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Good Shepherd Convent Dunboyne

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  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ nowanathiest


    I think further investigation into the religious orders behaviour is warranted, specifically I would like to know:

    Did the adoptive couples make any "donations" to the church for the babies they received? the forced adoptions were on such a large scale that I believe money must have been involved. It was virtually an industry for 80 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay


    Hi Nellen & Survived,

    I was in Dunboyne from Sept 80-Jan 81. I was Bernie and I remember Patsy. A lovely girl, I think she was from Limerick. I had pretty much blanked out being in Dunboyne until now. The Magdalene report is bringing it all back again. I was sent there aged 15. I was sent mainly for my own protection as my father would gladly have done away with me. I did not want to give my baby girl up but they (family, Sr. Regina, social worker) were adamant she would be adopted.

    Reading the posts I was struck by how different the experiences seemd to be when Sr. Regina was in charge (my era) and Sr. Cait. I don't remember a Sr. Cait so I assume she came after Regina. Under Regina we were definately Sinners. It was drummed into us that we had brought great shame on our families and if we truly loved our babies we would do the best thing for them - give them up. Keeping them would just be selfish they implied. In hospital, we were encouraged to tend to our babies, as it was "the least we could do for them".......so for 5 days we bonded with our babies before they were taken away forever. I recounted this to a friend in England. She was apalled and said it was "Barbaric".

    I remember stuffing greetings cards into cellophane (tame in comparison to the laundry previous generations had to endure I'm sure) and I remember the lovely camraderie of the girls, doing their best to help each other out. There was a blonde girl from Dublin who used to give vent to her fury and the "effing penguins".......makes me smile to this day.

    I live in England now. I've got 4 fabulous grown up children. I've been an Aethist for many years and have no time whatsoever for prients, nuns or the Catholic Taliban. I visit from time to time and wonder at how backward the country still is. Outside of Dublin, not much has changed. Magdalene Laundries, Kerry Babies, Anne Lovett...............accomplishments to be proud of eh?? Charles Dickens couldn't have made it up. Olivia O'Leary's recent defection to the Protestant community was a pleasant surprise, but what took her so long??

    Sorry to ramble on......30 years is a long time to keep it inside. Thank you to Nellan and Survived, it was lovely if a little shocking to hear your voices again.
    xxxxxxx
    I was there in 1977 and definitely Sr Regina was cold. I was only 14 and when I went into labour she phoned my parents, nobody picked up and she didn't bother ringing again. She posted a letter to tell them I was hospital. When my mother got the letter she had to phone Holles Street to find out if I had delivered. It was 2 days before she could get the bus up from the country to Dublin. There were no ante natal classes and I wouldn't have dreamed of calling a nun during the night, there just wasn't that atmosphere there. Regina had no time for anyone who wanted to keep their baby. Sr Cait seems like a Saint in comparison. I wonder what it was like in the 50's and 60's.


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ nowanathiest


    and apparently they did............

    Banished Babies: The Secret History of Ireland's Baby Export Business (Updated and Expanded Edition) [Paperback] by Mike Milotte, is on Amazon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Kleo


    Hi
    I only found this site a few weeks a go and can not get it out of my head..reading the story's has brought back a lot of memories for me ,some good others not so good...I was a teenager when I went to stay in Dunboyne in sep 1979..there were about 15 other girls there at that time ....it was a very bad winter that year and I can never forget how cold the place was and how lonely I felt..but some of the girls went out of their way to help me and I made some friends.. In the evenings we would sit in the smoking room talking and laughing
    and if it was not for our "bumps" we could have been any group of girls...

    The Nuns were a different story, it was not physical abuse ,but mental abuse that they were good at, making you feel as if you were the lowest of the low unless you did as they wanted. Telling you that the only way you could make up for the shame you had brought on your family and put things right would be to give up your little innocent baby for adoption..But if you wanted to keep your baby ,you were been selfish and damming you poor little baby to a terrible life..

    I had my baby in Hollis St and their were 3 other girls with me around the same time...the staff treated us like crimanals,I was in labour for 14 hours and in agony ,when I started to cry I was told to shut up and put in a side room on my own as I was my was not due yet,I had no idea what was happening to me and I terrified .when the midwife finally checked on me I was pushing my baby into the world on my own.

    I was one of the lucky ones though as I managed to keep my baby , but my 2 friends were not ....1 made the decision on her own after thinking long and hard about it ,and 3 days after giving birth handed her baby over to social workers..it was the hardest and most courages act I have ever seen and the most heartbreaking,...the other begged and pleaded with the,social worker,Nuns to help her keep her baby ,but they told her she was been selfish and cruel to her baby and eventually she gave up and signed the papers..it was heartbreaking to wittiness and something I have never forgot....34 years later I look at my son and know how lucky I am..I hope my 2 friends are happy , They deserve to be.....
    K. X


