Ireland's Child Care Institutions during the 20th. Century. Fo'T: The most vivid and passionate stories - banished babies, cruel orphanages, old abuses of power - have concerned things that went unnoticed, or at least unarticulated, at the time. News has often had to be redefined, not as the latest sensation but as that which everybody knew all along yet could not say.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Robin & Forgiveness

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI expect we all have a Robin Redbreast in our gardens or around our homes. but particularly in our gardens. I've lived in the same house for nearly 32 years now and we've always had a Robin bobbing around the place. A regular sight in my garden in the Autumn and Springtime is a Robin perching on the handle of my shovel. Have we had the SAME Robin for all those years - probably not. But I've never seen this Robin hatching from an egg and I've never ever seen a dead Robin, so why not the SAME ROBIN for all those years ? Why not? I remember as a child my Mum leaving scraps out for the birds and I particularly rememer the Robin visiting the windowsill - I remember too my Mum telling me of the story of how the Robin got its Redbreast - something to do with keeping the last embers of life in the world alight. Maybe it was a metaphor for something or other? But things changed and when Mum moved away there wasn't anything on our windowsill for the Robin or any other bird for that matter. Indeed the hunger in us was so bad that I used to "raid" other windowsills just for food for myself and my brother. I remember chasing these birds away so I could get at the rasher rinds and the crusts of bread. That's hunger for you.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNaturally the "authorities" got to hear of this and we were all carted off to Court and placed into the tender mercies of the Sisters of Charity. You'd think that things would improve a bit because of this but no, they didn't. Many of the beatings I got in my early days with the Sisters of Charity was to do with "food raids" - there was many a time I chased birds from the windowsills of the convents kitchens to get at the scraps left out for those birds. Sometimes I would lie quietly under the windowsill so as to be first to grab the delights being placed there. A few of those times a Robin would actually perch on my shoulder so he/she would be first in the queue ! Of course when I made my grab for the food the poor Roobin would fly away. I've alway felt a bit guilty of depriving this Robin of his chance at the feast - I've never forgotten the awe I felt that a bird would perch on me. Amazing feeling really. And now I have a Robin in my garden just like I've had a Robin in the back of my mind for years. Like us all, I'm sure, I put food out for the birds, particularly during hard frosts and maybe throughout the year .... I have four bird feeders placed around the garden and in winter these are kept topped up. And these are visited regularly by all kinds of birds .... only recently I saw a Heron at the bottom of the garden - - there is a swamp/bog behind us so Herons are occasional visitors in the area.

Image Hosted by
But the Robin is the constant in my garden. So last week I was bringing a fistfull of muesli down to one of the feeders when I noticed the Robin perched on the hose - I offered the Robin my open palm with some of the muesli in it. The Robin alighted onto my hand and proceeded to feed. I went into some kind of hypnotic state and basically froze while the Robin cleared my hand of the muesli. I'm a bit of a camera buff and an opportunity like this would be something I would pray for BUT that is not what went through my mind. I felt that this Robin was forgiving me for all those many many times that I had take food from them when I was a child. I have tried since to repeat this but with a camera - but to no avail.

Maybe forgiveness is given once - because once is enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Inadvertent Solicitor

Well isn't it AMAZING what comes out of the mouth of a MERE SOLICITOR. Well you certainly have some fucking neck let me tell you.

This INADVERTENT SOLICITOR must have thought that ALL WAS WELL in the garden ... or maybe not .... ? But YOU are certainly going to find out.


I think I know a few journalists who will really lap up this story. I think the headline will be:
THE NEW PREDATORS, all about the people who have preyed and abused those who have attended at the Redress Board.

Children for export

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Four More Men In Black

THE Dublin archdiocese will have the highest number of men in formation for the priesthood in almost 10 years when the new term at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, begins next month.

The news comes as the Catholic Church in America launches a new, Hollywood-inspired vocations poster similar to the eye-catching 'Men in Black' vocations campaign launched here in 1998. The new poster is based on the cult science fiction film, The Matrix, and features a priest posing a la Neo, the messiah-like figure played by Keanu Reeves.

