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Good Shepherd Convent Dunboyne



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 karen from cork

    hi there , ya its like another time , im just wondering did we share a room i think it was the first or second room on the left going down the hall, 3 beds when u come into bedroom 2beds to the left wall then on the right were 2 sinks with a screen covering them, then there was my bed to the right and 2 big windows looking out onto a green.Do u remember the choirs that were done after breakfast and the taking turns in the kitchen wid the cook to do dinner? ITS only lately i found out the home was turned into a hotel . I have also thought about going back there but would i remember it before it was changed then i was thinkin do i want to bring back the past. .

  • Registered Users Posts: 324 ✭✭ kathy finn

    hi, it,s great to see all u birthmothers chatting about ur experiences here, just goes to show how much things have changed and u can talk openly.
    u should all arrange a get together. kathy

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 karen from cork

    hi kathy was reading bac over threads i remember one or 2 visitors when i was in the home ,but we never met these people. have thought about going back but it would have changed so much , i gave my baby up , but stayed in contact wid the ad mother through the agency , and my daughter and i met up 2yrs ago we met a couple of times , then last yr she said it was too much and needed a break, i was gutted as i recieved this info from her via text , i think alot of this has to do wid loyalty to the adoptive parents ,she then made contact to me text and i then returned a message i was thrilled , then heard no more so decided to send email a mnth ago and she sent 1 back , i am taking it very slow,as i dont want to get hurt again or put pressure on her i want her to take it at her own pace i relise i wont have the fairytale relationship i would like but am happy to know there is contact.and that she knows that i love her so so much and am always there for her .

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 Mazdoll

    We are amazing women.

    Huge hugs to you all who have posted here.
    Yes I remember you. lauradin and karen from Cork.
    Sitting her with tears streaming down my face. I always wondered about us all, so good to hear from you.

    Ladies we all have a strong bond, nothing can change that. But how wonderfull to hear your voices. Isnt it great. I never dreamed the response my post would get. At last. Not silent anymore.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 karen from cork

    hi mazdoll, ya the years have made me a stronger person , but i do often regret giving my baby up , then i think i probably would not have met my husband , who i told from the very beginning about my little girl he was very supportive. unfortunatly i had signed all the adoption paper work at that stage be4 i met him ,which was a yr and a half later , he often said to me that he would have loved my daughter as his own if we had met b4 i had signed my papers , isnt life strange !!! well we have 3 other children who are my pride and joy , but still miss my first . I cant place u mazdoll , were u up in the private rooms !!!thats what i used to call them as they were up a little stairs ? i remember that summer i was so hot and we used to sit out the back and sometimes those of us that were legal used go to the pub to have a glass of guinness to keep our iron levels up !!! then if there was a good movie on and the lights out were i think 11. some of the girls used to sneak down to watch a movie , were u one of those rebels.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 karen from cork

    babyblessed, thank u from karen from cork

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 kk1990

    i cant believe i finally found something about ard mhuire i was there from 1st april to 1st august 1988 and made so many good friends who we could never make contact with again( for obvious reasons) i think about ye all often and would love to meet with ye all again i had a baby boy who i kept i'd love to hear from ye all again

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 martin1357

    Hi everyone.
    my name is martin and I am trying to contact someone whom I was going out with in 75.She was pregnant when we met I was prepared to stand by her but her family wouldn't hear of it and sent her to dunboyne mother and baby home (She was 16)Her Name was Eilish ( won't tell her surname) there from Jan 75 til April 75 approx. Baby adopted against her will and mine.she was from Athlone I used to visit every sunday I am from NI now living and a magistrate in Leicester England. Grateful for any help god bless you all

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6 karen from cork

    hi martin , seen yr post , that must have been very hard for u. If u go to the first page of posts there might be some useful info there , also maybe this lady and her child have made contact already ,just wondering why now u want to make contact , and also if this lady has a family of her own now she may not want to be dragging up the past! put i do know that if u have her surname the tax office or social welfare would have a current address hopefully , tread carefully. good luck karen

  • Registered Users Posts: 210 ✭✭ tyview

    Hi Martin,
    Just wondering if you've put your name on the contact preference register? It might be a long shot but you never know. Best of luck!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3 queeniee33

    helen k wrote: »
    hi i was in dunboyne from september 1988 and left in march 1989 .i remember sister anne and the husky dog was anybody there at tht time tht remembers helen k. i just found this site tonight and am shocked and intrigued by it all its 21 yrs since i was there and had a happy out come

    Hi Helen.

    I was ther myself from October 88 to December 88

  • Registered Users Posts: 19 sheba99

    Hi everyone

    I was in Dunboyne from January '74 until April '74. I came across your posts on a google search. I reconnected with my daughter when she was 28. I had blanked a lot of the Nun's names out of my head until I read this thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Cathy69

    Hi to all of you who have previously posted. I happened to come across this thread when I went on the 'net to show my daughter the hotel that now replaces the convent.

