Keep up the fight for justice for Survivors of Industrial Hellholes. They distroyed our childhoods, and adult lives.
>Andrew Brown on How to think about Sharia. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/jun/30/religion-islam
I don’t have a guardian-account so I have to comment here: Andrew Browns comparison between the sharia/burka-subculture and the homosexual BDSM-subculture and their claims to be tolerated under the law is striking. Both have indeed parallels about strongly fetishized sexual power-relations. Theo van Goghs and Ayaan Hirsi Alis film “submission” already gave us that hint that there is a strong sado-masochistic element in Islamic culture.
The difference is of course that to become a member in a BDSM club is entirely voluntary and that BDSM club members that are parents would be ill-advised to introduce their “culture” to their children at an early age (by f.e. obligatory wearing of a collar or a gag) or spankings etc., that would surely count as child-abuse. Also you can leave the BDSM club anytime you want, without being harassed by members or threatened.
For most become membership in the sharia/burka-subculture is however not the case. Membership is hereditary and for life, and so is your role (that you are conditioned to since you are born) in it. If you want to end your membership or even just your role or “style” (maybe become an “up” instead of a “down” or refuse to wear the “ball-gag” or refuse to spank/get spanked) quite some of the other club-members will object and start pressure and threats and even violence and no code-word will help you end it. Now the proponents of this subculture also want the power to resolve conflicts that are arising within their games (that is not the same as playing the game itself), as in somebody ignores the code-word etc. and violates the partner against his/her will, will get mandatory counselling from the club-owner or party-organiser and no police will be involved.
Long story short: Andrew Brown either doesn’t have a clue or is a demagogue. To compare the BDSM-subculture with sharia is clearly pandering to the prejudices of leftist Babbitts and is actually insulting both practitioners of BDSM and the victims of sharia.
He is actually saying that all those women that are suffering from religiously sanctioned domestic violence are asking for it.
Re: clerical child sex abuse report.
I heard through the grapevine that the report into child sex abuse in the Dublin archdiocese is due out in approximately ten days time.
I wonder will the said victims of this child clerical abuse get postal invitations to see the president of Ireland at Aras An Uchtharain, as did some very selective survivors of institutional child abuse.
I believe seats were almost empty when the latter were entertained to some fine music by the Cheiftains, Mary Black, Phil Coulter and his singer spouse and Riverdance and more. I know for sure that I would have been glued to my privileged seat had I been given an invitation to see Mary McAleece.
It quite reminds me of my time as a child in Goldenbridge when I had to watch (from the sidelines only) every single Wednesday night and sometimes Thursday nights, coming up to competition time, the same privileged (from my perception) children go through their dancing paces. They got to go to the Mansion House at the end of it all to show off their dancing skills and maybe win prizes, while the rest of us, who were cast aside, and who were for purposes of pretense, classed as the ‘lazy lines’ were left to do the menial tasks. Continual cheery-picking, lip-service shenanigans enjoyed by the chosen few.
I wonder will SOME of the clerical abuse victims go one step further up the ladder and be invited to the Vatican? How very exciting that would be for them indeed! Survivors of institutional abuse who were invited to the bishops’ parlour to have tea, some time ago, would be so utterly green with envy.
In fact 9/11, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Queda et al are all arguably signs of the last stand of a patriarchal system of gender apartheid. These big bearded men are so frightened of women and their seductive power they must never be seen in public. Brood mares – bare foot and pregnant – not human beings created according to Chapter I of Genesis of the Books of Moses (shared by Christian, Jew and Muslim theology) – created in his image male and female. And to both was given dominion.
It is time for the Left and the Right in the West to realize this is a true clash of civilization – a real clash – that will determine the future of our species on this planet. When feminists marched in London carrying banners ‘We are all Hamas’ I gave up on the Left. As for the Christian Right – a half veil apparently will do.
Iranian civilization may again rise and become a beacon for all humanity – Free the Women and Free the World.
All the best.
