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Good Shepherd Convent Dunboyne

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  • all this talk on tv making me so down even after 30 years,




  • Me too, after 35 years.




  • 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.




  • junemay wrote: »
    Me too, after 35 years.

    I have also been very down and very angry at the way we were treated:mad:




  • My son was born in holles st hospital in 1973" we were in the good shepherd convent until march 1973" when he was adopted. When I did try to find him ..it was too late he has died in 2002" he would have been 40 this feb.


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  • My son was born in holles st hospital in 1973" we were in the good shepherd convent until march 1973" when he was adopted. When I did try to find him ..it was too late he has died in 2002" he would have been 40 this feb.
    Hugs, I am so sorry for your loss.




  • so sorry to hear of your loss, how very sad for you life can be so cruel sometimes thinking of you




  • My son was born in holles st hospital in 1973" we were in the good shepherd convent until march 1973" when he was adopted. When I did try to find him ..it was too late he has died in 2002" he would have been 40 this feb.
    I am so sorry to hear this. I am really shocked that nobody from the Adoption board told you he had died , at the time it happened, or at least within a few days of it happening. I thought that would be normal practice in such sad circumstances. I really wish you loads of love and strenght to cope with this in your life. Mary B.




  • My son was born in holles st hospital in 1973" we were in the good shepherd convent until march 1973" when he was adopted. When I did try to find him ..it was too late he has died in 2002" he would have been 40 this feb.
    Breda, my heart goes out to you. This is a difficult time especially. take care of yourself.




  • 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.


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  • Jackeen68 wrote: »
    Does anyone remember Fr. George Aggar who would come once a month to say Mass and hear confessions? He was so sweet and kind. I kept in touch with him for a few years after but then he left for a mission in Africa and we lost touch.
    Hi Jackeen,
    Fr George in still on missionary work in St Kitts and Nevis.




  • I was in Dunboyne from Nov '84 to March 1985, not dates I have seen anyone else post about.

    At that stage there were no babies there, but one of the bedrooms was still called the nursery, which is what it had been. We were known by our first names, with the addition of our middle name if there were two girls there with the same first name at the same time.

    The taxi company used for night trips was the sixes (76 66 66) taxis in Dublin, as my uncle drove for them, and he told me about it.

    Thanks for the name of the retreiver dog, Jacko, and for Sr Ambrose who I had forgotten. Sr Claire was/is a midwife, and did the anti natal classes, with us all on mats spread down along the corridor. I was back to visit Sr Cait once when my daughter was about 2, and she was thrilled to see us, but it was strange to be in the "convent" side of the house.

    Does anyone remember the plane crash? A light aircraft came down in the field behind the house on weekwhile I was there. And the central heating packed in, and took weeks to get fixed :-(

    Siobhan, from Cork, Siobhan Mary from Donegal, Bernie from Galway, Cathy from North Dublin, I wonder where you are now. Other faces I can remember, but not the names. Chrissy was the domestic lady, daft as a brush, but heart of gold :-)




  • hi sunshine 1799 glad to hear you had a very good experience in dunboyne and were treated so well, unfortunately not all of us were so lucky I feel quite insulted that you would say we were lying, could so many people be telling untruths ? Yes some days were ok but believe me there were others that werent but sadly we all have our own memories and our own ghosts.




  • I found my birth mother a few years ago - she is one of the most vile persons I have ever met - thank God she did give me up - absolute horror of a human being. For those searching, tread lightly, is my advice. I wishI'd let sleeping dogs lie. Thankfull I am a very strong person, so it didn't bother me, but weaker people could get very hurt if they met a birth mother like that thing who gave birth to me.




  • survived wrote: »
    hi sunshine 1799 glad to hear you had a very good experience in dunboyne and were treated so well, unfortunately not all of us were so lucky I feel quite insulted that you would say we were lying, could so many people be telling untruths ? Yes some days were ok but believe me there were others that werent but sadly we all have our own memories and our own ghosts.