Five thousand copies of the poster will be distributed among interested young people who are gathering in Cologne in Germany next week for World Youth Day, an event that is being attended by up to 1,500 Irish youth. Dublin's vocations director, Fr Kevin Doran, said that the Church here has no plans yet to use the poster.

However, he said that the vocations situation facing the Dublin diocese was improving. "We should have 15 men in formation, up from the low point of nine a few years ago." He says that four Dublin men are due to start training for the priesthood this year. He also confirmed that enquiries about the priesthood have increased since the death of Pope John Paul II in April.

Fr Doran, who is also the National Vocations Coordinator, said that over a 10-day period in April, when world attention was focused on Rome, the vocations website run by the Dublin diocese recorded a 600pc increase in hits. He said some of this interest had translated into concrete queries about joining the priesthood. "Currently I am in touch with 10 or 11 men who are considering becoming priests, which is up on last year."

However, he said that the number due to enter formation this year "would not really reflect the events of last April because it usually takes from six months to a year before an initial query might turn into a decision to join". He added: "That means we won't really know until this time next year what impact on vocations the death of Pope John Paul II, and the election of Pope Benedict, has had."

According to Fr Doran, the low point for vocations to the priesthood of the Dublin diocese was 1997 when no-one entered formation. He said: "Until 1997 or 1998, the trend in terms of vocations was downward, and since then it has been climbing upward again, although slowly."

The absence of vocations in the late 1990s prompted the diocese to launch the 'Men in Black' campaign based on the spoof science fiction film of the same name starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith as two agents, dressed in black, sworn to defend earth from 'the worst scum of the universe.'

The new movie-inspired poster, which originated in the US, is the brainchild of Fr Jonathan Meyer, who is also the priest used in the poster. Like Neo, he is dressed in black in a full-length cassock, and like Neo, he is wearing sunglasses, but unlike Neo he holds a cross in one hand and the rosary in the other.

Fr Meyer said: "Today's seminarian is engaged with the world but is also committed to orthodoxy, like John Paul II." He said the poster has already got a big response. "They were going like hotcakes. Young kids wanted them to hang in their bedroom, high school students wanted them to hang in their lockers. That is invaluable. If we can get kids to hang a picture of a priest in their room, we've done something huge for vocations."

He added: "People love heroes. The poster personifies the priest as a hero."

David Quinn - Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Saint's island put up for sale

An island which is believed to have saved the life of a saint has been put up for sale. Legend has it Irish patron saint St Patrick found salvation on Ynys Badrig after being shipwrecked off Anglesey. The island is available to buy as part of an 168-acre estate which has been put on the market for £895,000. As well as the two-acre island, the estate includes a six-bed detached house, a lake, a mile of headland, ruined clay works and outbuildings. Estate agent Elfyn Hughes, said the legend told that St Patrick had been washed up on the island, which is also known as Middle Mouse, in the fourth century. "He was shipwrecked and decided he couldn't live there, and decided to swim ashore," he said. "The local story is he built St Patrick's church where he came ashore to thank God for saving his life."

The Llan Lleiana estate is being sold by Peter Thomas, whose wife's grandfather Thomas Bailey owned it for around 50 years. "It is quite unique - it is the only property on Anglesey with its own beach and its own island," he said. "It is totally private and not overlooked, and is steeped in history." He said that Mr Bailey had been a well-known character in the area. "He used to go out in his own little boat and had lobster pots along the headland," he added. "The house needs refurbishment but the main structure is in a good condition." Mr Hughes, from Beresford Adams, said it would be perfect for someone who liked a bit of privacy. "You have no neighbours, you can only just about see one other property."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today is the...

Today is the 25th. aniversary of my own mothers death (is anniversary the right word?) - she is buried in a graveyard in Moneenroe in Castlecomer. Her headstone states that Mary O'Connor (aged 48) lies here.

I have very few memories of her and I the last time I was with her was 1955 when she left my father and went to England and re-married and had 10 more children. On occasion she returned to Moneenroe to her mother and brother but these visits were furtive as she was subject to arrest for bigamy, and breaking a solemn pledge.

For, you see, my mother was once in a Magdalen Asylum. In this Magdalen Asylum she gave birth to my older brother and to get out of the Magdalen Asylum she had to pledge to marry my father, also a sum of money had to be paid.

