Posts Tagged ‘ Irish industrial schools ’

She was never told why she was hauled away

Nov 20th, 2013 9:35 am | By

Elizabeth Coppin is a survivor of both an Irish industrial “school” and a Magdalene laundry. She has taken her fight for justice to the UN.

Terrified Elizabeth Coppin was just 14 when she was taken out of the Co Kerry industrial school she had attended for 12 years and “locked up” in the Peacock Lane Laundry in Cork.

She was never told why she was hauled away from everything she knew and dumped in the hated institution with the chilling warning: “It will be a very long time before you get out.”

And it was the start of a hellish four years in three laundries for Elizabeth where she was:

  • FORCED to work long days with no pay
  • MADE to
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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)


Mar 9th, 2013 | By Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

Shunning Part I

There’s been a lot of talk lately in the blogosphere corners I frequent on shunning. It has prompted me to write a few thoughts on what shunning means to me personally. 
The very thought of the word absolutely sends shivers down my spine. Shunning is indicative of pure ruthless social rejection, a thing I grew up with in Goldenbridge. I also associate it with children who were very friendly with each other in the institution, who, alas, were severely mocked and jeered and separated from each other by staff. The latter called them ‘love birds’ then castigated and shunned them. There were also children who were different from others, and they too were deliberately avoided by other … Read the rest

It was torture

Sep 29th, 2011 10:26 am | By

Amnesty International Ireland commissioned a new report on the abuse of children in Irish institutions run by the state and the church, and it was released on Monday. I shall now read that report.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “The abuse of tens of thousands of Irish children is perhaps the greatest human rights failure in the history of the state. Much of the abuse described in the Ryan Report meets the legal definition of torture under international human rights law.

“Children were tortured. They were brutalised; beaten, starved and abused. There has been little justice for these victims. Those who failed as guardians, civil servants, clergy, gardaí and members of religious orders have

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)

Goldenbridge II

Feb 1st, 2007 | By Marie-Therese O'Loughlin

“The Children Act allowed destitute children to be sent to industrial schools, even if they hadn’t committed a crime.” Paddy Doyle.


This “destitution” lark was a ruse used by the judiciary and the religious in order to obtain convictions. I was, for example, in a feeder institution, known as The Regina Ceoli, Mother and Baby unit for over four and a half years. So how could I have been even considered “destitute” by the judiciary? “Destitution”, this terminology, was in my estimation “illegally used” on my committal order to Goldenbridge Industrial School – where I was incarcerated until I was sixteen years old. There was no limit on my stay in the “hostel”.

It is imperative for people to … Read the rest

The Goldenbridge Secret Rosary Bead Factory

Dec 27th, 2006 | By Marie-Therese O'Loughlin

Making rosary beads

From the middle 1950s to the late 60s, after ‘school’ at 4pm, children from the age of six were issued one slice of bread and margarine and then sent into St. Bridget’s classroom to make rosary beads. The classroom did duty as a mini-factory for the manufacture of rosary beads.

Each day of their lives children had to reach a quota of sixty decades and twelve threes. The task of rosary bead making is a very skilled one, and it required strict deliberation. Beads are strung onto a length of wire and are looped into the relevant beads very intricately, with the aid of heavyweight pliers. There were variations in the thickness of the wire. Silver wire, … Read the rest