    I was in the Convent from May to Sept 1985. I only have a few memories of my time there. I remember the day I arrived. I was so afraid. My mother and father brought me there and I had secretly devised a code word with my mother so that if I was treated bad in any way I could mentioned the code on the phone. I never needed to use it though !
    I was only 16 at the time and went on to keep my son, who will be 26 next week.

    I do remember spending a lot of time knitting, and that the weather was gorgeous that summer. I remember there was a smoking and non-smoking sitting room and that I used to make "eggy bread" for a bunch of us in the evening when we got hungry !

    I never felt that my experience there was bad in any way and have often wondered therefore why I dont remember very much about those few months.

    I could never remember the name of the nuns - thanks for jogging the memory.

    If anyone does organise a reunion, I would love to go !

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 orange girl

    Hi Alish i remember u, u were leaving the week after i arrived, good to hear u and ur son are doing well

  • Registered Users Posts: 7 orange girl

    Hi tjere penny
    re yur uncle gerry , i have vivid memories of being in the height of labour and he was driving me in and was so careful not to make my pain worse watching evry bump, and telling me its ok, i had no family and so he stayed with me right up to my admission to the labour room, so sad such a kind man had a difficult end, he showed kindness when i felt very alone and only 16 then x x x to his family

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1 Lookingwithin

    Hello All,

    I stumbled across this thread as I was browsing for any updated news on Ard Mhuire, Dunboyne.

    I have spent the past hour or two with my mum reading out the different threads, some stories of happiness, hope and sadness too. My mum was sent to Dunboyne home for unmarried mothers in January of 1975 and I was born in June 1975, I cannot help feeling privileged to read your many stories. The reason Im humbled at aged 36, is that my mother and in turn my grandparents and greater family network helped my mum. My mother had come to the decision to not place for adoption to 2 school teachers in Galway, grateful that I have been over the decades for this decision. It never felt so profound than tonight when reading the many stories you have all shared on here. My mother has said in time that she will too reply to the thread but in her own time, which I respect.

    I will however install that the power of the young women who were placed there for many different reasons, should not go unnoticed. Many of these women have still to comprehend what they experienced in Dunboyne Castle, it almost irks me to call it by that name as it gives it status, a castle has connotations of a protectorate, haven, almost fairytale like of which I dont feel it was for my mother and I speak only on the basis of my mothers experience. The great strength that these women had, to go through their daily chores of cleaning, prayers, ceilis and the sort whilst having life inside them is too much for a man like me to speak of.

    Similar to other stories on this thread, my mother did marry my father and soon separated. She single handedly faced off societies unjust judgements through my childhood with great self worth and strength. Dublin inner city in 1975 as an unmarried mother was no mean feat, this she did with grace and poise not with arrogance but with the love of her parents and sister and brothers. Please do not misinterpret me writing this, I feel, as I said privileged and if i can assist anyone in anyway in helping them move forward i would gladly try. My childhood was not idyllic but it was happy, my mother went through the recession of the 80's on 3 day weeks and cleaned toilets at her workplace to make a better life for us both.

    I will close this now as I have a tendency to go off on tangents, and dont wish to bore the reader. Thank you for all your posts that i was able to read, and when I sleep tonight and think of all the courageous mothers out there that had to make a decision to keep there babies or to not. Well i will never know that feeling, as I am not a woman foremost, but more importantly daily fears I question like if a bus is late, skinny late or double mocha, will i go out for dinner or just get takeaway. How could I comprehend the decision my mother and others like her had to take when they were so young, vulnerable, isolated from their lives at home and have a life in their little tummies. I salute them ....... R

  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,881 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Moonbeam

    Thank you for sharing yours and your mothers story with us.
    It sounds like you have an amazing extended family and a very strong and proud mammy.

    I recently stayed in Dunboyne castle and could not help thinking how different things must have been for my birth mother and other girls in the 70s/80s. The were ostracised and sent away and I am also an unmarried mother but we all live together as a happy family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 marmer

    Hi All,
    Just came across thsi thread. Reading all your post brought so many memories back. My son is 33 now, I was in Dunboyne July/August/Sept 1978. I can't look at bread & butter pudding since! I wonder if anyone reading this was there the same time as me? My name there was Katie. There were connections between there and the baby home in Stamullen. I know this because I was meant to train as a nursery nurse in Stamullen when I becaem pregnant. The nuns there would not allow me to begin training but suggested (if I didn't watn to tell my family) that I go to Dunboyne, gave me contact details, and forwarded all my post while I was there. It;s so weird writing this down all those years later.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 minnie10

    Hi Odette75,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I was delighted to read that you weren't adopted, you were one of the lucky ones. Although I say that and really I was lucky too becauseI have such wonderful supportive adopted parents. |
    Could you tell me if your mother could tell me anything as she was in at the same time as my mother. Would she even know what the number on the application for staullum would have been. Would it have been my mothers age, or just a bed number?? Anything you could tell me would be great.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12 minnie10

    Hello lookingwithin,

    Your story is another happy one, although your mother faced tough times while bringing you up. Could you ask your mother if she the women spoke to one another about their babies when they gave birth, maybe if they described them, although this might have been too upsetting. Its just that there woudl have been so many girls in duboyne at any one time, but as your mother was in at the same time as my mother, she might remember a girl descibing her baby girl have odd shaped ears, my ears didn't form correctly. Any thing your mother could tell me would be great.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Laura Young