My father was NOT the father of my older brother, and he was 15 years older than my mother - also both of them were blood relatives and special permission had be applied for in order for the marriage to go ahead. Her mother also paid 100 pounds to the nuns in the Magdalen Asylum to further secure her release.

So my mother was released into a forced marriage, to a man years older than her and a very close relative to boot and 100 pounds was paid to for the privilege. My mother produced 3 more children (my older sister, myself and my younger brother) in a very short time. But such an "arrangement" was bound to fail and my mother did leave us and went to England where she had some kind of a life. Of her 10 children one of them became a Cancer specialist - so it seems her mothering skills were put to good use. Of course the 3 children of the marriage were all incarcerated into various detention centres, but our older brother who was born in the Magdalen Asylum was not touched as our mother's family prevented it. During my time in those places the only information I received from the nuns about my mother was that she was dead - basically that I was an orphan - and that my mother was a tramp and no good to anyone.

Although my mother was buried in August 1980 she died a long long time before that - for you see I BELIEVED the nuns - she was dead to me when I was in those places. The tragedy, to me, is that this denigration of my mother by the nuns prevented me from ever seeking her or her family out. They made me feel ashamed of my mother and this shame has haunted me. And when people talk about forgiveness and moving on they are really asking us, asking me, to forget. I will not forget and I will not forgive.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

To The Pope

Please post this on all websites that you know and send it on to Rome.

To The Pope

WE WILL NOT GO AWAY... until these request are met by the catholic church, nuns and priest world wide.

1] It is for the cathoilc church, nuns and priest to believe us.

2] It is for the acknowledgement to the sexual abuse which was done to us by the nuns, priest and their workers, from the catholic church, nuns and the priest.

3] It is for the acknowledgement to the abuse which was done to us by the nuns, priest and their workers, from the catholic church, nuns and priest.

4] For the catholic church nuns and priest to apologize for the spiritual abuse which was done to us by the catholic church, nuns and priest.

5] The catholic church is to tell the world the truth about what happened to us, while in their catholic church orphanages around the world.

6] The cathoilc church to pay for counseling for us and our children so as we can heal but not through the catholic church.

7] Is for the catholic church, nuns and priest to stop re-abusing us when we tell them our stories about what happened to us in their catholic orphanages around the world.

8] The catholic church, nuns and priest to apologize to us privately on paper and to apologize to us publicly for the world to hear the truth about what happened to us in their orphanages.

9] The catholic church, nuns and priest to apologize on paper and publicly to our families about the lies they told us about them being dead and that they did not want us.

10] For us to tell our stories and have no hold over us any more, like their confidentially Clause they hold over us by the catholic church, nuns and priest.

11]It is to stop saying that there was no wrong doing by the catholic church, nuns and priest for abusing and sexual abusing us while in their orphanages.

12] For the Government of each country to apologize to us on paper and to apologize to us publicly for not stepping in and helping us when they knew what was happening to us.

13] It is to, as it would help us because of the torment and pain we went through and which we are still going through, we should all be given compensation.

14] For the catholic church, nuns and priest to help us to find our families, because of the lies we were told about being orphans and that we had no families.

15] To pay the men and women to go back to their country of their birth and to pay for a house in each country for these men and women to stay while they are making acquaintance with their families.


Signed:> 2 Andrew Brennan, St. Patrick's Industrial School for Junior Boys, Kells Road Kilkenny (January 1958-September 1962, St. Joseph's Industrial School for Senior Boys (September 1962-June 1967, St. Francis Xavier House, Gardiner St. Dublin. (January 1969 until August 1970)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Impaling of Cows

Sacred cow impaled on the altar of senseless vandalism

“Tain-ya”, the multi-coloured
life sized paint cow, has become the latest victim of the wanton vandalism
that is becoming an epidemic in Dundalk.


“Tain-ya” was donated by the
Naughton Foundation as part of a sculpture park in Ice-House Park only a few
weeks back, but went missing, only to be found impaled on a fence, damaged
and an attempt made to set to work of art on fire.

