Emma leaves a daughter in Ireland and a son in England. I send them both my sincerest condolences.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

A woman who was a friend and inspiration to survivors of institutional abuse has passed away.

Emma Sharma Hayes died peacefully on June 3rd at age 62. She had worked as a nurse in Britain before returning in later life to Ireland where she lived in Dublin’s Jervis Street.  Emma experienced cruelty at the hands of a religious order in her childhood.

Only decades later would this wound that marred her early years be acknowledged by the relevant Order. In the interim, however, Emma displayed a remarkable lack of bitterness towards the people responsible. 

She quietly helped survivors of institutional abuse, availing of her nursing and counseling skills, and her talent and qualifications as a creative writer, to lend support to people struggling to come to terms with the wrongs of another era. 

She welcomed as a watershed in Irish history the publication of the Ryan Report in 2009 that exposed the horrors of what happened in State-funded industrial schools and the more recent report on the Magdalene Laundries.

Despite her reservations about organized religion, Emma was a deeply spiritual person. A student of the works of Carl Gustav Jung, she had an open mind on what other levels of existence might await us after death.

She adopted many causes pertaining to environmental protection and the safeguarding of heritage sites. Emma was a familiar sight on the Hill of Tara during the campaign against the routing of a motorway through the Tara-Skryne valley. For her, it was more than a culturally and archeologically significant location: It was part of Ireland’s soul.

The preservation of Ireland’s woodland heritage was another cause she cherished. She joined protests at the Dail that urged a reversal of plans to sell off the harvesting rights to our forests.

Emma was active in the Green Party and though saddened by its 2011 electoral setback, she was delighted with the election of Dublin North TD Clare Daly whose political ethos and social analysis she felt resonated with her own. 

She organized petitions for a whole range of human rights causes, especially ones pertaining to the ill-treatment and persecution of women.  She also supported the campaign against blood sports.

Her life of service to others and the causes she held dear were reflected in the attendance at her funeral service at Mount Jerome. Representatives of many campaign groups were there to say goodbye to Emma, as were her daughter Brogan and son Vijay, to both of whom she was a caring mother and friend.

 -John Fitzgerald 

(Published in Irish Times-July 8th 2013)

Avenue to the Institutions: Part II Discoveries

I was just one of thousands of Reformatories and Industrial “Schools” survivors’ who had made bleak institutional past discoveries via the Freedom of Information Act 1997 (FOI). The information had been requested by the Commission to Inquire into Institutional Child Abuse (CICA) Investigative and Private committees and the subsequent Redress Board (RIRB) from those appearing before same.