“As a victim of institutional abuse in S Ireland & N Ireland, if we don’t speak out in N Ireland we will never be heard.
I will support anyone but we also have to help ourselves.
If anyone wishes to speak to a reporter reg Institutional Abuse here are the details
Tel 028 90338387
My email: email@example.com – if anyone would like to contact me.”
How come a family who live in Coventry get A £185,000 ++++grant,how often?from the irish government to have a large property in the centre of Dublin,Why??don’t tell me its for survivors ????????all Survivors should be given a decent amount of compensation to purchese their own property, I smell a rat.justice for Irish Survivors.
Bravo, but please proofread more carefully.
yes Paddy, I would like an answer to that,I agree with you,That house is not for survivors of industrial reformatory school’s,but for the benifit of the Coventry family.they couldnt give a fig about survivors,who are still abused ans used by selfish moneygrabbing uncaring people who think only of their bank accounts. X
I love this disagreement between science and religious belief because both sides claim to “know”. I agree that evolutionary science has the most evidence on its side at the moment and religion has the worst arguments, but yet how can anyone claim to know whether or not God exists and what might be his/her/its job description?
Without absolute knowledge it remains “bald men fighting over a comb”, but fascinating nonetheless.
Well done Judge Jones for pulling those particular arguments apart and making a rational judgment about what it is sensible to teach to children, on the evidence available so far.
Re: Hindutva on the attack
Depending on how we define ‘science’ and ‘religion’, both can coexist peacefully or can be in conflict.
If science is defined as rational inquiry and religion is defined as blind faith (“I believe such and such because some authority (scriptures/priests) say so.” then clearly they are in conflict. But if science is defined as rational inquiry about the external/objective reality based on sense perception as the grounds, then philosophical inquiry, aesthetic inquiry, and religious inquiry can all be rational inquiries along with sciences as one of the forms of rational inquiry. They are concerned with different questions and appeal to different kinds of grounds, and need not necessarily be in conflict.
If we adopt the second definition, science has nothing to say about the ultimate meaning and purpose in life and about what is morally good. And religion has nothing to say about the nature of the solar system, the origins of life and the origins of the universe, or about whether a king called Rama as described in Ramayana actually existed (I agree that religions as sociocultural institutions as they exist do not practice this version of religious inquiry, but I am talking about how it ought to be, not how it is.)
Rational knowledge is a set of propositions that we judge to be true, are rationally justified and are subject to the prohibition of logical inconsistency. Suppose we define “rational faith” as a set of axiomatic beliefs that we subscribe to, and are subject to the prohibition of logical inconsistency, but cannot be rationally justified on independent grounds. The belief that there is an external world that exists outside my consciousness, the belief that that world is governed by a small set of organizing principles, etc are all matters of rational faith then, underlying the search for rational inquiry in science.
If we make this move, we can define “rational religious faith” as a set of axiomatic beliefs about the nature of Ultimate Reality and its relation to human life. Suppose I hold the view that the phenomenal universe is a manifestation of an Ultimate Sacred Reality (not a Deity that is external to the world and intervenes in the affairs of the world.) You might accuse me of hold a vague view, but not holding a view that is inconsistent with the results of scientific inquiry. But the advantage of having such a view is that I am now free to invent meaning and purpose of life from this axiom.
We cannot prevent humans from their quest for meaning and purpose in life. Hence, rather than opposing religions point blank (which is futile, because irrationality cannot be opposed on rational grounds) it would be best to educate the young to find ways of combining rational religious faith with rational secular faith and rational knowledge. This move probably is the best defense against Hindutva and other forms of fundamentalism.
Concerning J L Leach’s excellent article about religious morality, it rankles me to see Augustine described as a saint. Must we secularists defer to religious sensitivities and customs when we write about their deluded and sometimes savage heroes? I don’t think so.