The Surreal Life of a Sligo Priest

Curry-born priest, Fr. Pat Colleary, who has won a High Court challenge
against his extradition to Arizona to face sexual abuse charges.
Photo Carl Brennan

Sex abuse charges: Curry priest says he's innocent

Curry-born priest, Fr. Pat Colleary, who has won a High Court challenge against his extradition to Arizona to face sexual abuse charges. The Sligo priest who has won a High Court challenge against his extradition to Arizona to face sexual abuse charges has proclaimed his innocence but has said he is resigned to the fact that his life as a priest "is over".

In an exclusive interview with The Sligo Champion, Fr. Pat Colleary, also told how the support and prayers of his family and community in the tightly-knit South Sligo area of his native Curry helped him through what he described as a "surreal ordeal. I am absolutely innocent, and my knowledge of that innocence has helped to keep me going through this. I have also been greatly strengthened by the support of my family and the local community in Curry, particularly the local GAA club. I have never been ostracised from the community, I have been made to feel part of it. That support, that belief in my innocence, has helped me through.


"The knowledge that so many people believed in my innocence, and retained their trust in me through these difficult times, has been a source of great comfort", Fr. Colleary said.

The Curry native, ordained in 1974, served in the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona until March 2002, and shortly afterwards was placed on administrative leave. He was accused of sexually abusing a then 10 year old altar boy in 1978, and a second boy subsequently came forward with allegations that he, too, had been abused by the priest.

On the advice of his legal team, Fr. Colleary returned to Ireland in January 2003, and has been living here ever since. A warrant was issued for his arrest by Arizona's Maricopa County Attorney General's Office and extradition proceedings began. He maintains that his fear that he would be unable to receive a fair trial in Arizona -- he could have been jailed for months and maybe even years before trial and without access to bail -- was the principal reason why he left America, and he has been backed up in that contention by the lengthy judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Philip O'Sullivan in the High Court last week.

'Hand of God'

Despite acknowledging that his days as a priest are over, Fr. Colleary said his deep faith in the goodness of God would remain as a great comfort. "Somewhere in all of this is the hand of God", he said. "It has been a surreal experience, as if it was all happening to somebody else other than me. I have asked myself why this has happened to me, why I have had to go through all this, but it is God's will", he said. Giving his ruling in the High Court last week, Justice Philip O'Sullivan said he was prohibiting the extradition of Fr. Colleary firstly because there had been an excessive time delay in reporting the alleged offence and this was likely to prevent a fair trial.

The second reason for refusing extradition related to the bail regime in Arizona which, he concluded, would amount under Irish law to an infringement of his constitutional right to liberty. The Judge also said he had been made aware of a newspaper article picturing a chain gang of inmates of Maricopa County Jail being paraded in an apparently public way, wearing nothing but pink underwear and linked together with pink handcuffs, all under the supervision of Sheriff Arpaio.

The judge had also been made aware of media interviews in which the sheriff indicated Fr. Colleary could be in his jail for two or three years before he ever got a trial. Mr. Justice O'Sullivan said that in his opinion there was ample justification to the submission that Sheriff Arpaio gloated over the inhumane treatment he "dishes out" to his inmates.

He forced them to wear pink to humiliate them and appeared to take a chillingly sadistic pleasure in his role as incarcerator. It was the duty of an Irish court to see that no citizen was handed over to such a regime, he said.

60 Years Ago

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hitler & De Valera

Almost 100,000 Irishmen volunteered to fight against Hitler despite Ireland's "Neutrality". Indeed these men, like their predecessors in WWI have been largely written out of official Irish history. While 100,000 Irish were fighting and dying in the war against Hitler's Nazi Germany De Valera found time to visit the German Embassy to sign a book of condolences on the "occasion" of Hitler's suicide.

But De Valera Had A Dark Wartime Secret

The film 'EVELYN' is a happy clappy film and fails to expose true secrets of Ireland's industrial schools, says former inmate David Hencke and Rob Evans - The Guardian.

EVELYN is the classic Hollywood feelgood movie with a happy ending. Handsome, debonair Pierce Brosnan - better known for his role as agent 007 - plays an unemployed Irish father, Desmond Doyle, in a titanic fight to get his children back after his wife abandons the family. The film is a real life human drama set in the Ireland of the 1950s which reveals the plight of children removed by the state or by a petition from one of the parents - usually the father - after a marital split. They were sent to industrial schools run by Catholic orders, which were more akin to the United Kingdom's approved schools than to children's homes. The only way children could be released was if both parents returned to court.