Survivors were lucky in one sense because solicitors had expert staff who were prepared for what lay ahead of them. The staff handled survivors extraordinarily well. So empathetic in their dealings, which was of the utmost importance to traumatised beings. The staff were very mindful and vigilant of who lay opposite them, as they slowly and methodically guided survivors, at their own emotional pace through the traumatic details in their records. Close relatives and counsellors were allowed to sit in on the appointments. I did not have anyone with me, as I felt secure in my dealings with the solicitor. I had built up a rapport over a long period. So too did many other institutional counterparts. That’s not to say, though, that I was resilient when the reality of details in my file sunk in, as I had stepped out into the street and was thoroughly alone. The intensity of words spoken in the office repeatedly befuddled and exacerbated me. The solitariness weighed me down, as the actuality was brought home to bear of that of having no support system to turn in time of great need. But the truth had to be told. I could live far better with it than the unknown, which I wouldn’t wish on my own worst enemy. I knew what it was like to have no identity for nearly 30 years.
The gruelling stories about how they came to be in the Reformatories and Industrial “Schools” were spoon-fed them in dribs and drabs over a long period, so as not to overwhelm them too much.
However, it was still excruciatingly debilitating for thousands of survivors. Some of whom had to endure listening intently to a plethora of unknown white-knuckle details in their files, whilst simultaneously trying to remain focussed and calm overall.
From having listened to many survivors recounting stories at the time, I know that many simply could not handle the stress associated with the new findings, and absolutely freaked out in their respective solicitors’ offices. Some survivors just could not stomach contents discovered therein, and therefore reacted very badly by storming out of the solicitors’ offices in question. Some even slammed doors hard behind them, and never wanted to revisit the solicitors’ offices which had revealed such terrifying secret stuff pertaining to their past lives.
Some found themselves banging on tables with their fists, yelling at solicitors, or maybe even bursting into tears. Some just went numb and silent because they found file contents so unfathomable and bizarre. Some became stupefied and giggled out of sheer shock at astounding new discovery revelations. Some survivors simply switched off or spaced out; never letting anything sink in because it was too unbelievable. I know that one particular solicitor who had specifically dealt with male survivor clients had kept a very wide berth between them. He had a gigantic table that separated them for safety. The RIRB office adopted the same procedure.
There was also a case of a male survivor who had wanted to turn the table over in a solicitor’s office, because he was vehemently vexed and frustrated at listening to such devastating news recorded in his files. Some just wanted to get at documents and tear them to shreds. The aggression was fiercely palpable. The religious had denied them rights to family details as children, and the consequences of that despicable act was played out a lifetime later in solicitors’ offices throughout Ireland, and in countries, as far afield as Australia, U.S.A., New Zealand and Continental Europe where survivors fled to or emigrated out of sheer shame and humiliation in the immediate aftermath of the ultimate disposal from their respective Reformatories and Industrial “Schools”.
Some survivors became suicidal. There was an incident of a very disturbed survivor who jumped into the River Liffey and drowned after RIRB dealings with a solicitor. I know that many other survivors had felt they had wanted to do a similar act after hearing incomprehensible documented family details.
Can you just imagine, that for the first time in their whole lives many survivors were confronting the history of their family backgrounds. They had to learn things of every conceivable kind about themselves. It was a such a hauntingly harrowing time. The staff went on sick-leave after only short periods of dealing with survivors, as invariably they suffered vicarious traumatisation. There was a very tearful solicitor who had to leave the job, as it all became too overwhelmingly stressful. She was young and did not have the skills required to handle the aggressiveness of survivors.
Stories that emerged from the FOI records could have involved parental suicides; parents having had two or three more families in various countries. Stories of children who were reared together in the same institution, who had then amazingly discovered for the first time that they were sisters, despite having had the same surname. Notwithstanding, that this would have been unsurprising, given that when they grew up together they would not have known anything about themselves. Children in Goldenbridge on the whole were not aware of their surnames. They would have been known by their prison numbers mostly; so hence being none the wiser about their familial connection. The religious never told the children anything about their family history.
Survivors had to withstand all their young lives not knowing anything about themselves. Not to be recommended at all. I think those dealing in childcare today have been made cognisant of this factor by survivors of Industrial ‘Schools.’ The religious should not have deprived those in their care the right to know their identity. The untold damage wreaked havoc, to not only the survivors but also their families whom they later discovered in life. The religious have a lot to answer, for deterring children from knowing their identities. I referred to the situation here:
There was one particular incident of Goldenbridge twins, who were denied knowing who their family was by a nun because the nuns did not want disgrace blighting the good image of the Mercy order. It transpired that the head-honcho nun was a friend of two aunties belonging to the twins, as both of the former were also Sisters of Mercy. The head-honcho denied the twins the right to know their mother because of shame attached to a sister of the aunties because of having had the twins out-of-wedlock. For fifty years the nun in charge flatly refused to tell the twins anything about themselves, despite the constant pleading and suffering. It was only revealed when the nun was threatened by someone – with the interest of the twins at heart – with legal action. This occurred at the outset of the commission to inquire into child institutional abuse. What a despicable act. –

There were stories that entailed having had siblings that survivors never knew existed, because they had either been adopted or had been reared by their fathers who may have been in separate relationships and living in England.

