Advertisement
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Good Shepherd Convent Dunboyne

11012141516

Comments



  • Hi girls. I'm new to this forum so not too sure what I'm doing. I was in Dunboyne from Easter until may 1989. I had to give up my daughter too like so many others.
    I have contact with her so I'm one if the lucky ones. Reunion and building some sort of a relationship is not an easy landscape to navigate but I suppose nothing in life's perfect. Still feel v aggrieved regarding the whole situation, the way society was at that time and the role the Catholic Church played in all of that.
    I don't have bad memories about my time in Dunboyne in fact it was a relief to get away from the atmosphere I was living with at home and realise I wasn't the only girl in Ireland that this happened to. I remember packing the cards and the schoolroom and that awful laundry out the side of the building. I shared a room with a Gillian from Dublin and a Laura from cork I think. I remember Grace and a few faces s but names are eluding me.

    It still bothers me that we gave up our children as if giving up a puppy and no counselling nor aftercare were offered in the aftermath. I can only say I suffered from what id describe as Post Traumatic Shock for 17 years afterwards until I finally went searching for help and support to finally deal with my buried grief and loss.
    As part of my healing Iv returned to Dunboyne castle myself on three occasions, once with my husband, once on my daughters 20th birthday on my own n once with my daughter. I asked at reception if i could go n look around the old part of the convent and found myself back in the first room i was brought into when i arrived, just inside the front door. Emotional to say the least. I'd love to meet up there with a few of ye the next time ye go there. It's so nice to finally get to talk to others who were in Dunboyne as sometimes it feels so surreal as if I'd dreamt it. Louise x




  • I was resident of Dunboyne Castle mother & baby home from about March - June 73. I will never forget Sr Ann who was the midwife there and I cant remember the sister's name who was the social worker then but looking back now we were lucky to be there and not some other hell hole, like some of the poor other creatures who found themselves in. My memories of my stay in Dunboyne are good but not what happened to me. I believe my health has suffered because of what happened to me, not been able to speak to anyone, always denying I had a son, when people would say "such a pity you never had a son" I felt like screaming out, I did have one but he was taken from me. After 40+ yrs the pain is still raw. Good health and happiness to all the women who went up the front steps to the Convent.




  • Some of you may have heard Pat Kenny on Newstalk today, talking to women who have had their babies adopted. It was a preview of a radio programme which will be aired on tomorrow April 12 at 7am and repeated Sunday 13 at 6pm. On Podcast too. It's called 'A Pocket of Time- The other side of the Adoption story' and focuses on the mothers experience of adoption.




  • Hello all,

    I am an adopted person and only recently decided to make contact with the agency who arranged my adoption for information regarding my birth mum. I've just met with a social worker and got some non identifying information. It has ignited a curiosity in me and I would like to no more about what it was like for my bm in the mother and baby home. My birth mum came to the Good Shepherd mother and baby home in Dunboyne in December 1971. She was from Connaught and I know she went home for Christmas. She returned to the home early January and I was born in February 1972 in Holles Street. Its a long shot but I was wondering if there was anyone there around that time to give me some info on what it was like. It was probably unusual at the time in so far as she may have been a lot older than most girls in the home. She was in her early 40's when she gave birth to me. I dont know her name, the sw is unable to give it me as yet.


  • Advertisement


  • Hello Jovi
    I was in Dunboyne 76/77, it probably wasn't too different from when your mother was there.

    I will send you a PM.




  • My parents bought a pup from Sr. Ann. Ivan was a Samoyed. I was in the home from August 1986 until December 1986. My little girl was born in Holles Street in November and I held her for five days until I walked out of the hospital without her. My friend, Melissa, had her twins around the same time and she stayed with my little girl until the social worker came to take her. I couldn't bear to be there for that.

    I went home but was a day there when I asked my parents to bring me back to the home. I really became attached to the place....it was so peaceful and we were treated like human beings.

    Two other girls I remember were Vera and Maggie. I remember Maggie's green dress with a pattern, like it was yesterday. I drove in around it once since that time and it felt like my heart had stopped beating....very emotional.

    I got word a couple of weeks ago that my little girl, who is almost 28, has come searching for me. Needless to say, I am so overjoyed! Please, if you were there around the same time as me, please tell me. :) Thank you for reading this.