Desmond Doyle committed his six children, Evelyn and her five brothers, to the schools in 1953 after his wife abandoned him. He then discovered that he could not get them back on his own, and his subsequent case led to the law being declared unconstitutional by the Irish supreme court. Hollywood licence suggests that this led to 6,000 children being released. In fact the ruling was challenged and 15 years elapsed before all the children could be reunited with their families. But the film treatment hides a deeper scandal over the use of Industrial Schools. It involved British complicity in paying for children seized by the Irish authorities while their fathers were fighting in the second world war. This has been exposed by the research of one of the former inmates, Patrick Walsh, whose father knew the real-life Desmond Doyle. Mr Walsh, who lives in Holloway, north London, still carries in his wallet a creased photograph of himself as a child playing on the dodgems - a rare holiday treat while he was in the home. He was kept there from 1955, when he was two, until 1969. He is not happy with the film. "It rides roughshod over the historical reality. It is a happy-clappy film far removed from reality. It's fantasy. I believe that Brosnan is on a mission: unfortunately 007 is on the wrong mission on this one."

He discovered an extraordinary secret buried in the public record office in Kew, West London, which dates from the time of the Dublin legislation allowing children to be committed to industrial schools. The law was introduced in 1941 when Britain was nearly on its knees after Germany had overrun mainland Europe and Ireland was a neutral country.


At that time some 50,000 Irish men and women had crossed the border and joined British forces fighting the Germans. In particular some 4,000 servicemen had deserted the Irish Free Army to fight on the British side. These "deserters" were regarded with particular contempt by Eamon de Valera, the Irish Taoiseach, whose administration was to pass a law in 1945 to prevent any of them getting jobs with the state for seven years. Many of the children of these "deserter" soldiers were put into care on the grounds that they had been abandoned by their fathers. The Kew documents contain correspondence between officials in Dublin and the British War Office and the Admiralty. The Irish government demanded that the family allowance that would have been paid to the Irish servicemen if their children had not been committed should be handed over to the Industrial Schools. Britain initially refused but the Irish were persistent, and Frederick Boland, a senior official who worked closely with De Valera, wrote increasingly trenchant letters.

In one he couples the demand with the comment: "There is the further incidental consideration that in not a few of these cases the lack of parental control to which the committal of the children is due is attributable to the absence of the fathers with your forces." By the end of the war Britain had capitulated and paid up. It then became clear, according to Mr Walsh, that the Irish had the servicemen's numbers and knew who was serving with the British. Mr Walsh said: "It suggests that if Dublin could supply the roll numbers of the troops involved - rather than the other way round - there was surveillance of the families at the time. The fact that the public record office is keeping secret some other files for up to 100 years on the connection between neutral Ireland and the Nazis suggests that more will come out."

There is one other nasty aspect to this story: the suggestion that some of the children may have been physically and sexually abused at the homes.

Mr Walsh is also the British representative for the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse (Irish Soca). He suffered what he called a "helter-skelter of awfulness" during 14 years in a church-run school. His mother had walked out of the marriage, at a time when divorce was illegal, as she could no longer stand her husband. He says that in an "act of revenge" his father had applied to commit their four children to one of these schools. He was barely two. His mother was only permitted to visit him four times at the school between 1955 and 1969. "She was not allowed to see us as she was considered by the church and state to be the guilty party." His father visited once or twice a year, usually at Christmas. More than 2,000 people, living in Britain and Ireland, are suing the Irish government for compensation for the abuse they suffered in the schools.

Mr Walsh and hundreds of others who were sent to industrial schools and orphanages after their parents' marriages broke down have given written testimony about the sexual and physical abuse . The Irish government has set up an inquiry into the conduct of priests, brothers and lay workers. Mr Walsh said: "It impacts on us when we see a film which trivialises the awfulness of what happened." Evelyn Doyle, now 57 and a grandmother living in West Lothian, stressed that the film was merely a movie based on her true story although it reduced the number of her brothers from five to two. "It is not a historical documentary. It's an entertainment product that they are selling." She added that the film was not seeking to undermine the survivors cause. "I understand where they are coming from. They have suffered - their childhood was snatched from them."