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay


    Since discovering this site a little over a month ago, I have been thinking a lot about Dunboyne and my time there. In the 36 years since having my son, I've never really talked to anyone about it and mostly just avoided even thinking about it. When I did it was to feel grateful that I hadn't lost him to adoption. However, reading all the posts brings so much back to me and I realise how much it shaped my life. I've decided to try and write a book about Dunboyne. It was open as a Mother and Baby Home between 1955 and 1991. Ideally I would like to include experiences of women from all four decades, including my own in the late 1970's. If anyone is willing to share their experiences of Dunboyne with me, will you get in touch at [email protected]. Needless to say, you do not need to give me personal details of indentity but I will be happy to share mine on a one to one basis. I look forward to hearing from you.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14 MrsMoneypenny


    Just to say its great to have this thread.
    My birth mother was in dunboyne in 1976 and she gave me up for adoption. I wasn't lucky enough to meet her as she passed away 20 years ago so it's with mixed feelings I read this thread. I hope her time there was manageable and ill always be thankful to get for the biggest sacrifice she made in giving me away.
    Happy Mother's Day to all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Kleo


    Just to say its great to have this thread.
    My birth mother was in dunboyne in 1976 and she gave me up for adoption. I wasn't lucky enough to meet her as she passed away 20 years ago so it's with mixed feelings I read this thread. I hope her time there was manageable and ill always be thankful to get for the biggest sacrifice she made in giving me away.
    Happy Mother's Day to all.

    She would be very happy and proud of you...x


  • Registered Users Posts: 29 survived


    If anyone is interested in getting their records from dunboyne i have just recieved info that the records can be obtained from HSE North Eastern area. Regional Adoption Service, Child and family Centre, Dublin Rd, Drogheda, Co. Louth. I have not contacted them myself yet as im not sure if its a good or bad idea ???? if anyone has already done this id love to hear from them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 MrsMoneypenny


    I wrote to them over a year ago regarding releasing whatever information they have in relation to my biological mother. As she is deceased they are currently seeking advise as to whether or not they can release this info.
    It would be great if they could release the info as it would be another piece of a puzzle for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay


    survived wrote: »
    If anyone is interested in getting their records from dunboyne i have just recieved info that the records can be obtained from HSE North Eastern area. Regional Adoption Service, Child and family Centre, Dublin Rd, Drogheda, Co. Louth. I have not contacted them myself yet as im not sure if its a good or bad idea ???? if anyone has already done this id love to hear from them.
    I wasn't aware of that but I will certainly be writing to them. If there is a file about me out there, I want access to it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 margaret1782


    Mazdoll wrote: »
    My son is twenty this week. It has been two decades since I spent my pregnancy in the Good Shepherd Mother and baby home in Dunboyne. My son is with me and we have not had an easy life but a good life "together". I always think of all the girls who were there in dunboyne spending their preganacy with me. All the babies given up for adoption, where are they now, the heart ache and loss of the Mam's and the waiting for contact over these years.

    I think of the letters we had to write to our babies, newly born at the time and the cries in the "after hospital room" from us mothers for the loss of our children.

    If any of you are reading this, I have not forgotten and for every milestone I reach with my son, I think of you and hope that one day you will be reunited.
    hi, I am so glad you were able to keep your son. I was there from March'82 til April'82 . I was not allowed to keep my baby girl. My daughter will be 31 next month I have tried to contact her, as I wanted to meet with her, she has refused to meet me at this time. Although she has never said she never ever wants to meet me. I await in hope that someday it will happen.X


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 margaret1782


    :confused:
    hi, I am so glad you were able to keep your son. I was there from March'82 til April'82 . I was not allowed to keep my baby girl. My daughter will be 31 next month I have tried to contact her, as I wanted to meet with her, she has refused to meet me at this time. Although she has never said she never ever wants to meet me. I await in hope that someday it will happen.X


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay


    :confused:
    Margaret1782, this is a very difficult situation you are in although I'm sure not uncommon for birth mother's. I hope you meet your daughter at some stage, don't give up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 junemay


    Very moved to hear the Australian Prime Minister apologise this morning to the thousands of women who were forced to give up their babies for adoption in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. In her words it 'created a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering'.
    Yes, indeed. Perhaps there will be an apology to Irish women in the future?


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ nowanathiest


    Yes, the Australian Prime Minister's apology was very moving, but it's no coincidence that this Prime Minister is a woman. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't hear a similar apology from if the Australian Prime Minister was male. It simply wouldn't be important enough.

    We have been pressurising the Irish Prime Minister for a similar apology, but this should only be given in conjunction with an apology from the leader of the Catholic Church, as it was they who ran the Command and Control Centres (Magdalene Laundries) in the Irish Catholic war upon women. The Pope and Enda Kenny should stand side by side and issue a joint statement. No woman with any shred of self-respect should expect less.

