May 212009
 

This is a selection of quotes taken directly from the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

Read the report HERE

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Male witnesses

I had a hiding in the boot room, you had to take your shirt off, you were completely naked and he …(Br X)… beat me with a strap and a hurley stick on the behind and the legs and that.


I was beaten up quite a few times for not making the bed right, I had to go to the boot room. We used have long night shirts then you know, he …(Br X)… dragged it off me, naked and whop, he knocked hell out of me, he knocked the shit out of me … he hit with a leather strap with coins in it. One Brother … he used a tyre he did, a bicycle tyre, it used to wrap around your arm. That was for wiping my nose in my sleeve, he didn’t like that, it wasn’t a nice thing he said.


One day it was …visitor’s day… they used to pick about half a dozen lads. You would be called to the hall. I was picked once and they would actually show the …visiting student Brothers… how to do the hiding. The Brother who was in charge of the playground, mostly Br …X… or Br …Y… would show them how it’s done, they would give you a hiding to show them and then they would have a go, with the black jack …(leather)… with loops of lead in it or steel.

We were met by Br …X… he ruled the roost, he told us about the rules, said if we ran away there was severe punishment, the second time our head would be shaved and the third time we would be sent to …named School…. He then stripped us off, told us to bend over the desk; he hit the desk with a leather strap and said, Say the Our Father. I could not say it. He hit me across the legs and warned me not to step out of line. He told us to get in the shower, cold water, to scrub away your sins, with carbolic soap. He then left and came back with clothes, comb … he hit me with the strap when I had the clothes on because I should be in pyjamas. We went to the dormitory, the boys were asleep, he said, This will always be your bed unless you wet the bed, then you will end up with the smellies with Mr …Y…. It was dark, there was no food. I was very upset and frightened. Then that night Mr …Y… came walking down with his walking stick, he touched my penis with the stick and said, Don’t ever let me catch you. Later I could hear kids crying as he lashed kids with a stick, getting them up for the toilet. That was my first night in …named School….

The day I arrived there, I was in the yard and there was all these boys, they all seemed like giants. I remember running up to this man and saying hello Father he laid into me, he was a very cruel man, I thought he was a priest, he said don’t call me Father. He laid me on the ground, he gave me a few terrible clatters and I was terrified from that moment. He was Br …X… I was terrified of him, oh Lord! he was just cruel.


They used the leather for the least excuse. It was heavy, stitched and with waxed ends. It was very painful, you would scream in pain. As convent boys we didn’t have a chance. The other boys, the city kids who were tough, and the Brothers, all picked on us. We stuck together which wasn’t a good idea.


Some of the Brothers had different leathers, I know because I made them when I was 14, in the boot room, some of them had little tiny leads in them, some had coins, some were straight. They weren’t soft, they were hard.


I’ll never forget the cat-o’-nine-tails, 10 thongs it used to have knots across the bottom. Observing other boys stripped and the blood running down as they were being flogged across the body, it was terrible. There must have been a new rule by the Government at some stage because it happened no more.


I was crying, I wouldn’t stop crying. He …(Br X)… caught me by the hair. I was down in the ground and the first thing he could lay his hand on was a hammer and he hit me and damaged me .


Br …X… flogged me on the bog. We, another fella, were messing laughing and grinning. He …(Br X)… hadn’t got his leather and he walked over to a tree and got a branch and he peeled it and said take off your trousers. I thought he was only joking, he got …named co-resident… to hold me and he …(Br X)… lashed me. He should be in hell now, he lashed me. I was bleeding, I was sent to the nurse.

There was this man there he had … 3 dogs, he was an outsider . I was sent over to the hay barn to stack hay as punishment, the 3 dogs were set on me and the scar is there now where they bit me, you can see the mark on that finger . I asked to go down to the nurse and he said no. Anyway, the next morning it was gone all septic and I had to go down to …named hospital… where they put all stitches in it.

If you turned up late … he …(Br X)… used to do an inspection, if there was a speck of dirt, that would trigger it off. He used a leather, hand, cane on the legs, hand, arse or wherever …(he)… had a temper, you would be black and blue, you would be on the floor. He used to make you take your trousers down and he would give it to you on the behind or wherever, he did it to me a few times. You wouldn’t do anything because he had a whistle and he would call other Brothers and they would weigh in, when these guys got going you would do nothing, if they couldn’t get you one way they would get you the other, kick, hit, you were knackered.

He …(Br X)… flogged me one time, I was working in the piggery. I used to be starving, the pigs used to get the Brothers’ leftovers and one day there was lovely potatoes and I took some and I took a turnip. Br …X… caught me and he brought me up to the dormitory, he let down my trousers and he lashed me. He always wore a leather, around 18 inches …(long)… and it was all stitched with wax, his leather was very thin. It was about an inch and a half, others had leathers about 2 inches. He lashed me, he flogged me.

I was beaten stark naked for wetting the bed, 2 or 3 different people would beat me. You would be called up after breakfast by Br …X…. He was evil. He liked beating kids naked, he would put your head between his legs …(while he beat you)… for wetting the bed, and more bed-wetting boys would be there as well …(watching)… The night watchman would get you up at night with a stick, every night. He would beat you out of the bed. You’d have to bring the sheets up to be washed to the laundry and a bigger boy would beat you with a stick there, he was the senior in the laundry.

Every night I was beaten for wetting the bed, the first night I said the nuns didn’t beat me for bed-wetting, he …(Br X)… said you’re here now. Br …X… would make you kneel down at the bed to pray, he would call out the boys every night …(who had wet their bed)… he would beat you with the leather, if you pulled away he would get hold of you and hit harder, if you fell to the floor he would pull you up by the chin, twist your ear, pull you by the hair. After the beatings he would play the guitar and sing

You had to fold your bed every morning. Anyone who wet the bed had to stand out. It was the fear. You were told to go to the office. Usually it was after school when they beat us. They never did it before school ‘cos you’d be going to school crying. There’d be 20 or 30 lads all waiting to be beaten, lined up outside the office … it would only be that size . That’s where we would get our beatings. You were just so scared; you didn’t know who was doing the beatings…. You were better off not looking at the strap, it would frighten you more. It would depend who was on and the form of the Brother how many slaps you’d get. You’d be told to drop your pants and tip your toes. … The lads, my friends, would try and get me out of bed at night-time to go to the toilet.

I ran away a few times. He …(Br X)… was trying always to put his hand down my leg…. (On return to the School)… I was put up on rafters. There was an old shed there, it was a barn, I was tied to the rafters, he …(Br X)… had the rope over the top, I was like that …demonstrated spread out facing down… he lashed me with the leather, over the back and down the arms, that happened on 4 or 5 occasions, I ran away again after that.


One day a gang of us went for a walk into a field, we were told we could. They had farm workers out with dogs looking for us. We were caught and brought back. We were taken onto the yard, they let the dogs go …(attacking)… and the boys would line up and hit you with whatever they had in their hand, kick you, you had to run through the line. This was a punishment to let the boys know that if it ever happened again this is what would happen. That night you were beaten again, you were thrown over the bed …crying….

I was put outside …(yard punishment)… for about 3 months. Then after about 3 months they would let you go to the film but they would not let you watch it. You would have to sit with your back to the film and everybody would be watching you. It was just sheer terror really, sheer fear. Fear was the most cruellest part of it.