London's plastic Paddies must face up to the issues that shame us all

Henry McDonald - Sunday October 12, 2003

Hitler licking? Well, despite all his many laudable achievements, Eamon De Valera did undoubtedly send his and the Irish people's condolences to the German Ambassador to Dublin on the Nazi dictator's death in his Berlin bunker. Moreover, the republican movement acted in open collusion with the Nazis throughout the war, even erecting a statue that still stands in homage to the IRA leader who forged links with Hitler and dreamed of turning Ireland into a united but Nazi-dependant state.

Altar boy molesting? Again, there is widespread evidence, highly documented and painful accounts of priests sexually abusing young men serving on the altar as well as those children in care homes and orphanages.

Abortion banning? Certainly, the Irish Republic stands almost alone in states of the European Union for outlawing a woman's right to choose. Terminating pregnancies is still illegal in the 26 counties, with women and young girls who are raped, for example, having to take the boat and plane to get an abortion.

The 'Yes' boxes beside all three of the above questions can be ticked, even though raising them landed my fellow columnist, Julie Burchill, in hot water with those claiming to represent the Irish people in Britain. The storm whipped up over Burchill's remarks in her Guardian column earlier this year reveals more about the paranoia and hair-shirt, self-inflicted sense of victimhood inside the professional 'Oirish' in London than it does about the supposed anti-Irish bigotry of the writer.

In a classic case of Burchillian hyperbole, the former star writer (the young gunslinger of Punk rock writing) from the NME described St Patrick's Day as a celebration of 'almost compulsory child molestation by the national church'. For this remark Burchill was reported to the police and accused of stirring up racist hatred against the Irish in Britain.

The complaints of the Irish Camden Centre, however, failed to result in Burchill's arrest on the grounds of racism - a crime second only to accusations of paedophilia in hysterical, hypersensitive Britain. The Crown Prosecution Service concluded that the author of the 1980s 'shopping and fucking' novel, Ambition, did not have a case to answer.

The CPS's decision however has not deterred the most-outraged-Irish-ever in London to detecting anti-Oirish hatred dripping from the pages of Burchill's column. A Green Party (I am not making this up) member of the Greater London Authority has repeated the allegation that Burchill is anti-Irish, this time because she queried the value of Ken Livingstone's decision to spend thousands in council tax payers money on a St Patrick's Day Parade.

In the midst of this debate, obfuscated by threadbare claims of anti-Irish bigotry, an important Irish pressure group has rushed to Burchill's defence. The very people who suffered institutionalised abuse in the grim, grey Ireland of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s have backed the columnist's right to highlight the horrors perpetrated against children in their homeland. Irish Survivors of Child Abuse said it fully supported Burchill and the CPS's conclusion that she was not guilty of racism.

Patrick Walsh, one of the leading figures in Irish Soca, knows more than most about the reality of life under the religious orders in Ireland. He spent his childhood at Artane Industrial school in north Dublin where children were subjected to repeated sexual and physical abuse, which successive Irish governments ignored and turned a blind eye to.

'Her article was perfectly clear in blaming the Catholic Church for crimes against children. Burchill has the support of people who suffered abuse. The political campaign to get her should stop right away,' Walsh says.

As Irish Soca has consistently pointed out, Burchill has no argument with Irish people per se but rather the powerful institutions in the Republic responsible for this historic wrong. As an unapologetic old-style socialist, surely she is entitled to raise the plight of those seeking justice for the terrible sufferings inflicted upon them as small children? And as a feminist she is duty bound to raise the abortion ban and the daily exodus of women, many of whom are also the victims of sexual abuse, from Ireland to termination clinics in England.

The slur of 'racist' is in fact a means of closing down debate in Britain about the failures of the Irish Republic to uphold the rights of children and women. Hurling such terms around is simply a ruse to throw liberal Britain off the scent of misogyny and male/clerical domination that still blights their closest neighbour. If you doubt that these power structures remain in place, witness how the Catholic Church in Ireland forced the last Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat coalition into indemnifying them from paying out millions of euros to the victims of child abuse in religious run-homes and orphanages. Result: the Irish taxpayer will be picking up the tab.