    Another question came to me as I was reading back through this thread - where are all of the Magdalene Fathers???? for every woman who passed through a Laundry or Mother & Baby home, there was a feckless Irishman. Where was the shame and condemnation for them? why was one half of the couple singled out for appaling treatment and the other allowed to creep off quietly? hardly chivalrous behaviour.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,260 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The_Conductor


    The Australians are to make every effort in reuniting mothers with their children- something that seems alien here for some reason. I put Julia Gillard's speech up in the forum- along with links to a video of the speech, if anyone would like to view it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 dymp98


    Me too. I remember hearing about "the convent" in Dunboyne when I was a child. My uncle, Ger Kelly, used to drive a mini bus service and I think may have taken some some of your ladies to Holles Street for your appointments and to give birth:confused: He was a lovely uncle and I sincerely hope he was nice to all of you.
    I think you are such brave women to have gone through what you have and come out the other side of it. I hope you're all happy with life. :)

    i remember your uncle bringing me to Holles street. he never stopped talking the whole journey. He was a lovely kind man who judged noone. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 dymp98


    gavig123 wrote: »
    Hi ryan05

    i was there in oct 1986 to dec 1986 and unfortunately we were all given different names and although I can recall faces and have bumped into two of the girls who were there I cant recall specific names. as we were given assumed identities names seemed unimportant.

    If you were born late in 1986 I would have been there the same time as your birth mother and can only say they were a super bunch of girls all with different stories. There was a great sense of comraderie as we were all in the same position and if one was down the others would pick them up and help them along. I would not have made it through the time there if it wasnt for the others.

    I was there for december that year. On my first visit to the clinic I was kept in and my baby girl was born new years eve. There was a great bunch of girls there and even though christmas was sad we made the best of it.:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ilovemyweedogs


    [ QUOTE=Mazdoll;62655387]My son is twenty this week. It has been two decades since I spent my pregnancy in the Good Shepherd Mother and baby home in Dunboyne. My son is with me and we have not had an easy life but a good life "together". I always think of all the girls who were there in dunboyne spending their preganacy with me. All the babies given up for adoption, where are they now, the heart ache and loss of the Mam's and the waiting for contact over these years.

    I think of the letters we had to write to our babies, newly born at the time and the cries in the "after hospital room" from us mothers for the loss of our children.

    If any of you are reading this, I have not forgotten and for every milestone I reach with my son, I think of you and hope that one day you will be reunited.[/QUOTE]

    my wee baby was 30 yesterday,even though we have a great friendship i cant get over leaving her behind me and having to go back to dundoyne alone still hart brooking and will never get over it


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 margaret1782


    hi,
    he was a really lovely man. He would never look down on us


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7 margaret1782


    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:(


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,041 ✭✭✭ Penny Dreadful


    dymp98 wrote: »
    i remember your uncle bringing me to Holles street. he never stopped talking the whole journey. He was a lovely kind man who judged noone. :)

    He was quite the talker. :)
    I'm really so glad to hear that. I remember him as being a lovely man but as we've seen all too often you never really can be sure of what lies beneath.
    Its great to know that somewhere in all of the sadness and wrongness of what happened to all of the girls (women) who were in Dunboyne that there was someone who just saw people who needed someone to be nice and kind.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 yalled


    I was in dunboyne in 1976 i managed to keep my baby in those days women under 21 had no rights luckily I was Bolshi and insisted on reading everything otherwise i would of signed my girl away sometimes the girls there were made to feel they had no option not necessarily by the nuns but by their own families this seems to be have been forgotten hope you all realise we n you had none or very little control there were very few of us who were strong or naive to think we could go alone .


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 MrsMoneypenny


    Yalled - my mother was there is 1976. I was born in August. I wonder what time were you there. My mother had to give me away and sadly she died before I could meet her. I think of her often and it's her anniversary soon. I'm reading a book called "for the love of my mother" and it's very very moving, such an insight to those (particularly those in galway in this book).


  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭ diabeticmum


    Who the book Mrs moneypenny?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 MrsMoneypenny


    It's by JP Rodgers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2 cargeo711


    Jackeen68 wrote: »
    Hi Zosk! I just came across this thread and it has tears streaming down my face. I was at Ard Mhuire from 1986 until March 1987. Were you there then? I slept in the "Blue" room. I can't remember the name they gave me but my real name is Sandra. Would love to connect with others who were there at same time.

    That's the same time I was there. Had my son on the 18th of March. They didn't make me change my name Caroline


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 shassa


    I was in dunboyne from November 1985 and my daughter was born in February 1986


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 vinosol


    Hi , I was there from July 1980 until November 1980, i had my baby taken away from me, i will never forget trying to look out a window at them taking him away .. i have 2 photographs , nothing more. I too had blanked out most of my stay, some of it is coming back as i read these stories.. I had my son christened there and a girl called Margaruite stood for him, she had a disability which caused her to limp..My life has been difficult and i always seem to struggle. i have a lovely son but i always feel i can cope with anything because nothing can hurt more than my baby been taken from me and never been able to talk about it, my life will never be complete..
    Thank you for letting me and others like us know how you too feel...x


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  • Registered Users Posts: 29 teddybug


    What are we meant to do now i feel like i need counselling, is there any one feeling like this

    hi ilovemyweedogs yes i feel like i need councelling more n more as time goes by as i never had any since givin up my daughter 30 yrs ago ,i still havent met up wit her yet ,in spite of yrs of frantic letters. ive had some letters from her though , but shes not ready 2 meet me yet.....
    :rolleyes:


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