One time in the class, my arms would be black and blue, both arms, because I couldn’t read a couple of lines in Irish, he …(Br X)… beat me…. He’d put you in the corner, your hands would be up like that …(displayed arms raised)… if you dropped them you’d get the leather. He put me in the back of the class and he’d tell you to run to him, he’d put his fist out like that …(indicated fist and outstretched arm)… and you’d run into it…. It would be the kick in the shins you would get off him. As soon as you hit the deck he would pull you up by the ears for what we used to call the rabbit punch, you know, like that …indicated hand movement… with the side of his hand on the neck, he’d chop you, you’d go down on the deck. I was out …(unconscious)… that day, you’d be reeling … an 11 year old child.

You couldn’t sleep on your back, your ass would be so sore …(after a beating)… you’d want to sleep on your belly, but they wouldn’t let you sleep, you had to sleep in a particular way, on your back.

Showers were too cold or scalding…. All the time you had to steel yourself, some of my worst nightmares are of the dormitory and the showers, they were a nightmare. Someone, Br …X… would turn it …(water)… on, it was too hot or too cold, you jumped out and suddenly you would see this black figure, and you would see a strap coming at you and you would be leathered, you would hear this series of screams all along the cubicles as another …(co-resident)… got it. The worst for me was you were trapped, you could not hide in the cubicle. They were the danger times, you couldn’t disappear in the shower.

Br …X… and Br …Y… were like 2 bruisers going around, you wouldn’t mind the regular punches and belts as they were passing any day, but Br …X… beat the shit out of me like I was a punch bag in front of all the others at a football match. … He picked me up, head butted me, kicked me and left me in a terrible state to show me and all of us who was boss. I got the worst hiding ever … beaten with the leather and stick. I had cracked ribs, my face was bruised and swollen, I was kicked in the head and stomach.

Another time I was caught heading the ball, you were not allowed play soccer you know, by Br …X…. He said I warned you. He caught me and brought me around to the toilets. He had this tyre like you’d have at home, off a pram you know …(witness described being beaten with a rubber tyre)… . He left me …crying…. God, the fucking swelling that came up …crying… you’d try and pull away and he’d hit you on top of the head and hit you with his fists.

It was 7 nights a week practice …(band)… until you were 16, 7 to 10 at night. The other lads would be playing soccer or watching TV. He Br …X… he would know straight away who was playing a false note. The first one who played a false note he would clatter with his hand he would just lift you up, catch you by the hair like that and lift you off the chair and clatter you as you were going down.

If you were caught fighting you were made …(by Br X)… to put on gloves and fight the other boy involved. It could be you were picked on by a bigger boy in the first place, who then got permission to beat you properly.

They used to get the tractor to cut the grass, to save the hay. They used to get a line of us along one end of the field and bend over and physically scrape all the grass with our hands…. Named lay ancillary worker… used to be there with a big stick and if you stood up you got a smack of it across the back of the head or the back. We used to have to pull the trees and the stumps up out of the ground with chains and move big rocks with a chain. Your hands would be blue….

Br …X… I learned to hate, he was the most evil …. Any dirty job I would get it, he took a dislike to me. I always got the job of staying up when the little piglets would be born, up all night. One day the sow had lain on top of the piglets and some of them were dead. That man he was evil, you’d think I had shot somebody the hiding he gave me. … I was horse whipped with the leather, beaten to a pulp … crying and screaming and wet myself … when he stopped he said now pull up your trousers and go and feed those pigs.

I couldn’t lift the buckets …(working on the farm)…. He, Br …X… had a big long stick, he was whipping you across the legs, across the arse like he would a cow. I couldn’t lift the buckets.

One time when I was learning how to milk, the cow put her hoof in the bucket and Br …X… lifted me by the ears, the skin come off under his nails, and threw me on the ground,. He gave me a few digs and boxed me in the ribs, just hit you anywhere he liked. The next morning I fell off the stool and the same thing happened again, my ears were bleeding.

My job at one time was to hand out clean laundry to other boys. One day I remember one boy did not get clean underwear for some reason and Br …X… got 2 boys to hold me across the bed. He pulled down my pants and beat me across the bare backside with his leather strap. I got 10 to 15 lashes from him for this incident.

They had what they called the public floggings, where you would be brought out in the middle of the …(yard)…. If they wanted to make a real example of you they would have all the other lads there and you would have to kneel down. I was flogged by 4 of them …(Brothers)… one time. … I was lashed…. They used to flog you at night time, you would be bruised all over, you would be sore at night, you wet the bed.

When I was there 3 blokes …named co-residents… they ran away and when they were brought back, they were flogged, on one of these vaulting horses. We were all there. Br …X… said I’m going to make an example of these boys, and one by one they came out, no trousers on them … naked from their waist down, each one individually over the vaulting horse, he flogged them. Well you could see their backsides going red blue, red blue, the whole School watching.

Br …X… met the boys coming up from talking to the girls, he sent them down to the washroom, he told me to go too, but I wasn’t with them. He told the 3 of us to get into bathing togs. He went out and got the leather strap, like the cut-throat razor, he came in, took off his coat and his collar and I never in all my life seen anything like what he done. He started beating us, saying we were talking to the girls … he took off his shirt … he didn’t beat me so much as the others. One of the lads started soiling themselves, he beat them so much, grabbing himself saying, I’ll give ye girls, rubbing himself. One of the lads was in bits, they were in a terrible state.

I remember another boy who would not cry. I remember one day he got 50 slaps on one hand and then 50 on the other and then another 50. This Brother got so mad that he …(co-resident)… would not cry. He, Br …X… kicked the legs from under him and kicked him to the ground and kicked him until he went unconscious. He was just lying there with his eyes staring up to the sky.

I remember this one Brother. The boys would be crying in the morning going into class. He’d start with sums, always an awkward division. I remember one boy in the class …named co-resident…. He was asked a question this time, he made the awful mistake of saying he knew the answer but couldn’t get the answer out, and with that this Br …X… went absolutely berserk…. The brutality of that man, he hit him everywhere, with the leather. He …(co-resident)… was trying to avoid being hit. I never saw him …(co-resident)… again. I often did think about him, whether he went blind or not, I don’t know. I never saw him again.

He had a strap about 2 inches thick and he would take down your pants and sometimes he’d say come down to my office after and there would be about 6 or 7 fellows there queuing up. You could hear the fellow inside. There would be crying and they would be shouting and you would be terrified outside. You’d be next in then, you’d be frightened, very, very frightened, the screaming, it was awful. The hidings was for everyday carrying on, you know kids like. We were all afraid.

You would get it …(the leather)… on the back of the leg, on the arms, on the back on the head, anywhere. This guy …(Br X)… had a temper he had a severe temper, like a horse. You could end up down …(on the ground)… kicked, hit, leathered, you’d be black and blue I was hit to the floor, you would be black and blue, bleeding. I got quite a few with my trousers down and leather. … He had a whistle and there were religious staff near by, they would weigh in, 3 or 4 of them, you daren’t react to these people. If they were physically abusing someone else you daren’t do anything or you would be for the high jump yourself.