There were stories of parents who had struggled relentlessly with the Irish authorities to get their children out of institutions, but, were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, there is one very good example of a father who diligently fought the Irish system in a landmark case in order to secure the release of his daughter from an Industrial “School”. Doubtless, he won the high profile court case. His name was Desmond Doyle, there was a film made about his notorious struggle with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. For more information about this…

See: Evelyn Doyle: Evelyn | Marie-Thérèse O’Loughlin 

There were letters telling children they had been dearly loved by their parents, but those letters were never handed over to them by religious management of the institutions. There were stories of children, who had been left at convent doorsteps, which was devastating for survivors involved. Some survivors discovered that their mothers had been in mental hospitals, and had even died very young in them. One survivor couldn’t believe it when he discovered, as an adult, that between two separate families that his siblings amounted to 22 members. Large families were common with a lot of survivors.
The trauma of all the new-found discoveries commingled with the commission to inquire into child abuse (CICA) and the redress board (RIRB) caused so much heartache that it inevitably culminated in many unnecessary suicides and early deaths of survivors… some of whom were still in their early forties.

Many survivors, such as myself, had learned that they had lived with their mothers for the first few years of their lives and/or had been initially reared by relatives prior to placement in out-of-home care. A number of survivors, who identified themselves as ‘orphans’, reported to the private arm of CICA that frequently their mothers had, for various reasons, been unable to support them. The majority of these survivors had known little or nothing about the circumstances of their admission to out-of-home care. This lack of information included not knowing where they had been born, who their mothers and their fathers were, whether they had siblings, why their parents were unable to care for them and who decided they would be admitted to the Industrial “School” system.

I read the Regina Coeli mother and baby home records (pre-Goldenbridge era, where I had spent my babyhood) and was involved in a serious accident, and that too was excruciatingly unbearable to handle. I dreaded going back to the solicitor to have that part of my files rehashed over and over again. I just could not go there, and became worn out trying to psychologically shelve the new-found knowledge. Every time I had been called in to the sollcitors’ office it irked me considerably whenever the matter was mentioned, that I found it sometimes easier to ignore solicitor appointments. The Regina Ceoli part of my life was the most painful of all to get my head around. At least the Goldenbridge part was in the public domain and involved others, whereas in contrast the Regina Coeli episode was only applicable to me. It was personal and scary and very isolating. I could understand why my mother could not talk to me about it.

There were also a lot of other applicable details in the reports such as hospital visitations, reports from visitation officers sent to host families where difficulties may have arisen, as was the case with me personally. There were medical and “school” reports,  and even bogus inspection menus and Industrial “School” inspection reports contained in the records.

I learned from my records that I had been admitted to Vergemount, Clonskeagh, fever hospital with pertussis, and was on a dying list. The hospital’s official title was ‘House of Recovery and Fever Hospital’. I was all but five years old. I was incensed at discovering that Sr. X had been my only guardian. It freaked me out no end to find that the nun who had been to the forefront of the Goldenbridge institutional child abuse controversy had also had her signature written large on my documents. It reminded me in a minor way of the obituary mass-cards belonging to my mother which had borne the signature of Father Brendan Smyth, the notorious Irish paedophile who brought the Irish government to its knees in the early nineties. I was deeply pained because my mother was not to be had whilst I lay dying in a strange Dublin hospital. It was the worst pain to have to contend with indeed. I cried non-stop for a very long time after reading that part of my files.
I also learned from my files that as a mere nine year old, I’d been found wandering aimlessly in the heart of Dublin. I was spotted by two Goldenbridge nuns, who happened to have been in the city centre on business. I was instantly whisked off O’Connell St., and escorted back to Goldenbridge in a black Maria. I never saw the Boyne host family ever again. I had been on liicence to them from Goldenbridge, and had spent ten months of freedom with them at Boyne St. Westland Row, Dublin. From that day forward I was mostly to never see the outside world until my incarceration period was ended at 16. All relations with the Boyne family were severed. I never had a visit from them in Goldenbridge. It was very strange learning for the first time the circumstances surrounding that period of my childhood. I remember likening it to being a rag doll that had been thrown around from pillar to post. No explanation was given as to why I was torn away from the host family.

Avenues to the Institutions

It was such a revelation learning about my documented pre-Goldenbridge past and its culmination leading to my incarceration into that reprehensible Dickensian institution on the periphery of the heart of Dublin – that indeed, was to become synonymous with generational, systemic, grim brutishness towards defenceless children in Ireland and globally in 1996.