    Sorry I didnt mean to insult anyone its just you hear so much in the media vilifying the nuns because they never made me feel bad the opposite really. Sorry again I was very insensitive to others who feel they were mistreated by the orders. I was there in the 80s and it was ok the only person that made me feel bad was myself I am not saying it didnt affect me, it did, as I was so young but I was luckier than most as my circumstances was ok. Lou




  • I found my birth mother a few years ago - she is one of the most vile persons I have ever met - thank God she did give me up - absolute horror of a human being. For those searching, tread lightly, is my advice. I wishI'd let sleeping dogs lie. Thankfull I am a very strong person, so it didn't bother me, but weaker people could get very hurt if they met a birth mother like that thing who gave birth to me.

    I'm sorry your experience was painful but we are not all like that. I guess that is the good thing about this forum we can all share our experiences. Adoption no matter what side you come from is all about loss and coping with that loss and its never easy. Yes in some cases reunion ends in disaster but in others it ends in joy and that is what the rest of us cling to - that maybe, just maybe we may experience even a fraction of that joy.

    I think anyone reading this thread can feel the hurt, the anguish and the suffering endured by those who have shared their experiences. Please anyone reading this thread don't judge us all as cold and uncaring - for too long we judged ourselves and this thread for some of us is the only way or time that we have ever voiced aloud what happened, how it made us feel and how we, as survivors have tried to move on.

    I hope you find peace and closure.




  • Sorry I didnt mean to insult anyone its just you hear so much in the media vilifying the nuns because they never made me feel bad the opposite really. Sorry again I was very insensitive to others who feel they were mistreated by the orders. I was there in the 80s and it was ok the only person that made me feel bad was myself I am not saying it didnt affect me, it did, as I was so young but I was luckier than most as my circumstances was ok. Lou

    I'm glad your experience was good. I guess if you can keep your baby it gives you a different slant and no matter your story it is only right that all sides tell theirs and how it was for them. I'm glad you got to keep your baby and your parents supported you.




  • Laura1968 wrote: »
    I was in Dunboyne from Nov '84 to March 1985, not dates I have seen anyone else post about.

    At that stage there were no babies there, but one of the bedrooms was still called the nursery, which is what it had been. We were known by our first names, with the addition of our middle name if there were two girls there with the same first name at the same time.

    The taxi company used for night trips was the sixes (76 66 66) taxis in Dublin, as my uncle drove for them, and he told me about it.

    Thanks for the name of the retreiver dog, Jacko, and for Sr Ambrose who I had forgotten. Sr Claire was/is a midwife, and did the anti natal classes, with us all on mats spread down along the corridor. I was back to visit Sr Cait once when my daughter was about 2, and she was thrilled to see us, but it was strange to be in the "convent" side of the house.

    Does anyone remember the plane crash? A light aircraft came down in the field behind the house on weekwhile I was there. And the central heating packed in, and took weeks to get fixed :-(

    Siobhan, from Cork, Siobhan Mary from Donegal, Bernie from Galway, Cathy from North Dublin, I wonder where you are now. Other faces I can remember, but not the names. Chrissy was the domestic lady, daft as a brush, but heart of gold :-)

    Laura I was there in Jan '85 to June '85. I remember a Siobhan (her real name was Mary - I only found out in the taxi) - she went into labour same night as me but I had to wait to share the taxi LOL. Anyhow we both survived and I think she may have kept her baby in the end. Bernie sounds familiar - was she small and had an epidural that went wrong (she was ok in the end) or was she tall with very short black hair and glasses? Was Cathy from N Dublin and had been adopted herself and was determined to give her child up for adoption as she had such a good experience. She used to go out for weekends I think with her boyfriend.