One fella …(co-resident)… called my mother a bastard. I hit him a box. … They …(Brothers)… told me to get into my togs and go up to the shower. After the cold shower the 2 of them …(Brothers)… got 2 sally rods and they beat me, God did they beat me. You would feel the welts on your legs, I mean real dents on your skin.

Night-times were the worst; if you weren’t taken out of bed and beaten you were listening to it happening to someone else. You could hear the screams all over the whole building at night it was so quiet. Up to 4 Brothers would come and take a boy out of bed on some pretext and give him a hammering, make you take off your nightshirt, they would do what they wanted. They were like a pack of hunting animals.

I suffered from chilblains. I had poor circulation, really festering sores, your fingers as white as sheets, I had to dress my own. I couldn’t get my feet into shoes. One morning after very heavy rain the ground was water-logged, I didn’t want to go over and get my feet wet and aggravate the condition …(chilblains)…. He …(Fr X)… caught me up in his arm and took me across the yard, walked me across … on sore feet on the wet ground … and dropped me in the hall. … He took his revenge out on me, he walloped me with his stick, he walloped me for a full quarter of an hour or more.

He …(Br X)… went around all the beds, you had the clothes, blankets and stuff rolled back and if you made one mistake, whack right across the legs. If you couldn’t get the right answer or recite the Our Father or Hail Mary, all in Irish, he would whack you across the soles of the feet with a bamboo cane. I saw boys there who couldn’t walk the next day. You were supposed to learn while you were in bed and recite it for him.

Fr …X… laid me out cold for talking; he walloped me so fast I couldn’t see it coming. He broke my nose, I had to go to hospital. He knocked me clean out. I had 2 big black eyes and the nurse sent me to the hospital.

The 2 years I had there I did not get over it for many, many years. I was shattered. … I suffered fierce violence there. I saw one boy …named co-resident… battered on the bog, he got such a beating from Br …X… that his back was broken and he was shifted off to hospital

One day I was on the farm and we were messing, me and …named co-resident… squirting milk at each other. There was a Mr …X (named lay ancillary worker)… there and he told Br …Y…. He …(Br Y)… came over and dug his nails into the back of my ears and then he hit me with his clenched fists on the jaw and of course I went down. I was in the infirmary myself for 6 or 7 weeks after that because they smashed my jaw, my gum was all gone, inside of my face was all ripped. Br …Y… took me to …named hospital… he done all the talking and he said if anyone asks you, you have an abscess on your gum. I was back in the infirmary, the treatment I was getting was hot salty water. It started getting a bit easier for me after that.

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Female witnesses

I remember once I got a big yellow blister on my hand, it was really painful…. Normally when you got a beating from someone you had to hold your hand out for a slap like that … (demonstrated outstretched palm)… not always of course, some of them would hit you anywhere on the legs or anywhere. … She … (Sr X)… said Why are you holding your hand out like that? Give me the other hand….You have to have 10 on that hand and 10 on the other. I couldn’t part with this hand, it was yellow and throbbing it was, and she forced it open and slapped it. The blister burst, I’ll never forget the pain.

I remember getting the spoon, the wooden spoon. Sr …X… was running after me and I was running from her, you would be all stinging and raw where she hit you. You would be sore.

Once she … (named lay care staff)… came into the dormitory and another girl and I were talking, she went and got a wooden hairbrush and she came and pulled down my pyjamas and she whacked me on the bottom. She whacked me so hard it was impossible to sleep afterwards, and the next day it was still sore.

One of the girls she was very sick. I let her come into my bed one morning, she was very, very ill. They brought me down to the shoe room, they stripped me off, they threw cold water over me … (prior to severe beating)…. It was the shoe room you know where all the shoes were, even now if I get the smell of shoe polish, the feeling of enclosement, it was awful.

If you wet the bed, Sr …X… made you stand out at the bed with the sheet over your head, if you fell asleep she would come out with the stick. She hit you on the back and then you would be so sore you couldn’t sleep.

Every night you …(bed-wetters)… would have to stand at the end of your bed, holding on to the bed, she …(lay care staff)… would tell you to face straight ahead, in your nightdress, she would hit you with a steel coat hanger, other staff would hold up the nightdress. If you got into bed and cried you would have to get out and the same would happen again.

I started wetting the bed. I don’t remember wetting the bed before I was about 6 or 7. There were about 30 of us in the dormitory, only a handful of us wet the bed. We had to stay with the younger ones until we stopped wetting the bed and in my case that was about 10 or 11…. We had long brown mackintoshes … (rubber sheets)… under our sheets, I remember pulling the sheets off so you wouldn’t wet the sheet, if you wet the mackintosh maybe nobody would notice. We had to bring our wet sheets to the girl in charge who would swipe you across the face with it and bring you in to the dressing room for a flogging. I remember trying so hard not to wet the bed…. I remember sitting on the toilet and falling asleep, going back to bed and still waking up soaking wet.

The girls who wet the bed got beaten. I never wet the bed but my sister did and my older sister and I used to get up early and make sure her bed was dry so that she didn’t get hit, the babies who wet the bed got beaten. We would change her bed. I know it’s a horrible thing but we would change the bed with someone else, so that she did not get hit and if we didn’t get time we’d change her with our own bed and we’d take the beating. We just didn’t want her to get hit, she was only a baby. The punishment was, beaten with a leather strap all over. The nun used to get a big girl to go around and check what one was wet, what one was dry. You couldn’t save everyone you know.

There was one nun, a teacher, who beat me black and blue, there were lumps and bruises on the back of me hands. All this beating was over Irish lessons which I never used since.

I was left handed, they used to tie my hand. You were told to pick your stick, you were told to pick out your bamboo …(to be beaten with)…. The more you screamed the more you got beaten…. If you pulled back your hand you got an extra beating.

I had an awful problem in the classroom, I had a problem reading. The more you made mistakes … it was terrible … she …(Sr X)… would humiliate you, and it stays with you. Sr …X… used hit me with this long belt, they used to have this long belt, they didn’t care where they hit you it was just wallop, wallop.

There was the scrubbing, the drying, the polishing and if there was one speck you would have to do it all over again, she … (lay care staff) … would then hit you. She had total control, the nun just passed through, they were in the convent, they had nothing to do with us. I hated 3 o’clock in the afternoon because I had to go back to the work and they … (town children) … were going home … from school, you were going back to her. You got beaten for nothing, she had free rein. Sometimes it would be a wooden brush, hair brush or a wooden spoon from the drawer. She also had a leather with a buckle she would hit you with it, but not with the buckle, the other end of the belt.

We would be put down in the dining hall, a massive big room, down on your knees, this would be a punishment, scrubbing, constantly on your knees. That was a punishment, you couldn’t get up out of there until it was all clean, clean.

The older girls, we would have charges, would be in charge of the younger girls. We would have to get up in the night and take them out to the …toilet…. If they happened to wet the bed you would get beaten for it. They couldn’t help wetting the bed, but you got beaten for that…. If your charge was found with lice in their hair you would be punished for it, you were supposed to keep one another’s hair clean.