When I was finally re-united with my mother in Birmingham as an adult, I repeatedly asked her how I came to be in Goldenbridge in the first place. She always became very uncomfortable at me probing her on my past, and nervously shuffled her shoulders and replied that I had been sent there to be educated. Education was a misnomer, especially when the ethos of the Sisters of Mercy was to educate the unfortunate penniless classes. She would then quickly shift the conversation to something else, as it always upset her so much when I asked questions of this delicate nature. Alas, I never knew during her life time that I’d been given a custodial sentence via the Dublin District Court.

My mother was such an enigma. There was an awful lot that could have been revealed, but instead went unspoken. I never really knew her in that sense, as I had respected her undemonstrative, timid and silent nature most of the time. Then again, I was such an emotional guileless wreck that she could never confide in me, as I know that oftentimes she implied that she had wanted to open up, but rather knew that she couldn’t go there because of me being so extraordinarily psychologically cluttered up. For example, one day she exclaimed: ‘There is something I would like to tell you, however, I can’t bring myself to do so, for fear of you emotionally erupting like a volcano at Mount Etna.” Talk about subtly shifting the blame? She had a slight propensity for mirroring her own guilt, in my approximation. I was thus bereft of any knowledge of the Goldenbridge incarceration variety and the like. Notwithstanding much more that left the hairs standing in upright position on relatives’ heads. She also never divulged anything to them about her past. We were two of a kind in that sphere. It was such a shame that I was so recklessly giddy and irrational and incapable of dissecting and discerning concerning matters, that could have paved the way for smoothing the knowledge that was to later confound me when I learned about it the hard way upon receipt of records. I dread to think how she would have reacted, were she still alive at the time when the Goldenbridge child institutional abuse debacle came to the fore in 1992. She died in 1990.
Goldenbridge Industrial “School” first came to prominence when it became a subject matter on television and radio programmes and in the media in the very early nineties. Ex-inmates featured in a number of publications and some were to the forefront in the campaign for redress. The programme, ‘Dear Daughter’ was a dramatised documentary that featured the institution. Goldenbridge was also referred to in the “States of Fear.” television programme. The final series provoked a huge public reaction and was followed by the Taoiseach’s apology. Measures were announced that included the establishment of the commission to inquire into child institutional abuse. In 1997 survivors of Reformatories and Industrial “Schools” were able to access their records. Thus they were able to learn for the very first time about the individual avenue that led to their institutional incarceration.
The information was obtained from the Department of Education personal records, under The Freedom of Information Act 1997, and the Sisters of Mercy archival office. From these records respectively I learned that I had been committed to Goldenbridge in the mid-fifties via a Committal Order signed by one Justice McCarthy. See: Paddy Doyle’s Order of Detention. I was not yet half a decade old, and I too have one held at a solicitors’ office.
It was also very painfully perplexing discovering that my mother had been present at the court hearing, and had given consent to my incarceration. I have indistinct reminiscences of being perched up on the court rails, and of wearing a black and white check plaid coat with matching black velvet collar, sleeves and pockets, that was later perched on high in the coat room, adjacent to the Rec [wreck] hall at Goldenbridge – never to be seen again.
It must be noted that up to Re Doyle, Large numbers of those committed came under the destitution coupled with parental consent ground. In a Seanad debate the Minister for Education, T. Derrig, made it apparent that he, at any rate, saw this consent requirement as an important point of principle and resisted an opposition amendment, which would have infringed it.
Many routes:
There were five ways in which a young person could be sent to a certified school by the District Court. 1) ‘Needy or destitute’, this could have also entailed various other sub-categories. 2) Committing a criminal offence. 3) Non-attendance at school. The two other ways were not via the court system, but rather, by way of the local authority; or committal on a voluntary basis. A child from an unstable home, or an unmarried mother; a child considered unruly, and not receiving adequate supervision at home; or a child, who was considered at risk,