  • Hi Anne I left dunboyne in march of 1986 I am delighted that your daughter has found you I too was went back to dunboyne recently and found it very emotional and like yourself I didn't want to go home from dunboyne I wanted to stay there as I was happier there than I was at home




  • Hi Anne, I was in Dunboyne from January to April '74. My daughter was born in Hollis Street, I nursed her for a week after the birth. The day I was discharged was the last I seen of her for 28 years. I am glad to hear your daughter has traced you and wish you every happiness in the future. We have a group for Irish First Mothers on facebook if you would like to join us. The group is a closed confidential group and only for Irish Birth Mothers whose children were set for adoption in Ireland.

    facebook.com/groups/IrishFirstMothers/

    Regards
    Kathy


  • Advertisement


  • Hi all! I was there for 5-6 months in 1979. My experience was a complete nightmare. I went in there because I had no where else to go. My family didn't want me at home, or the baby after giving birth. While I was there I spent all my time thinking how I would be able come out of there with my baby and where I could go after. Cutting a long story short, I had the head nun,I cant think of her name. I must have pushed it way back into the subconscious, taking me into her office most days trying to force me into signing adoption papers, I believe there were three papers to be signed, two before birth, and the final paper after the birth.
    This nun was what I can only describe as an psychopath, because of how she reacted towards me when I refused to sign the forms. I say psychopath because I can never get the picture of her face, how twisted and evil she looked when she wasn't getting her own way. She punished me by getting me to clean the outside windows with newspapers and vinegar, and you all know how high up they were. I had to climb the ladder and do a lot of stretching in order to do a proper job, "there was no need for this they had a window cleaner". On a daily basis I was summonsed to clean out each of the nuns bedrooms each of which had on suites, not an easy task when you are pregnant, for most of the time I was feeling sick while cleaning, they obviously weren't bothered about now I seen their private space.
    Anyway, after giving birth they stole my baby! I was up in my bedroom taking with one of the girls. a few of the girls arrived into the room and said they were taking away my baby. I rushed down the corridor with the girls, we looked out the window only to see two nuns, one handing over my son to who ever was in the van. Again I got downstairs to the front door, the van had gone. Now that is just the tip of the iceberg.




  • sorry if I upset anyone by writing the above. Maybe...., Im not sure if this is the right forum for me to write about my experience. From what I see now, there dosen't appear to be posts of a similar experience. If, it is not the right place, again I am truely sorry people. And if anybody can direct me onto the right forum, or lend some advice it would be truely appriciated.




  • It's absolutely the right place Pamela and welcome to Boards.
    It's just hard sometimes to find words to adequately respond to your experience.
    You say the tip of the iceberg - I'm almost afraid to ask but was that the last you saw of your baby?

    [It's also not the busiest forum so it might take a while longer for a response than other parts of Boards]




  • Pamela that is just so sad. I cannot believe that in more recent years they took your baby without the papers being fully signed. Have you ever tried to trace your son?




  • Hi Hermy! Thanks for your response. No it wasn't the last time I seen him. I went back home, my cousin kindly allowed me to live with her and her family. I went to the social worker, who organised my stay at Dunboyne. I went to her office for many, many weeks, it went into almost 3 months, asking her where my son was, and how I wanted him back with me.. Again cutting the story short, she told me he was at St Clares Stumullen. I went to St Clares on a number of occasions before they allowed me in to see him, I'll never forget seeing him, he looked so grown up,. I later found out that my son was actually with a family in Castlpollard Co Westmeath, who obviously thought they were going to be adobting him, because these actual people who had him actually christened him during his stay " words are hard to decribe the feeling, of not addending your own babys christening".
    When I finally got my son, I quickly got married to his father " a mistake on both parts", and hurried away to England, for fear of them taking him away again.

    With all the reflecting I have been doing over the years, and that void I carry with me for the rest of my life, from missing the most important part " the 3 months bonding process" and my babys Christening, I have come to the conclusion that the "Sale" of my baby was very close to been sealed.




  • sorry about spellings there Hermy! I shouldn't write without my glases :)




  • Well done Pamela on your bravery for standing up to these people. I am glad for you that you did get to take your baby home with you (I assumed you had not from your first post) It's shocking to think that you were very close to losing him through what sounds like forced adoption.