I was seldom allowed out to the yard to play with the other kids. I remember that I was washing nappies, doing the washing, servile work, out in the … yard, breaking sticks, I was about 9 or 10 maybe. The working continued until I left. I remember being out in the … yard, and to the best of my memory they were like floorboards, piles of old floorboards, like from old buildings and we had to chop them up into small sticks for the fire. I was in possession of a hatchet, I remember hitting it off the concrete and watching the sparks fly, thinking maybe I’d like to be hitting something else. We’d be out there hail, rain or snow. I’d be burned in the summer and soaked in the winter.

At 12 years I was taken out of school to work. I got the 9 toilets to do …(cleaning toilets)… then I had to work in the kitchen…. Then there was the chickens we used to have to put the head of the chicken under the handle of a brush and twist its neck, you know, then it would be dead and we used to have to put it in a bucket of hot water to pluck the feathers. I never saw the chickens after that, I don’t remember ever eating chicken. I used to see other girls … (when working)… and I’d see them in the summer holiday, and they would be typing but I didn’t, I didn’t get that chance. … I don’t know why.

We washed our feet at night time in very, very cold water, it was out in a back yard…. There would be a couple of old towels there to dry them. You then went in and had to kneel down for the inspection. There was this lady there …(lay care staff)…. If there was one speck on your feet, she whipped you across the legs with a cane and you were put out again. If there was a speck on your sheet the Reverend Mother would come up and you were lined up for a thrashing…. She had a certain way of doing it. She’d get the lady to hold your hand and she’d beat you until she was tired and then she’d beat the other.

One lay member of staff …X… she was cruel, she was absolutely cruel. There was one punishment she gave me that I will never forget it in my life. She used to say hold your head up, she was very nasty. She got my hair and she tied it and she pulled my head back like that … (demonstrated hair being tied to belt at back holding head up in fixed position) … and she got a string and she tied it up. Oh the pain of it. So my head was up like that, held like that for a couple days, that is why I will never forget it. The nuns knew of it but they gave her a free hand.

Queuing up for your underwear once a fortnight, I always dreaded it. They would check your underwear and if they were soiled you would get whacked for it with a hand brush, 21 times. It was …named lay care staff… who done it. … So on Wednesday night you would wash it and wear it wet so that you wouldn’t get hit.

The washroom was known as the most fearful, there was no escape…. If the toothpaste was all gone by the end of the year you got beaten. Then there was the underwear, you all had to undress in front of everybody and then you would have to walk up to her …(lay care staff)… with your underwear, if it was stained you had to wear it on your head and stand there and then you got beaten by her.

It was a cruel harsh place…. It was illegal to go out. … Our letters were always opened and read, she …(Mth X)… asked who posted this letter you wrote to your mother? She came into the dining hall where we eat our meal. … I knew I was in deep trouble. Sr …Y… came right up to me and told me you posted the letters, why didn’t you own up? I said I was afraid, she said to me you go right up to Mth …X…. She was outside walking, I told her I posted the letter, she drew out and she hit me across the face several times and now, she said, go down and stand up on the table in the refectory and when I go down I will deal with you. I went down and took my shoes off and stood up on the table. She came down and told me to go up to her room. She sent …lay care staff… to get the cane, she beat me and beat me and beat me, it went on for weeks every time she would pass, she would be walking, she beat me on the legs with a cane. Once when I felt faint I went to pass out, they said I was as white as a sheet, I heard her say it’s not my fault I didn’t do anything to her. … It was Mth …X… she was the one who would do all the beatings, after that she began to ease off on me, she got …lay care staff… to help, if …lay care staff… wasn’t around she did it on her own too.

Well this night she …co-resident… was having fits and I was frightened and I got into the bed of another girl. The nun come up in the morning and found us, she made us sleep on the concrete floor, locked in the cloakroom for 3 nights for getting into the bed of another girl. We didn’t know what we had done wrong.

You had to sleep with hands out like this …(demonstrating position)… and your fingers touching you shoulders it was like that and it was very uncomfortable, if you moved you got a beating.

I remember sitting at the table and, excuse me now, but being forced to eat my own vomit because you were not allowed leave the table until you eat, if you didn’t eat it I would get a slap for retching. Sr …X… hit on the head. They used to hit with the ring they had on their finger or with the knuckles on the head or with a steel comb. The food would be there the next day and it would be left there until you eat it, you would be days without eating and there would be mould on it, so you would have to eat it.

I was hungry, I took an apple. … I took it off the ground, one of the nuns caught me … and she gave me a slap on the face … and she said when you come in I want to see you. I was kind of afraid, I was kinda confused. I said to myself will I get over the railings or what will I do? … Anyway they called me out and 6 nuns held me and they cut my hair …crying…. I just can’t believe that some people would do that to me. I don’t know why they done that, if I had done something, I don’t know why they done it, I did nothing wrong, I was hungry.

The police took us back, it was the second time I ran away. I was stripped to my knickers, Sr …X… was supposed to hold me and she started beating me as well as Sr …Y…. I was 13 years, I was beaten in the rec in front of everybody, it did not happen in that way again.

I suppose we were about 9 or thereabouts, 3 girls from the orphanage got out, they ran away and got about 12 miles…. They were caught by the Gardaí and brought back. Not that night but maybe the next night, we were all brought to this inner parlour. … There was tiered seating in each parlour … we had to sit and watch. They …(Sr X and Sr Y)… were there, and Sr …Z… was brought over from the convent, this was all planned, she was to beat these girls who ran away. Sr …Z… she was really, really cruel we were terrified of her, Sr …X… and Sr …Y … and she took out the leg of a chair, it was the leg of a chair, that’s as true as I’m sitting here sitting looking at your face, she took it out from under her garb, and she lashed into these girls and we were all terrified. We were spectators, an exhibition was made out of them and she beat those girls into pulp for running away. She took the leg of a chair back to the convent with her because they did not want us to see it. That has stayed with me, to this day I have nightmares about it.

She … (Sr X)… brought me upstairs, she’d throw you on the first bed inside the dormitory door, she put me across the bed naked, it was always naked, herself and Sr …Y… and tied me to the bed with a sort of a tweedy rope. She had this thing of tying you to the bed, an iron bed, you know, and you couldn’t move then… She would beat you with the leather strap and count to 100 as she was beating. Then she’d say get up and go down and do your homework. I know I was beaten often with a strap but I was beaten like that 5 or 6 times. If you cried you got worse so I learned not to cry.

She …(Sr X)… literally took off your underwear and got one of the bigger girls to hold your hands and another held your legs and literally walloped you until you were bleeding and you were hot and sticky and you went to bed and slept that off if you could. … (It would)… leave bumps on you.

If you did something bad during the day you would be laid across the table in the refectory, you would be beaten on the behind with the cane and anywhere else if you used your elbow to protect yourself. I was sent to the middle of the room, with all the children standing around so they could see. The other girls would be in the refectory, you would be beaten on the behind, your skirt lifted up. She …(Sr X)… would have them there watching you, some of them would be crying, they would be scared.

My wrist broke, it was a nun broke it with a hurley … (while beating witness)… there was metal bands around them. She whacked me, she caught me there … (indicated spot on arm)… oh the pain it was awful, I was cheeky or something. When it’s going to be bad weather it hurts.