Kennedy Report para 11.4 sagely observed, ‘Truancy is often the earliest sign of family break-down,’
A child of a parent who was in a relationship with a man, who was not the father, were all hauled off to court by the infamous “cruelty men” (euphemism for (NSPCC). In addition, naturally, the court and the agencies bringing children before it tended to prefer the non-school attendance category to the offences category, in order to avoid stigmatising the child.
Professor David Gwynn Morgan in Section 2 ‘Needy’ children Part I: The Legislative Frame work also says:
For the entire period under consideration, the governing law was section 58(1) of the Children Act 1908 (as amended by the Children Acts 1929 and 1941), by which a child could be committed to an industrial school if he:
(a)is found begging or receiving alms…;
(b)is found not having any home, or visible means of subsistence, or is [found] having no parent or guardian, or a parent or guardian who does not exercise proper guardianship; or
(c)is found destitute, not being an orphan and having both parents or his surviving parent, or in the case of an illegitimate child, his mother, undergoing penal servitude or imprisonment; or
(d)is under the care of a parent or guardian who, by reason of reputed criminal or drunken habits, is unfit to have the care of the child; or
(e)is the daughter…of a father who has been convicted of an offence of [sexually abusing his daughters]; or
(f)frequents the company of any reputed thief or of any common or reputed prostitute(other than the child’s mother); or
(g)is lodging or residing in a house used for prostitution…
By section 58(4) of the 1908 Act:
Where the parent … of a child proves to a [District Court] that he is unable to control the child, and that he desires the child to be sent to an industrial school … the court, if satisfied on inquiry that it is expedient so to deal with the child, and that the parent understands the results which will follow, may order him to be sent to a certified industrial school.
There was inevitably a good deal of overlap: poverty begat parental neglect and the reverse inevitable too.
The kind of people involved in sending children to court were oftentimes untrained, and came from the voluntary sector of society. There was no liaison between all the different sources, and that led to a very chaotic system… for instance., health authorities hardly ever exercised their right of audience before the court. These included: the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), Gardaí, school attendance officers, and also Vincent de Paul Society members, parish priests; or children’s officers from the local health authority, possibly with guidance from Department of Health Inspectors.
Unlike very many survivors with two parents, my mother never had to pay a single penny for my Goldenbridge upkeep, as heretofore she had been a TB patient, and according to my committal form she was in receipt of a disability pension. So obviously she would have been deemed incapable of supporting me at the time, and thereby ineligible for payment. Poverty-stricken parent/s it appears had a dubious way of getting their offspring into industrial schools with the help of social workers. For example, the child was given a penny outside the court and was then committed for ‘receiving alms’ (under s 58(1)(a) of the Children Act 1908). Thus the 1929 Act theoretically had the effect of removing the stigma that a child, whose only crime was poverty, had to be found guilty of an offence, before he could be sent to a “school”. It did this by allowing the committal of a child for destitution. This provision of the 1929 Act was struck down in 1956, in Re Doyle.
Avenues to the Institutions:
I came under the “Destitution” sub-category and was committed to Goldenbridge until the age of 16. On behalf of studies on Reformatories and Industrial “Schools” requested by the commission to inquire into child abuse, Professor David Gwynn Morgan in Section 2 ‘Needy’ children. Part I: The Legislative Frame work says:
Subsequent legislation expanded the 1908 Act in two main respects. First, sub-paragraph (c) (‘is found destitute’) was in fact rather narrow in that it required the child’s parents to be in prison. The Children Act 1929 (later re-enacted in the Children Act 1941, s 10(1)(d)) in effect widened this category by providing that a child could be committed, provided that two further conditions were both satisfied: first the child ‘is found destitute and is not an orphan and his parents are or his surviving parent or, in the case of an illegitimate child, his mother is unable to support him’. And secondly, if ‘both parents consent or the court is satisfied that a parent’s consent may be dispensed with owing to mental incapacity or desertion.
2. Offenders: Reformatory or Industrial “School”?