  • Thank you Ghekko




  • survived wrote: »
    What a truly great day for the madelene survivors. does anyone out there know is there anywhere we can register to even get an apology for our treatment in dunboyne although it was in no way in comparison to the madelene laundries we did work, our real names were taken from us we paid the nuns for the pleasure of being there !!!!!! etc etc is there anyone that feels the same way as i do. The nuns also got paid for the laundry and the packing of cards we the girls did all the work cooking cleaning etc we paid them as did the government would love to hear so views.

    I agree with you entirely! I know from my experience... the psychological damage is ongoing, I never did recover properly.




  • Hi All,

    I too stayed at the convent from Jan 83 until June 83 and had the pleasure of knowing St Cait. I have never known, until this day, a more kind hearted person than Cait. All my experiences there were good, even if the circumstances was not great, I was only 17. We were never chastised for our situation, we were treated with kindness and compassion, and never forced to do anything against our will. My situation was not as bad as some of the girls, I didn't have to hide my situation from my parents, I was there because my boyfriends parents wanted me there, and to give up my baby but I was lucky, I was allowed to keep my baby and he is now 29yrs old. Not everyone was as lucky as me but it was my decision and any girl who gave up her baby was very brave, it was and will be the hardest decision they will ever have to make. I know it was the 80s but those who post and say it was an awful place is lying, in my opinion. The nuns were lovely, they never treated us badly, I even sat my leaving cert there, they even hired tutors for me. If anyone reads this and thinks its easy to give up their baby is far from mistaken, those girls done the best they could in a bad and difficult situation. Sr Cait, Claire and Maura were saints esp Cait, I cannot imagine how my life would be now if someone had forced me to put my baby up for adoption, it was left to us. That is not to say we were not encouraged for adoption and yes it was discussed, but in the end in it was our parents decision whether we could take the baby home. I was lucky they said yes.

    I find what you are saying here to be very hurtful. To say that those who were mistreated were lyres.How dare you!!! Just because your experience was different. Those who has had a bad experience, do not need people like you to crush them down even further. SHAME ON YOU...for posting such a discusting statement. You shouldnt be on this forum...."because yoiur alright" Arn't you Jack!!!


  • Advertisement


  • pamela1961 wrote: »
    I find what you are saying here to be very hurtful. To say that those who were mistreated were lyres.How dare you!!! Just because your experience was different. Those who has had a bad experience, do not need people like you to crush them down even further. SHAME ON YOU...for posting such a discusting statement. You shouldnt be on this forum...."because yoiur alright" Arn't you Jack!!!

    You need to change that name too! Sunshine does not suit this cold, dark, dreary statement.




  • Ghekko wrote: »
    Pamela that is just so sad. I cannot believe that in more recent years they took your baby without the papers being fully signed. Have you ever tried to trace your son?

    I managed to get him back in the end Ghekko




  • hi,
    no-one in my opinion will ever get an apology from the nuns, who ruined so many lives. through one mistake that will live with us a lifetime:(

    Hi, I agree with you totally! This message actually warms my heart. I am looking here on this forum, and all I am seeing is how lovely the nuns were, the name and make of the dog ect. I am not sure if these people are in denial, have memory loss, or they were simply the lucky ones, I do hope it is the latter one. Where are all the people who had their babys taken away by the nuns. My feeling is that it is to painful for them to go there. And the reason being, I am finding being on here, to be a very painful experience myself.
    And why are the people on this forum dismissing the fact that this did happen? Do they have any idea this did happen, or are they not bothere because their personal experience went their way?




  • Ghekko wrote: »
    Pamela that is just so sad. I cannot believe that in more recent years they took your baby without the papers being fully signed. Have you ever tried to trace your son?


    I managed to get him back after 3 months. He was at a couples home in the next county. obviously these people thought the were "buying" him, ad they went ahead and christened him. I lost 3 of the most important months of bonding with my baby, something you can never recover from, and missed my own babys christening. When I did finally get him back I left for the UK streight away, for fear they would take him back.