Two nuns …Sr X and Sr Y(beat me)…. I was in bits, Jesus Christ, it was just awful. They left me all night, it was cold there …(shoe room)… the next morning they took me out, I was in bits I was all black and blue…. They took me to the infirmary and the nun there said my God we are going to have to get her to hospital, they said no. They left me in the infirmary.

Sr …X… she took me by the top of the uniform and pulled me into the kitchen she gave me 16 of the best across the knuckles with the pantry roller…. At first I couldn’t feel the pain because I was after being in such pain with the chilblains. Then she said 16 on the back…. She didn’t get to finish the 16 on my legs the sweat was running off her so much. It was only when I went to move I collapsed, I couldn’t move with the pain, my knees were twisted…. She called in 3 girls to help me up to my bed and there I stayed for almost 3 months. I couldn’t move with the pain in my hands and my legs and I never even got a tablet. She told me not to open my mouth or if I did I’d get worse. I was warned to keep it to myself, I had an accident that was it.

I was sexually abused by a nun and a carer … (lay care staff)…. He was supposed to be in charge of the boys section. He had no business over with the girls. There was a nun with him …Sr X and lay care worker… she would come into the room with him. You didn’t need a nun to wash you at 13 years of age, but she did, she would fondle you in the bath and examine you and get you ready for him …. He used then collect me from boarding school and he used do it … touching, fondling and then you would have to masturbate him…. I remember even telling Sr …Y (Resident Manager)… and she told me to keep the rug over my legs in the car.

He was always there …(Fr X)… when we were getting a bath, he was there all the time. I could see what he was doing to other girls, touching them. Nobody wanted to bring his breakfast in, none of the girls. We used say it to Sr …Y… she was a nice nun, she would have protected us from the other nuns, she was a lovely nun. But she couldn’t see past Fr …X… because he was a priest. We said to her what he was doing and she said but he is a priest, he is just being friendly. I rebelled against him then when I was I2 or 13, I fought him and wouldn’t let him go near me. He beat me then with a leather, a belt from his trousers … on the legs, on the hand and the back of the hands.

The parish priest used to be always around at the time, around the convent. He used to pick me up in the grounds or if you went in to him with his breakfast, he would put you sitting on his knee and give you a kiss on the mouth. He would put me sitting on his …(genitalia)….

There was a visiting priest, Fr …X… he used to come in holiday time and say Mass. I had the job of polishing the sacristy, I had to peep in to see if he was gone. He called me in. He was a tall man, he called me over, I had to kneel next to him, the next thing I could feel his hand up under my underwear. I nearly died, I thought Jesus what will I do? I couldn’t tell anyone. They were Gods, the priests were God, no one would believe you. I was about 11.

I was abused …(from)… the age of 6 ’til I was 14. He was kind of a past pupil. … He was friends with the staff. There was a room where past pupils used to sleep, he would come into the room at night, he used to tell me, you tell anyone and your …family members… will be moved and you will be on your own. I didn’t eat for a year, I went silent for a year, I went from minding myself to nothing. He was always there. I seen school as my escape…. I’d fall asleep in the class because of all the abuse I was going through at night time. I was afraid to sleep at night but I felt safe in school, one teacher was my first good memory. Someone should have asked what was happening….

I had a child then … I will never get over that, that will never go away from me. … You can ask the hospital …named hospital…. I had a little child. I went and told them …(Sisters)… about rape, and they killed me. I told 2 nuns, they put me into …named psychiatric hospital…. I told them, 2 nuns, they said, no, no, he would never do that. They killed me, they said, you are filth, you are filth. I will never forgive them. I often thought of going out and telling the guards …(Gardaí)… but I was afraid, I was terrified. They said I broke a window, they said I was mental. … After that even the doctor said I don’t know what you are doing in hospital…. The doctor said I didn’t need to be there, I went to …named mother and baby home….

A cup of cocoa and one slice of bread for breakfast. Lunch was cold soupy type thing, lumpy potato, you were so hungry you’d eat it. Then in the afternoon it was scraps, bits of stale bread … we’d be killing each other to get as much as we could, trample each other. We were all like vultures, like dogs eating off the ground to get as much as we could. We were so hungry. … You were always looking out for a bit of food, the teacher’s dining room, you’d run in and grab what was left…. Or you’d get the key of the pantry and go in you were so hungry.

I never had enough, I used to eat from the bins. There was a nun in the kitchen, she was an angel, Sr …X…. I can honestly say she was an angel, she used to throw food away in such a way that it didn’t get …pause… contaminated you’d say now. She threw it away in such a way that we’d get it, she put it in a place she knew you would get it. She was very good, she’d leave apple skins and something that was nice…. A boiled egg, I used to love, but we got them very rare. I was always hungry. If you were punished you were put starving anyway. I used to be caught picking food out of the bins and you would be put starving, for 2 or 3 days, you wouldn’t be given anything, all meals …(were stopped)… for a couple of days.

You’d be more thirsty than anything else, we’d drink water out of the toilets, there would be little worms in the water, the older girls would show us how to spit them out like that …demonstrated…. But you weren’t afeared …(afraid)…. It was the nuns you feared.

I went to hospital …(with a broken wrist following beating)…. I had to walk to the hospital, it was 3 quarters of an hour to walk, another girl came with me.

When we started to grow breasts, we couldn’t ask the nuns anything, you weren’t allowed grow breasts, I was told my breasts were ugly. … I was friendly with an outside girl and she gave me a black bra, you know … brassiere, we were not allowed wear them. Well she, Sr …X… caught me and she threw me into a room and she beat me black and blue. We were not allowed wear them you know.

I was obviously growing up by now and I had quite big breasts. Sr …X… would come up to me get hold of my breasts and squash them as hard as she could, she would then order me to flatten them down and stop encouraging it … flatten them down, flatten them. She would scream at me. So I would just try and hold myself in ’til she left me alone. … Then one day she got hold of me and told me she had got me a roll on, I thought I was going to get some nylons …(stockings)… and felt very grown up. She said this will help to keep you in. … When I put it …(corset)… on she made me haul it up over my breasts to flatten them down, I could hardly breathe and I had to wear this over my breasts for months.

___________________

Also on Bock

Commission on Child Abuse Report Published



  53 Responses to “Clerical Abuse Victims in Their Own Words”

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  1.  

    The pain.

    I look at my own kids aged 6, 4 and 2 and can’t imagine what it was like for the children who suffered at the hands of these evil beasts.

    The church should be shut down and abolished in this country.

    The whole day I have been walking around in shock, in tears thinking of the pain and suffering that these people endured.

    How can these same organisations, and the same Department of Education still control education in this country is beyond me. At least the Nazi party was abolished.

  2.  

    I don’t know why you were in shock. Did you not know what was going on?

    Many people knew this for years.

  3.  

    It’s very hard to read…. Really horrible stuff….

  4.  

    Actually no.

    Of course many people knew that something was gong on. But not the details like this.

    When the individuals tell the story it is truly shocking.

  5.  

    I’m amazed that people didn’t know this. I knew it for many years.

    Why was Ireland in denial?

  6.  

    I’m 38 years old. I have 2 small children of my own. And yes, I’m in shock too. Not that it happened, but at the incredible extent of it and the systematic application of it all. Bock, it depends on how old you are and where you have lived all your life – so this will be a shock to many many middle aged city dwellers who went to schools (whether Catholic or Community or Local State) in the 70′s and 80′s.