Children who had been connected to offences were the second largest category. The three categories below deal with the cases according to age. CICA states:

(1) A child under the age of 12 could not be sent to a Reformatory School, only to an Industrial School, and indeed the records show few children below the age of 12 being committed for offences, even to an Industrial School.

(2) A child of 12 or 13 (or after 1941, 14) could be sent to an Industrial School provided that the child was a first offender, there were ‘special circumstances’ as to why the child should not be sent to a Reformatory, and the child would not ‘exercise an evil influence over the other children’. In fact despite these conditions, children under 15 years were usually sent to Industrial Schools.

(3) It was not open to the court, under the Act, to send the offender aged (after 1941) 15 or above to an Industrial School. Thus if a custodial sanction were to be selected, for offenders between the age of 15-17, the only option (apart from very serious crimes) was a Reformatory (1908 Act, s 57(1), as amended by 1941 Act).

Thus the Reformatory School was reserved for the tougher type of boy, who became eligible for committal between the ages of 12 and 17 (or 16, before the Children Act 1941, s 9). After the 1941 Act took effect, the legal period of detention was between two and four years. Before 1941, the equivalent was three to five years. However, the period of actual detention was usually no more than one or two years, provided that the offender’s behaviour and home circumstances were satisfactory. By contrast, children committed to Industrial School were invariably sent until they were 16.

Witnesses who gave evidence to the private arm of the commission to inquire into child abuse [CICA] stated that they were admitted both directly from their parents’ home to Reformatory and Industrial “Schools”, and also from various other residential settings, including the following:
  • Mother and Baby Homes. These were often either the place of birth or first residence for non-marital children. A number of witnesses reported that they remained in these homes with their mothers, for up to 3 years.
  • County Homes. These were also both places of birth and first residences. Some witnesses reported being with their mothers in county homes until they were up to five years old.
  • Foster Care. Provided for infants and young children in some circumstances prior to placement in an Industrial School. Before 1983 such arrangements were also known as ‘boarding out’ or ‘at nurse’.
  • Children’s Homes. These facilities admitted infants and young children. A number of witnesses reported being placed in Children’s Homes until they were transferred to an Industrial Schools.
Survivors who were admitted to Reformatories and Industrial “Schools” from the above settings were mostly the offspring of unmarried mothers, and were frequently referred to as ‘orphans.’ Christine Buckley, was the daughter of a Nigerian medical student and a married Dublin woman. She was abandoned at three weeks old and grew up in Goldenbridge Industrial “School.” She too like me would have been classed as an orphan in Goldenbridge. The term ‘orphan’ was used by survivors in relation to their own circumstances and in reference to survivors who had no contact with any family outside the institutions.

Children also went into Industrial “Schools” voluntarily because their mothers were temporarily incapacitated by various illnesses, or may have had complicated pregnancies and the like. They already may have had very large families, and husbands may have been left with no other alternative but to go to work to feed their motley crew. For the period 1949-50 to 1968-69, the average ‘voluntary’ population figure was 101, or 2.2 percent, of the entire schools’ population.

O’Cinneide and Maguire write about this admittedly small group when they did interviews with some of the Sisters into the conditions under which some children were taken into care.
Many of the Sisters of Mercy recalled parents simply appearing on the school’s doorstep asking that their children be taken in, and in other cases children were simply abandoned on the convent steps. One of the more poignant recollections was that of Sr Anne Tubridy, who worked in the Cappoquin Industrial School. She recalled one incident in which a father brought his children to the school asked the Sisters to take the children in, which they did. The man then went home and killed his wife and himself. Sr. Goretti, who worked in the industrial school in Newtownforbes, remembered two girls who were brought to the school by their father after their mother died drowned in the bog.
Paddy Doyle, author of The God-squad and his sister were sent to Industrial “Schools” after their “father” was found hanging in a barn.
It also turned out that some of the parents whose children were there on a voluntary basis may have reneged on payments. The same occurred with those detained by the courts, who were under court orders to contribute towards their children’s payment.
I know this was a big issue in Goldenbridge, where some children were denigrated and made to suffer humiliation because of their parents inability to pay up. There was one particular family whose mother had died of cancer, and the father had to look after, not only the three children in Goldenbridge, but a few more older boys who would have been detained in Artane. The eldest girl suffered tremendous stress in Goldenbridge, as the father would invariably offload on to her when he came to visit. Sometimes children would be threatened with not seeing their respective parents due to nonpayment.
However, when the parents defaulted on court-ordered payments, the local authorities had the authority to prosecute them. There is no evidence that religious orders had the same access to court proceedings to force defaulting parents to pay. Their only option, when the parents of voluntarily-placed children failed to make scheduled payments, was to take the children to court and have them formally committed to the school. This seems to have been a rarity.