It may come as a surprise, that coming up to age 78 I’m on a journey of discovery. I chose to block out a time that should have been my childhood. That stolen time was up to the age of 16. I’ve always understood life started in an orphanage, then at age 16 I was transferred to Artane. I came to accept I was of no use and unwanted, just a boy called Charlie and a number were my worldly possessions.
At around age 16 I was summoned to the office to be confronted by a strange woman. “What’s your name?” “Charlie.” I answered. Questioning the Brother, “Have you got the right Boy?.” The Brother: “What’s your number boy?” I was relieved,to know the answer. The Brother “That’s your son alright.” She reached out to me; like a scared dog I backed off.
She had no place for me to stay and passed me on to a young married girl (my sister). The sister took me to live with her and husband a single room in a slum building in Little Mary Street, Dublin.
Needless to say I ran away from these strangers and made my way alone in the city for a year. By 17 I had left for England and joined the forces.
Far from my past I chose to leave the “boy called Charlie” locked behind the gates of Artane. I got on with a new life in a strange new world.
I hit the ground running both mentally and physically. With the love of a poor teenage factory girl from Co. Durham I could dream. Years later our daughter would say of me; “Dad you live in a make-believe world.” She understood later when I replied: “I make my beliefs come true.”
I dreamed of having a large country house with land where children could feel free in mind and body. That dream was achieved plus I was able to retire by age 54 to enjoy seeing 9 grandchildren grow up to have children of their own.
In 1986 I received a letter from a woman in Manchester; “I believe that my Mum is your sister!” She was the sister I ran from in 1948!
There was another sister living in Ireland. I made arrangements for all three of us to meet for the first time at our house since the family break up some time in the early 1930s.
When I asked the younger one: “Did your Mother ever talk about me?” She just cried and became very upset. I learned nothing from our meeting.
Since the events of the past months and years, I have found the banging and screaming of “Charlie” to be released too much bear.
I now discover that the younger sister was sent to Goldenbridge when she was about six.
In 2006 Ilearned that I was charged at Dublin DC with begging in 1934 (I was two year old) and ordered by a Judge Cussin to be detained till I was sixteen. Now I learn that St. Patrick’s in Kilkenny was an Industrial.
I never got to know the sister before she died.
Somehow I think I was one of the lucky ones. In spite of all the abuse I suffered (I knew no different)I’ve lived a life that few educated people can ever experience.
The best part is I achieved the impossible dream in caring for my wife of 52 yrs of marriage. When all the ‘experts’ and doctors said it was impossible to care for anyone in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, at home without help I considered it a very great privilege. She could no longer speak or move and was less than 6 stone. I was advised not to sit holding her hand over night as she would pass away when I made a drink or visited the bathroom. She lived a further four and a half years! Love denied as a child I was happy to repay.
There are still more questions than answers. With a little luck I’ll get to see and maybe understand the whole picture.
“I now discover that the younger sister was sent to Goldenbridge when she was about six.”
Firstly, Charlie, thank you for sharing your experience in two industrial schools with B&W readers and also, of course, your life thereafter the institutions. I am filled with new encouragement just reading your very eloquent post.
I wonder if I knew your younger sister from her incarceration days in Goldenbridge industrial schools at all?
There were many other children in Goldenbridge, who like you, also had brothers in Artane as well as other far-off flung country industrial schools, but they were never mostly told anything about them. If there ever happened to have been even one rare visit from their male siblings during their whole detention period the children were inevitably left stunned and utterly confused as to who these strange siblings were who came to visit them. The whole visiting scenario was so surreal and strange and sorrowful. They just stood in there in the unaptly named ‘villa’ visiting quarters (which was deliberately separated from the industrial school – as segregation in that respect was also the name of the game) which was manned by staff standing at the main door.
It was absolutely crazy that a child of two should be detained in two institutions for so-called ‘begging’. On a similar note – It was stated on my court papers that I was ‘destitute’ which was also like your case a whole load of baloney. The previous feeder institution, the Regina Ceoli where I had resided in prior to my detention, had no time- limit to ones stay there and the founder of the institution, Frank Duff, publicly decried and abhorred industrial schools and wanted them once and for all disbanded with completely. Nonetheless, in saying this, he never once visited me when I ultimately landed up in Goldenbridge.