    Hi guys
    I only googled Good shepard Dunboyne now and saw all your comments about the Good Shepards. I'm like, wow. I spent a brief encounter there in early 1983 (anyone out there from that time?? would have been Jan / Feb). My daugher is now 28 and it did seem surreal and how times have change so much, for the better I may add. I often think about the girls that I met and shared a room with during my time there and what happend to both them and their babies. I was known as 'Carol Ann' because we obviously weren't allowed to use our real names. I was one of the lucky ones because i was 'allowed' to go back home and keep my baby after 'running' away to the Good Shepards. I do remember meeting up with one of the other girls when I gave birth in Holles Street (where we 'unmarried mothers' were all kept in a large ward together) 'Assumpta' and I think she'd had a baby boy. I don't remember a mother and baby unit or room when I was there, albeit briefly.
    Good luck to any 'babies' that are now seeking their birth mothers and it would be good to hear back from anyone that may have shared the same time as me there.
    Laura aka 'Carol Ann'

  • Registered Users Posts: 2 Laura Young

    hi Flipmeister
    I was at Dunboyne in Jan / Feb of 1983 and you would have been there at the time - I do remember the girls telling me that sometimes the babies were brought back to the convent. It was all very surreal and reading all the threads on this has brought back so many memories, i'm reading them all with tears in my eyes. It was a traumatic time in all our lives and some like yourself were lucky to have a happy ending.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Cloiserful

    Hi everyone,
    My husband Michael was adopted from Good Shep Dunboyne in early 1979. He was born on Feb 1st and his adoptive parents 'got him' when he was 3 weeks old. We recently became parents ourselves and now my husband is keen to start the search for his bm. He's asked me to help with the initial search as it's a VERY emotional subject for him.
    I was wondering if anyone could give me any info on what would have happened to him in his first 3 weeks? Do you think he might have been with his bm for that whole time?
    I'm getting the contact form through the adoption authority filled out this week to start the process with him. If anyone has any advice or info that they think we'd benefit from, I'd really appreciate it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 Enda63

    Hi Claire,

    your hubby was more than likely in foster care for his first few weeks. If either of you are on facebook there are two adoption group on there. Adoption Support Network of Ireland is one and Adoption Rights Alliance is the other. You both can get support and advice there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Nellan

    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.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 DanielleMurray

    Hi, I am wondering if anyone could help me... I am looking for my uncle. My grandmother gave him up for adoption in 1971. His name then was Gerard Weldon. His date of birth is the 13th of January 1971. My grandmothers name is Annette Weldon now Hoey. Gerard was born in Hollis St. My grandmother does not know who adopted him, she thinks he might be in America or somewhere down the country. He would be 40 years old now and we have tried looking for him but cannot find him. If anyone thinks they know anything please message me. Thank you xx

  • Registered Users Posts: 21 shassa

    Hi Nellan My name is Sharon i was in Dunboyne in November 1985 until march 1986 i had a baby girl of which i was made give up for adoption i had a similar experience in Holles street you were made feel so little and insignificant it is very difficult to do a search i have been trying to find my daughter with no success as yet try the general registers office in dublin look up the adoption register of all children in ireland you mind get some light through t

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Zosk

    Hi I have just come accross this while googling the good shepherd convent dunboyne because I was there in 1987 my son is 25 and still a big part of my life thank God.

  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay

    I was in Dunboyne late 1976 to Spring 1977. Sr. Regina was in charge at the time, Sr. Clare looked after medical problems. Anyone else who was there at that time?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 bogthick

    Hi everyone,

    I recently found out that my mam was in the convent when expecting me. I was born January 1983, although I was not adopted. My mother was their because my parents were not married at the time and was sent there in secret by my grandmother, I have been told that was not unheard of! Crazy how things have changed. After I was born I remained in the convent up until my parents marraige in March 1983, where I was then taken home with them. During my several weeks there my parents used to visit every sunday up until they could get married and I suppose break the news to their families and take me home.

    I actually remember as a toddler visiting the convent the odd sunday for a long time. Where we visited a 'Sister Cait' and unbelieveably reading through all the previous posts the husky dog flashed in to my mind. I can actually remember playing with a husky dog in the garden there. Obviously I had no idea the situation regards why we vistited, I was always told that Sister Cait was a friend of my parents. Every visit she had a present for me and we always received a card from her at xmas.

    As I have just been told all the truth and events of all this I am quiet taken aback as its unbelieveable that this was only a relatively short time ago. If anyone would have any additional info regards what it may have been like there for my mam and also what it would have been like for me there on my own as a baby I would appreciate it. Also if anyone knows of Sister Cait!

    Our daughter was also born in Jan 1983. Fortunately we are all still together to this day. Regarding your enquiry about Sister Cait. She has been a part of our lives since mid 1982 and has become a very good family friend. She is still working and I can tell you that she has devoted her life to helping those in need.