Magdalene orders edge closer to windfall

Magdalene orders edge closer to windfall

Friday, July 19, 2013

Two Magdalene orders which have refused to contribute to the laundry redress scheme are one step closer to multi-million euro windfalls thanks to a land zoning change.

By Conor Ryan
Investigative Correspondent

Dublin City Council has abandoned an attempt to place a highly restrictive zoning condition on schools, hospitals and institutional sites.

All these properties will now have the potential to be redeveloped by the orders as residential and commercial buildings if land parcels are no longer required for their current purpose.

This will particularly benefit gardens and gateway tracts and, in the case of the Sisters of Charity, improve the prospects for 108 acres it owns around the city. The council had wanted to preserve all institutional sites with a planning status that would keep them as public amenities, even if the orders were no longer using them.

However, this was challenged in the High Court by the Sisters of Charity who argued the proposal was a violation of a religious body’s constitutional right to manage its property without interference from the State. During the High Court case it emerged that up to 77% of the private sites earmarked for this preservation status were owned by religious entities. The council suggested the Sisters of Charity were spearheading what was tantamount to a class action on behalf of congregations.

However, the Defence Forces, the Health Service Executive and RTÉ also benefited.

The Sisters of Charity won an injunction against the original development plan. And at a special meeting of the council a relax zoning status was put on the land.

Some of the affected land belongs to the Sisters of Mercy and includes its properties at the Mater Hospital and nearby Temple Street.

However, earlier submissions by the Sisters of Charity suggests it will be one of the biggest beneficiaries.

The order has identified undeveloped land in Donnybrook, Harolds Cross, Sandymount and Walkinstown which is excess to its needs.

In submissions it told the council its Walkinstown property, which adjoins one of its schools, should be redesignated for a higher-density commercial centre.

Similarly its headquarters in Sandymount and a large tract of green space behind Our Lady’s Hospice in Harolds Cross could also be redeveloped.

It also owns the St Vincent’s Hospital campus in Merrion, which was also affected by the zoning decision.

The order has separately refused to contribute to the Magdalene redress scheme and previously told Education Minister Rúairí Quinn that it could not afford to meet its cash commitments to the child abuse fund.

During the special development plan meeting efforts by individual councillors to place a cap on the amount of units that could be built on these lands were defeated at a vote.

These would have imposed a 20-unit per hectare cap on any developments, but this was voted down in favour of precedent from An Bord Pleanála that would allow three times the density.


Magdalene orders edge closer to windfall | Irish Examiner: … via @irishexaminer

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Nuns say they will not pay Magdalene compensation

Nuns say they will not pay Magdalene compensation

Four congregations will not contribute to fund, which could cost State up to €58 million

The  plaque dedicated to Magdalane Laundry survivors in St Stephens Green, Dublin. Photograph: PA The plaque dedicated to Magdalane Laundry survivors in St Stephens Green, Dublin. Photograph: PA Harry McGee Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 01:00

The four religious congregations that ran the Magdalene laundries have told the Government they will not make any financial contribution to the multimillion-euro fund set up to recompense former residents.

The Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters have informed Minister for Justice Alan Shatter in recent days that they will not pay into the fund, which could cost up to €58 million.

The Irish Times takes no responsibility for the content or availability of other websites.

However, it is understood they have said they are willing to assist fully in all other aspects of the package recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke in his recent report, including the assembly of records and looking after former residents who remain in their care.

A spokeswoman for Mr Shatter said he was “disappointed” with the decision of the four orders not to make a financial contribution.

He will brief his ministerial colleagues about the situation at the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning.

No comment
Three of the four orders contacted through a spokesman were not prepared to make any comment at this point in time.

The Government announced the scheme last month after Mr Justice Quirke had conducted an examination of the various options to compensate the women who lived in the laundries, many of whom are now elderly.

The minimum payment was €11,500 for women who spent three months or less in a laundry and the maximum approved was €100,000 for those who were residents for 10 years or more.

Groups representing the women argued that higher awards should have been made available to those who had been long-term residents.