Yeah, Patrick’s, Kilkenny was surely an industrial school as opposed to an orphanage, the latter word being invariably a euphemism for a children’s lock-up jail. We were indubitably classed by all as orphans – when in fact we were not mostly so orphans at all. I note too that so many city children were sent to country institutions and visa versa.
You were blessed to have had some semblance of normality in your adult life and that you went on to create a good life of your own. Sorry that the past had to rear its ugly head – but still it is better that it should have happened this this way. The black mantle of the past can now be rightfully and gracefully discarded and placed where it belongs at the door of the religious. Thanks Charlie for sharing your very courageous story about life in that despicable notorious Artane industrial school and St Patrick’s Kilkenny.
Marie, thank you for your kind comments. I failed to mention that my name was/is Patrick. With reference to where my sister was sent with the break up of the family; I contacted Barnardos in Ireland in May and had a reply stating that I’m on a waiting list and they would be in touch in ‘the near future’. In the mean while I did discover for myself that she was sent to Goldenbridge, her name was Margaret Rice.
Whilst caring for my wife I snatched time while she slept to write the story if my early childhood. In it I state that by the time I left Artane, my developmental levels were stunted, plus I was emotionally barren. ‘Lonesome Stray’ was published in August 2007. When I set out rejecting any help in caring for my wife, I looked up the internet to see if anyone was/or had attempted what I was doing. The answer was, and still is; ‘it’s not possible.’
When I explained that I had been doing it alone for more than three years, I was given my own slot to tell my story. The story ran for 18 months up to her death. More than 20 thousand people followed part one. I made the point of never giving advice, but just to tell what I was doing and my perception of the illness. Many suggested I write about my experiences of caring for my wife. One expert with 30 years experiences referred to me as her mentor!
I knew ‘ordinary’ people wouldn’t believe what I had done. After all who could comprehend the mindset of an ex-detainee of the hell-holes other than a fellow survivor. With that in mind I finished the second book ‘The Impossible Dream’ by the end of April.
I’m still awaiting it back from the proof reader.
Marie, you gave me a wonderful piece of information!
The information I received through the Freedom of Information Act, consists of 4 sheets of paper mostly blanked out. They contain my name ‘Charlie’ and number. The one piece of information you could shed some light on: Mother in Regina Coeli Hostel. Father deserted family.
What strange sick people were running the country then? Before leaving Ireland to join the British Forces I required the signature of a guardian. The person I sought? My birth father! I tracked him down to a corporation house in Dublin. He was happily living with a woman to whom he fathered five children! The eldest boy was not much younger than I. With his signature I was free of Ireland. I bet there are many relatives over there I know nothing about.
“I did discover for myself that she was sent to Goldenbridge, her name was Margaret Rice.”
Nope, Patrick, unfortunately the name does not ring a bell with me with respect of Goldenbridge. But I expect there are ex-inmates out there who may know her. Did your sister Margaret stay for a long time in GB? In other words, was she sentenced by the court to remain there until she was sixteen years old, like the rest of us. She was very young at only six years old to land up in an institution. It must have been devastating for her to have found herself one minute in the outside world and then the next planted in a – closed off -from the world, child’s prison, because that is exactly what it was at GB. The same applies to yourself who also had the misfortune, like myself, to go to two institutions. Lots of boys upon reaching age ten years of age were transferred from Goldenbridge to Artane. The girls, there, who had brothers were unfathomably so bereft of their siblings. The system in place was so heartless and callous and had no consideration for children at all. Fancy sending you off to St Patrick’s, Kilkenny, when your original abode was Dublin! That was to make sure you had very few visits from your family. It was common practice at the time.
Have you been in contact with “Origins?” If not do check it out. It is an organisation which deals with tracing families etc.