    Perhaps some of the older generation, always so deferential to the “Holy Church” and its legion of warriors, are not surprised as maybe they accepted it as being the role of the Church at the time.

    I went to a CBS in Dublin, sure there were some rotten bastards (so called “Brothers”) and there were occasional “leatherings” – but this stuff, this is just Josef Mengele stuff and there should be an equivalent to a war crimes tribunal for the scum that inflicted such pain on the young and innocent.

    Most of Ireland wasn’t in denial. I’d like to think most of Ireland did not know the extent of this. Sure, many many did – as you did yourself. We’ve watched the documentaries and were horrified, but there was always a piece of you saying these have to be relatively limited cases. Surely. Otherwise there would not be the reaction we’re seeing. I don’t believe our reactions are in any way fake. I’ve spoken to my parents, in their late 60′s and one in education all his life – in a CBS. He had no idea and the man is not stupid or naiive. This has been covered up well for a long long time.

    Land of saints and scholars. Right yeah.

    Wonder if I will ever set foot inside a church again.

  7.  

    No. I’m afraid your interpretation is not an option.

    I’m not part of the deferential generation, but I’m old enough to be part of the general rejection.

    The fact is that Ireland is in denial.

    I knew this went on. You knew it went on. Your parents knew it happened. So did my mother and father. None of us can deny it. For fucksake, we lived through it. Didn’t we see our classmates abused by these bastards?

    Let’s face up to the fact that we knew this was the reality and let’s move onto a new Ireland, free of these fucking hypocrites.

    Let’s kick them out of the schools and the hospitals, as we should have done 80 years ago.

  8.  

    Bock, I’m a long time reader of your blog and I respect your honesty.

    Email me if you want to discuss this very important issue in private — there are three words that I think can resolve this terrible, terrible issue for many people.

    Best,

    AJC

    PS — Any sign of the Bock merchandise hitting the shelves? It is needed.

  9.  

    I can’t tell you of the shock and shame I feel on reading this stuff. I was reared in Ireland in the 60′s and 70′s, and was often threatened with a stay up in Clonmel, and had no idea that this type of stuff went on. I remember my late father crying as it all started to come out years ago as he thought of his 2 brothers, both were christian brothers, and what they may have seen or known.
    His faith was so strong – and his belief in the catholic church – he couldn’t understand how this was happening.
    I’m reading it now and feel shock and shame. I know I’ll feel anger soon and hope that these Br. X ‘s and Br.Y’s get named .
    If you were a civilian rapist or child molester you’d be named and punished so don’t let them trot out the excuse about families still living or… “we have to put this behind us.” Fuck that.
    I’m with John (1) “..The church should be shut down and abolished in this country…” It’ll never happen though but it a great thought.
    and with you too, Bock, kick them out. Let’s start again.
    (Unfortunately it’ll have to start with the demise of FF first).

    I’ll go.

  10.  

    I am from the UK and I knew about it from a friend who was brought up in Ireland. There were state-run boarding schools in England and residential schools for the blind and deaf where in particular very similar atrocities happened.

  11.  

    Rockmother – Thanks for your comment. Can I just say, without meaning to be disrespectful, that these crimes didn’t just happen, like the weather. People committed them.

    People committed these crimes, and they should be in jail for it.

  12.  

    Horrific.
    In my early twenties a work colleague told me of the brutality at his Christian Brothers School in Derry. It was extremely unusual at that time for a Catholic to speak out against the Catholic church here. More so to a Protestant. He carried a huge amount of anger with him from his experiences that was plainly evident any time the CBs were mentioned.
    When his father, an ex WW2 soldier, found out he ensured they never laid hands on his son again, backed up by a threat that they would be the ones on the receiving end. Unfortunately the son, understandably, still carries the mental scars. Such was/is his vehemence for the CBs I wouldn’t be surprised if at some time in the future I hear about him topping one.

    Watched the program on RTE2? earlier. Watching the government minister dodge and squirm when repeatedly asked if the government would seek extra money from the Church and CBs, and the CB representative not offering to even consider making increased financial restitution really summed up (unfortunately) what the state and Church intend to do about this.

  13.  

    apart from the abuse that was inflicted on these children, it now seems t that the church was involved in fraud as well. the general opinion was that the state gave little money towards the maintenance of the children. it now appears that this opinion was incorrect. quite a large sum of money was handed over. however it seems it was never used for its intented purposes.

  14.  

    I’m 32 now and I remember as a child my Mother seeing a nun that used to teach her and the very sight of this then old Woman reduced my mother to tears and she shook all over. This was a nun that taught in St. Mary’s in Limerick so you are right Bock we all knew. Everyone knew that these abuses were happening. I asked my Mother tonight about why didn’t anyone do anything. Her reply was the Church ruled with an iron fist and you couldn’t stand up to them. They stripped them of their self esteem and any sense of self worth they had. They were scared to speak up. It’s so disgusting.

    Why is the church still running our schools. Get them out.

  15.  

    It’s not true. The church didn’t rule.

    My parents didn’t feel intimidated by the bastards. That’s only a cop-out, I’m afraid.

    Sorry.

  16.  

    the attitude of the church towards those who did try to stand up and report the abuse was shameful. the ryan report looks at the whistleblowers and at what happened to them.a caretaker/gardener in glin was sacked and his name blackened. a nurse in cork was labeled a woman of low morals. i would not say the church ruled, but they did have a very strong influence. they were helped along the way by health boards who announced visits and inspections, a hierarchy that moved the problem to another area and in general turned a blind eye, by guards who failed to follow up reports and in general by a belief that the children were liars. out of curiosity did any of these abusers getting a hiding at any stage?

  17.  

    ‘Let’s kick them out of the schools’ yes. ‘and the hospitals’ yes. And out of the country. Yes.

    I never had the most horrible misfortune to be sent to one of these instutions, but I did suffer at the hands of the brothers and the nuns in ‘ordinary’ schools. And it was mostly the brothers. It took many years to overcome the anger and hatred, and I did. But I could have, and should have been living a very different life during those ‘coming to terms’ years.

    I still do feel guilty at times, especially when reading first hand accounts such as published above, because what I went through was no way as awful as anything those souls went through. But it WAS awful.

    I am, for the most part, a happy man today. I have a wonderful partner and a loving family of my own.
    And I will do whatever it takes to protect all of them.
    When I told my teenagers some of the stories from my schooldays they thought I was making it up just to let them know how good they have it today! But they were not ‘stories’. It was the truth. I used to hate them with a vengeance, the people who hurt me, abused me, took so many years of my life from me. But It was eating me. Eating away at my heart. Eating at my ability to show love, to feel love, to give love. I am in a different place now. I no longer hate, but I will always feel disgust for these people.
    Thank you for this post.

  18.  

    Why didn’t the people stand up then? If it wasn’t fear (as my Mother experienced and no I don’t believe that it was a cop-out for her.) What was it? Why did the country tolerate it?

  19.  

    It was denial, piety,smugnness, denial and insecurity.

    Don’t forget, these bastards have no tangible power. It’s all in the mind.