There was no onus on any applicant to show they had suffered hardship, injury or abuse. Some 600 women are reckoned to be eligible. The scheme is expected to cost between €34.5 million and €58 million.

When the scheme was announced, Mr Shatter said taxpayers expected the four religious orders to share the burden and make a contribution to the scheme. He would not be drawn on the amount he expected them to contribute.

State apology
The scheme follows on from a full apology on behalf of the State made to the survivors by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil this year, in which he said that nobody should have been subjected to the conditions they endured.

That apology came in the wake an investigation by former senator Martin McAleese into the running and conditions within the laundries which were in operation for the best part of a century.

The report also established that the State had played a significant role in the continued operation of the laundries.


Banished Babies

“Since this story broke in 1996, the Irish media have been chasing down details of the “export” –primarily to the U.S.–of 2,000-plus infants and toddlers born to unmarried Irish mothers between the late ’40s and the mid-’70s. Reporter Milotte did a TV documentary on the subject; his book incorporates new archival material released by the Irish government and the Catholic Church, as well as three involving case studies of efforts by adoptees or the mothers who reluctantly gave them up to get back together.
At mid-century, both church and state in Ireland stressed shame, secrecy, and the religion of adoptive parents over all other considerations; only in the mid-’50s did Eire require confirmation that proposed parents could provide a healthy (as well as a Catholic) home for Irish kids, and several money-based schemes slipped through the Republic’s lax rules. An enlightening international sidebar to studies of the consequences of open versus closed adoption.”

Children illegally taken by nuns and sold off for adoption


The mothers of the “banished babies” were single and pregnant (from 1939 – 1972), they were taken to these homes to have their child.

The mothers were first told that they could not keep their name, the mother superior gave them all new names. They were to be referred to as penitents. They were considered “sinners” and worked 12 hours or more each day and never received pay for their work. The work was hard or cruel especially when you think they had to do it up to the time they went into labor.

Many girls died in the labor process, the rule was that no stitches, pain relief, or antibiotics would ever be used, no more wasted on these wretched “sinners” because this was the price they would have to pay to God for their “sinful” ways.
As they went through the pains of labor, the Nuns reminded them often how this pain was price of the few fleeting moments of pleasure they may have had before getting pregnant!
The Nuns went out of their way to be always cruel. There was no relief for these girls! After giving birth, these girls were to stay and care for their child until they were adopted. Some kids were marked as babies that were to leave the country. Adoption arrangements were done in the United States by Angels Guardian Home, a group formed by the Sister of Mercy in the US.
They also hold many of the records at their office in Brooklyn, New York. The office of the Angel Guardian Home on 12th Avenue in New York.
Large amounts of money were expected to be donated to these religious orders for the adoption. So, the Nuns – Sisters of Mercy – made money from these adoptions, lots of it in fact just from this source alone.

Now, none of the Children were ever adopted before the age of two, there is a reason why. First, it would cost nothing to keep the children since they had their birth mothers taking care of their baby, still working 12 hours a day by the way and with no pay;

Secondly, was the fact that the Irish Government gave the Nuns money for the care of each child until the age of two.
You can see why they would not adopt a newborn then, this money would be passed up if they did! Yet there was another income that could be had, these children which accounted for nothing in their eyes could be used in human experimenting of Vaccines, the drug companies paid them well, and the Irish Government kept a blind eye to what was happening.
Even better was that if the vaccine caused deaths, no one would know because the Nuns could just very easily dispose of the bodies in unmarked graves. Mothers that did not survive or that may have come to an end due to abuse could also be easily discarded without any investigation of wrong doing or criminal process.
This is the Banished Baby Story!! Tell the world about it and please help us go after anyone that is guilty of criminal acts!
~Jerry Carney (born Eugene Gerard Lynam in Castlepollard, 6/11/60)

You will find that records for the old Orphanage in Castle Pollard are kept by:

Sister Mary McManus
Sacred Heart Convent
Sacred Heart Adoption Agency
Blackrock, County Cork, Eire

The connection in America was:

Angel Guardian Home
6301 12th Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York 11219 
This office is still in existence.

This office is still in existence, click here