The attempt to smear Burchill exposes the inability of those who wrap the green flag around them from the vantage points of Hackney, Islington and Haringey to cope with anyone who dares criticise the motherland. It also shows how out of touch the so-called representatives of the Irish Britain are with the Irish back at home who, unlike the plastic Paddies of north London, are prepared to say boo to their bishops and question their red-hatted cardinals.



Child residents, some only new born, in state-funded Childrens homes are being forced to go without baths for up to a month, and other children are becoming depressed due to extremely high levels of lice and vermin in their hair and on their bodies.

The Medical Inspector into Industrial & Reformatories has stated as many as 78 state-funded Children homes are not properly staffed, and said one Nun/Brother and a civilian assistant are forced to provide care for up to 200 children for 18 hours. "Nun and Brothers are reporting an increase in depression among children which have to be treated with drugs instead of other treatments such as even taking the child for a walk," said an anssistant to the Inspector.

The children are
suffering from a lack of stimulation as the nuns struggle to to provide basic care. Many children now have to be in bed by 4pm in the afternoon and have to eat their evening meal early because the staff is not available to care for them. She said staffing levels, set out many years ago, are now out of date because most of the children are dependent and need to be assisted all the time. Most children have to wait for up to a month. In the St C****** home in the Southern area there is no hot water adding even more hardship. State-run Childrens homes - unlike private boarding schools such as St. Michaels in Omeath - are not subject to many inspections by health service inspectors or parents.

The Assistant Inspector also said there
needs to be an immediate review of conditions of accommodation for young children in the care of the state. The Inspectorate has been forced to refer the issues to the the Dail Committee in the Rights of the Child to force the religious management of these homes to look at the real implications of low skills staffing levels in facilities for vulnerable children, she said.

"In 1958 the Commission on Childcare recommended that the Department of Health and Children urgently review staffing levels and conditions in Industrial Schools and Reformatories. To date this has not happened." She said no members of the religious orders have complaind of situations where there are not enough staff on duty to afford basic rights to children such as regular baths, self-determined bedtime or even mobility outside. "We are sure that if the
needs of the children were examined in the context of staffing levels ALL child care facilities would be well below acceptable levels of staffing."



Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Mother Grandmother and Me



Andrew Brennan used PaintShop Pro 8
to scan and retouch and upload the WOODSTOWN pictures.

No permission was sought OR given for any pictures/photographs in these albums
to be displayed ON ANY SITE associated with robbie dempsey.




Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Maureen O’Connell, a deputy of the Dail, responded to allegations that babies were being taken from England to Ireland then sold for export saying;

‘In three years 523 babies have been sent to America.’

The full extent of Baby Trafficking in the Republic of Ireland, where the first Adoption Law was passed in 1959, is still emerging.

Baby Trafficking in the Republic of Ireland is referred to as ‘Informal Adoption’. In reality it is the stealing and selling of babies.

Between the 1930’s and the 1960’s an estimated 60,000 newborns were procured under false pretences for married couples that had been turned down as prospective adoptive parents on various grounds.

The perpetrators of Baby Trafficking broke the law, forged documents, destroyed evidence, took babies from young mothers on the pretext of arranging legal adoptions.

Amongst those implicated are priests, nuns, midwives and nurses who were paid to break the law and steal babies from their unmarried mothers, then smuggled them to married couples who brought them up as their own flesh and blood.

Large amounts of money changed hands to ensure the entire illegal episode was hushed up.

Baby Trafficking was extremely lucrative, as Kevin Conney of the Adopted Peoples Association in Dublin explains:

‘A woman discovered that her ‘adoptive parents’ made a donation of IR£650 to the local priest, the equivalent of about IR£6,000 today.’

Adult victims of the Republics Baby Trafficking, some of them shipped to America as babies, faced a conspiracy of silence and total absence of records when they attempt to discover their true identity.

Unmarried mothers whose babies were stolen then sold have no rights and no one is obliged to help them. SOURCE

Ferryhouse Pic 1964 or therabouts

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

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