    If you’re in texas, you’ll know all about religious nutcases exerting influence over people.

  20.  

    Sadly I do, I am surrounded by Southern Baptist nut jobs.

  21.  

    “People committed these crimes, and they should be in jail for it.”

    I am afraid I disagree. If still alive the things responsible should be burned at the stake . If dead they should be dug up and fed to dogs. These things were not human nor even animal. Things from somewhere that I can not understand. I did not know that this was going on. Sick evil filth, they should have no place on the face of this planet.

  22.  

    You do not have to be a nun a christian brother or a nazi, being human will suffice.

  23.  

    Your Bockness – I didn’t mean my last comment to sound throwaway in any way whatsoever. I was merely replying to your previous and earlier point of communitites knowing about it and nothing being done. And furthermore – from our point of view here across the water people knowing about it outside Ireland. That was all. I kept my comment short and sweet because otherwise I would go into an over-descriptive rant about it all and I said what I had to say in an even earlier comment. The depths of my hope and strength go out to all the victims.

  24.  

    Brother X?Brother Y?Oh,Brother Who Art Thou?Its about time we should name ,shame and jail these people.They are child abusers and paedophiles.Easy as.

  25.  

    Paedophobes.

    Child abusers invented the word paedophile to make their activities appear benign.

  26.  

    Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said they needed a mechanism to re-open the indemnity deal done with the religious orders who paid about €127 million towards redress payments to victims of abuse, but the bill for the taxpayer was 10 times that amount.

    He referred to the report’s conclusion about the deferential and submissive attitude of the Department of Education towards the congregations and said that the same deferential and submissive attitude was alive when then minister for education Dr Michael Woods concluded the agreement in 2002 with the religious orders.

    He’s the only one who seems to be arguing this way…

  27.  

    Marie Keenan made a couple of interesting points about this on Radio 1′s Drivetime yesterday evening. She was wondering how these monsters came to be the way they were, since surely they couldn’t all have been psychos who joined the clergy just for the thrill of abusing kids (right?).

    Her theory was something to the effect that the whole nature of clerical training, both in convents and seminaries, serves to strip nuns and priests of the very things that they need when dealing with children, normal healthy things like warmth, affection and empathy. She made reference to so many of the victims describing the coldness of their abusers, because that is the way a priest or nun was supposed to be: pure, clear-headed, emotionless, one with God etc. These are incomplete humans and they were locked away in industrial schools with all these children who’d been abandoned by society and, when you look at it now it’s like, what did you expect?

    The way she described it immediately put me in mind of Abu Ghraib, except the good people of post-colonial Ireland did it to their children.

    Whether those surviving abusers deserve to be burned at the stake I’ll leave up to someone else; personally I’d like to oversee the dismantling of every church in the country, brick by brick, and every one of their assets returned to the Irish people. It’s not like we couldn’t use the money.

  28.  

    This was not confined to the religious orders. I am not that old, school age in tehe 70s and our teacher used corporal punishment with a vengeance. She kicked a student up and down the hall, I’m not joking. she hit kids with a stick until there were welts on legs. She broke so many rulers on my brother that I dont’ t hink he was ever right since. But aside from that was the terror involved, humiliation and verbal cruelty. Parents knew. Few complained. It was a small area. It would cause ructions. Those that did (my mother) got nowhere with the school boards and were labelled troublemakers. Many of the parents thought that if you behaved you wouldn’t get hit so it was the kid’d fault. It wasn’t. She had a few favorites (i was one) and a few that she had a set on. They were doomed no matter what. I can’t describe the terror. We had her for years as it was a country school so she taught you for many classes.
    My point is people knew and people accepted it. It took “blow ins” to cause ructions and get it stamped out. This is not long ago. I’m not even 40.
    An abuser is a powerful person. Post colonialism made them even more powerful.

  29.  

    “It was denial, piety,smugnness, denial and insecurity” . I was ready to reject that sentence but there is a lot to it. Denial – yes. Piety – I don’t know. Smugness- there were instances where kids were petrified and told to go to school and the parents/neighbors etc said “it isn’t half as bad as the flogging we got in the 50s”- so making a child pee with terror is OK if they weren’t as frightened as you were 20 years ago – the logic? Insecurity- most definetly.

  30.  

    Having read some of the comments above I have to admit I was total shocked to find myself almost having flashbacks to my days in a CBS in Dublin in the 70′s/80s. Many people under 35 yo are asking how did we let this happen? The CBS I went to was quite nice, I can not tell tales of major abuse, but as a previous commentator mentioned there was the daily leathering of somebody, and the occasional extreme violence that in today’s terms would be known as assault. There was also always the resident psycho CB, something I encountered in 6th class (age 11?). I reminded me how each one of them had their chosen ‘weapon’, like fucking gunslingers or something, and how the merits of each weapon would be discussed, as in ‘ I would much prefer a beating with his leather, to his drumstick’. I was leathered my first day at primary school. I was so nervous I puked, and ‘got it’ for that. But sure it didn’t do us any harm and sure aren’t we well educated now. But the one thing the comments above brought back was the fear. The daily repressive almost irrational fear. Remember, this was a nice school and I from a happy family, not the internment camps described above. Fear is motor behind any autocracy and ours was no different. That my young friend is how they did it. Our parents and grandparents etc. were educated in the same way, they took our confidence, they made us meek, they promised we would burn in hell, and if we didn’t comply we were beaten. Now is the time we have to stop cowering. For the sake of the people mentioned above, and those that didn’t live to see this day, and every fucking one of us who had a little bit of our childhoods stolen by the fear of these bastards. Hang ‘em now and hang ‘em high, and hang ‘em by their purse strings, the only punishment they themselves understand.

  31.  

    What about all the damaged people that are still in positions of power within this country? It can explain a lot of what we see happening day to day.

    The effects of this abuse may take decades to work itself out.

  32.  

    This is not confined to CBs. I was in the Model School in Limerick in the ’70s. Some of the men “teaching” there were psychotic. I saw kids being flogged with bamboo canes for speaking English in the yard. One kid, a neighbours child, was flogged for eating Cheese n Onion crisps for lunch at home. The head master did’t like the smell. Beatings were common and regular. One guy used to clear his nose and throat into a yogurt tub, some lucky boy would be selected to clean this out several times a day. I well remember the fear of going to school on Mondays, and the elation if the old bastard was sick and couldn’t turn up. But it all pales into insignificance when viewed against the above excerpts, at least I had parents to go home to.

  33.  

    I think it explains the jubiliation when this kid won a very minor victory:)

    http://bocktherobber.com/2009/02/school-hires-forensic-barber

  34.  

    I went through the national school system in the 60s-lay teachers doing the priests evil–cunts the lot of them —fuckin bastards -i hope they are all rotting in hell

  35.  

    They used to tell you when you were small that if you were bold that you would be sent to [insert local childrens home here]

    I am aware of instances of corporal punnishment being carried out on children in some schools even after corporal punnishment was outlawed in the 1980s. trouble is, if you told an adult what you knew, you were not believed.

  36.  

    Any adult who refused to believe a child about abuse was lying.

    Everyone knew it was going on.

  37.  