  • Hi Girls,
    My name is Amy, my mam Julie was in the Good Shepherd in Dunboyne in 1987 she was only 15yrs old when she went in, she doesnt really talk about being in there she only tells me that it was a learning experience it helped her to grow up, she says that some of the nuns were lovley but some werent so nice, I cant imagine how she felt. I speak more to my gran about things because I dont like to upset my mam and bring back the memories but I am curious, I remember my gran telling me that I was supposed to be put up for adoption as per the nuns wishes but when they seen me their minds were changed :) as you can imagine I am terribly close to both my mam and grandparents. I know that literally a handful of girls out there had gotten this opportunity and I know I am so lucky. All of these stories have melted my heart and I really hope that anybody out there looking for their mother/children have a good outcome, as I know that yrs ago it was so frowned upon to have a child out of wedlock or for different circumstances such as rape ect. I would love for anyone that was in there from March 1987 to Oct 1987 to get in contact as I know mum would like to meet up or chat,
    lots of love, Amy




  • pamela1961 wrote: »
    I agree with you entirely! I know from my experience... the psychological damage is ongoing, I never did recover properly.

    L ately my head is compleatly mashed up i cant think straight After so many years of councelling etc I thought I had myself in some sort of order but lately there are so many more questions i want answered. Why was i stupid enough to agree to accepting my name change during my time there? why did i not form any friendships ? Im an outgoing person.!! Why did i work so hard for nothing ?These are but a few ? Has anybody gotten their records from dunboyne and if so how do i go about it? Also I would like to get my hospital records from holles st I was told how to obtain them a couple of years ago but didnt do it, can anyone help or advise Thank you. I also believe holles street has a lot to answer also for the treatment of unmarried mothers, maybe not all but i personally was treated barbaric If anyone can help or would like to join me in doing this pm me and i will give my email address im not great on this Thanks again




  • Nellan wrote: »
    I was there Sept 1980 to Jan 1981, can't remember the name I was given or many of other girls names. I think Sr. Claire was the nun we went to re any medical problems and Sr Regina was in charge. Don't remember any other nuns. My son was born in Holles Street, I hated that place and the person who delivered my baby was a bitch, don't think anyone ever once spoke to me to explain what was happening or offer any kind words. Holles Street in 1981 was not a nice place for unwed mothers!! I could not face letting them take my baby from me at the hospital so I went back to Dunboyne after the hospital for a few days. I was more or less left to my own devices in a small attic room seperate from everyone else with my baby. A very lonely scary time in the days before I had to give my son away. Girls didn't often bring their babies back then. Babies were usually taken away in the hospital but I just couldn't face that. Dunboyne was not a bad place. We were treated ok and it was a place to hide for alot of us girls who had shamed their families & needed a safe place to go. If anyone else was there the same time as me I would love to hear from you.
    I was there at that time nellan and i think i may have tried contacting you but im not very good on this forum if youd like to chat please pm me id really like that thanks




  • Hi I was in dunboyne mother and baby home from nov 82 until march 1983 , I had a baby girl, I have no memory whats so ever going into hospital or giving birth. Only memory I have is holding her, sitting on a ward bed?. I'm hoping something on here will jog my memory, it's driving me crazy. Also remember talking to sister cait , after the birth, am looking into getting medical records, don't even remember signing papers, does anyone know where sister cait is now? Would appreciate any info ,thanks




  • survived wrote: »
    L ately my head is compleatly mashed up i cant think straight After so many years of councelling etc I thought I had myself in some sort of order but lately there are so many more questions i want answered. Why was i stupid enough to agree to accepting my name change during my time there? why did i not form any friendships ? Im an outgoing person.!! Why did i work so hard for nothing ?These are but a few ? Has anybody gotten their records from dunboyne and if so how do i go about it? Also I would like to get my hospital records from holles st I was told how to obtain them a couple of years ago but didnt do it, can anyone help or advise Thank you. I also believe holles street has a lot to answer also for the treatment of unmarried mothers, maybe not all but i personally was treated barbaric If anyone can help or would like to join me in doing this pm me and i will give my email address im not great on this Thanks again


    Hi, you are not on your own with this one. Send me through your email, and we can talk more x


  • Advertisement


  • how did holles st treat the mums?did anyone go with them for their labour?i hate my birthday as i always imagine my mum alone and scared.after the babies were born did ye stay in holles st long?my non iden info says i was in hospital for 2 weeks,i always wondered if my mum was with me for the 2 weeks?
    basically after birth,who was there?nuns?anyone/did mums go back to the home or what happened in days /weeks after?


Advertisement