    You wont hear any arguement from me. If they weren’t lying, it would have stopped sooner than it did. Unfortunately, in 1983, the word of an eight year old didn’t carry much weight, or weren’t dealt with in an appropriate manner.

    I’ve had encounters with three of the 18 orders who contributed to the redress fund, (or who were supposed to contribute to it) and the worst of the three was the Sisters of Charity. the other two were the Rosminians and the Good Shepherds on Penywell Road. The latter two I can’t honestly say were in any way abusive, the the first one did indeed violate the law on Corporal Punishment laws introduced either in 1981 or 82.

    Some older siblings of mine would have been fearful of the one based at the mount and known as “The Ba” but I can’t say I had much dealings with them. No doubt, when these popped their clogs in the past, they would have been lauded in the local media, “weren’t they a great member of the community.” when in reality, they were monsters.

  38.  

    OK. You can say black, I’ll say white. I did not know the extent of this. You can say I did if it makes ye happy or proves a point – as per the above. Accuse me of too sheltered an upbringing – that is a possibility, but I have never been in denial. There are many from the area I grew up in that I’ve talked to, and they’re disgusted. They have not all been living in denial. But I, like many, was not even aware of the incredible extent of the Industrial School set-up. 1 in 100 kids? Jesus Christ. Strange how it wasn’t part of the history curriculum.

  39.  

    Enda — Welcome to the awful real world.

  40.  

    I grew up listening to the older generation who appeared so attached to their image of an innocent and beautiful Ireland. The DeVelera epoch. That’s all it was. A broken bullsh*t image.

    What the hell is wrong with our country? How can we get so much of the raw basics wrong? Politics, Church, Economy….. How do the all the wrong people get into these positions of power? There’s something wrong with us as a nation. Is it the history of occupation? We’re a small country, apparantly filled with bright people.

    F&cked if I know. I live abroad and this is getting plenty of coverage and people are asking me about it and I’m at a loss for words. I mean what do ye say? I’m just downright embarrassed (while still getting my head around the scale of it). There is precious little to be proud of right now.

  41.  

    Sounds like you grew up in a different Ireland. Where I lived the so called “cruelty man” was a regular visitor to the estate. occasionally you would hear how some family had their kids “taken off them.” This carry-on became rarer post 1985-86 though

  42.  

    Many ISPCC inspectors were bribed by the religious orders to round up children so that they could claim the capitation payments.

  43.  

    Am currently working through the 110 pages on Letterfrack, it seems that one of the brothers had a perchant for beating the shit out of people from Limerick. wonder whatr his gripe was with the good people of the treaty city.

  44.  

    Perhaps we should name and shame them then. I know of four I can start with if you’d like.

  45.  

    Its becoming painfully obvious to me that I certainly did grow up in a different Ireland. Or part of it anyway. Was this confined to lower and working class estates (“cruelty man”)? I grew up in a lower middle class family and estate, and this was just so far from my reality. My secondary school CBS education gave me occasional glimpses of their capabilities, but never in these extremes.

    Given all the comments above, perhaps I am in minority that hadn’t come across it. With the exception of Artane, this report is primarily focussed on non Dublin institutions. There is another report coming right?

  46.  

    Enda, I grew up in “lower/working class” circumstances in Wexford and was daily beaten by some of these arseholes and their lay accomplices, many of whom are still teaching. Others were beaten too, regardless of socio-economic status. They flayed us regardless and at least two were perverts. I told my mother and she chose to believe I was lying, but that’s her issue to deal with, not mine. I have enough of my own.

  47.  

    The Sisters of Charity got 48 million for the site of their school for visually impaired girls in Merrion alone. The oblates sold a property according to Morning Ireland for 105 million. and these are two orders out of 18. and all the entire 18 can come up with is something like 25-40 million cash.

  48.  

    As someone now resident in Ireland, who left years ago, and made a career in another Country in the Police for 45 years I am appalled that no one, repeat NO ONE did anything about something which it seems a lot of people knew was going on. Where were the Police, The Justiciary, The bloody Law??? The parallels between Hitler’s Germany and De Valera’s Ireland are so close here – the fear of The Establishment; the knowledge of not being believed; the super/master race (in our case the RC Church). Well, we know about it now…There are things to be done. Shun the Catholic Church and give it not one penny until it atones for its collective sins; Spurn Fianna Fail, the corrupt political machine which allowed this wickedness to go unchecked (and who are still telling us that the Church hasn’t any money, namely Bertie Ahern – what a crock of shit); Demand via any means open to you that the offenders be named, shamed, and put on trial – a Jury of decent ‘peers’ will do what Ireland failed to do in the past. Do anything you can to comfort and help those poor betrayed souls who are still with us. DO NOT LET THIS BE SWEPT UNDER THE RC/FF RUG. Never mind who your father voted for; never mind when they tell you, well that was in the past. So was Buchenwald. Stand up, for Christ’s sake.

  49.  

    Bock, Was not Ireland one big industrial school?,

  50.  

    the sisters’ of charity made their way to canada too.i lived only for two weeks with them.i was 16 and had run away from abuse. i ran to the police and they told me i did not have to go home.but they only had this orphange (a girl in stated to me). to put me in.there were two parts to the building and the modern part were priests and the bishop.the little girls were mostly canadian natives(indian).they slept in the new part below the priests.mornings, the nuns would have a wash basin with black tar soap.little girls were in line.one nun would pull the child up to the basin another would visciously slap as hard as she could the face cloth on their faces and rub with a vengeance,then shove her to the bitch with the towel.by the time she finished the girls would be blinking, but not a sound.in the two weeks i had seen none of them cry,i never saw them smile. they were numb. i saw the priests every day drinking wine and getting drunk with the door open in the nuns hall.they had NO fear. i was in shock.they did not hurt me.i was protestant but had lots of catholic friends.had been in two cbs’s and did not witness cruelty there except on the boys,my brother was one.sundays the little ones sat straight up against the wall not allowed to play or speak.the second week,(i was not forced to mass) and volunteered to watch the babies.i was not allowed to pick them up or hug them.i smilingly told them to get off the benches.they were scared to move.but finally i got to get them to play till mass was nearly over.it broke my heart to make them sit down.the nuns did not find out.thats what i choose to believe to this day.i will never forget what i witnessed.the anglican,united and other churches got away with this. these pigs are sadists. i know far worse had happened in that evil place.those girls are the only ones who paid the price.i cannot forget.i will never forgive. i am not afraid to name the evil.i hope this site is not afraid.the McConnel Institute,Edmonton Alberta Canada the year: !955. please forgive my spelling.

  51.  

    @ Bearhunter et at, why are people STILL afraid to name names?? You say it like its on the tip of your tongue. So do it , why protect these vile abusers?

  52.  

    CREAGH LANE SCHOOL LIMERICK. 1957 PRIMARY CERT CLASS.

    I NEED TO MAKE CONTACT WITH FELLOW CLASSMATES IN ORDER TO RESOLVE ISSUES OF THAT YEAR IN PARTICULAR.

    I AM ALSO KNOWN AS MATT MATTHEW MATTIE ETC., I LIVED ON CASTLE STREET THEN. YOU CAN CONTACT ME ON THE FOLLOWING ; E-MAIL ADDRESS, oceanspan@gmail.com
    Best Regards Maitiu.

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