    Do you remember Kathy (not sure of name) (she was deaf and/or had a speech impediment) she was sooooo nice and so good to me when I arrived as was Katie from the North, she only had her Dad I think and couldn't tell him so used to pretend she was working in Cork then there was Michelle, Catriona, Helen, Debbie.........

    Chrissie was a law unto herself. I heard, maybe here, that she was once one of us and never left but I have no idea was it true. She was definitely mad tho'.

    I remember packing the bloody envelopes and having to get up in the mornings for prayers. I was in charge of dining room and cleaning out the slops which I loved as I used to feed the squirrels. I remember the priest ranting about fallen women to a church full of bloody virgins and pregnant women on a sunday. Its funny but my hubby can't understand how institutionalised I am after it all - even still - and I can't explain it. Even with my whole reunion he can't understand my sickness in dealing with them.




  • junemay wrote: »
    Me too, after 35 years.

    Me too and I'm fed up of being told that I'm lucky as I have a family and have moved on etc. etc.

    If you haven't gone through it it seems you just can't understand it (and I have given up trying to at this stage) - the experience never leaves, you just learn to cope with it all - no matter whether you kept your baby or not.




  • 2808 wrote: »
    I was born in December 1971 and given up for adoption six weeks later from the Good Shepard, Dunboyne. I had great adoptive parents but sadly they are both deceased many years now. I never looked for my birth mother because I felt if she wanted to find me that she would be looking for me. Reading these posts has made me realise that maybe things aren't as simple as that.

    Whatever you decide I hope you find peace. Sorry your parents are dead but I'm glad you had great parents.


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  • My son was born in holles st hospital in 1973" we were in the good shepherd convent until march 1973" when he was adopted. When I did try to find him ..it was too late he has died in 2002" he would have been 40 this feb.

    My heart goes out to you but words fail me ..... hugs are all I can offer. Thank you for sharing your story that must have been very difficult.




  • I remember Kathy(?), but couldn't remember her name. I think I have worked in the same place as her since, but never felt I could approach her with work colleagues around. I had a great conversation with her on the typewriter on one of her first days. The nuns had given her some typing to do for them, and we continued on having a conversation using the typewriter, she'd type something, then I'd take it and answer. Pre internet form of instant messaging, I suppose :-)

    Yes, Bernie was the small, wiry girl from Galway. I think she only turned 14 after her baby was born. The Siobhan from Cork that I knew was gone before me, so don't think that is the Mary you're talking about, but if we already had a Siobhan and a Siobhan Mary when she arrived, then another variation would have to be found, I suppose.

    Was Helen the lady who had her own car, a small red one? I met her since. She had been adamant her baby was going for adoption. She was not a kid, like some of us, she was older, had a good job, and had leave of absence to "disappear", but would be resuming her life after the baby was born. I met her about 4 years later in Abbey street, her son was living with her, having never gone for adoption after all, despite going to foster care initially, and she was in touch with his Dad (he lived overseas) and they were happy.

    I remember packing the envelopes, but only very rarely. I can't understand how/why I wasn't doing that. I know school lessons were late afternoons and evenings after tea, as the teachers who come in to us taught in regular schools, and came to us out of hours as it were. I know I slipped on the concrete floor in the laundry when I heavily pregnant, and was carefully monitored by Sr Claire in case I might go into labour early, but all was well.

    Will write more later, need to go to work! :-)




  • :(
    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.
    I was there in the 1980`s there we were told our babies were going for adoption and that was final. i was so afraid to ask any questions. in the hospital we werent given any pain killers or anything
    i had not a clue of giving birth or anything did not know what was going on or anything they were so mean there I REMEMBER waking up after been sick
    i dont know how long i had been there or even what day it was and i woke up in this thing all i could see was horrible white / grey walls and a horrible smell
    The time I spent there will remain with me forever I will always have the feeling of been abandoned by the very community of people that was supposed to upstanding and a pillar of the community.
    If anyone is reading this and was a resident in Dunboyne I would like to hear from you




  • hi busylizzydaisy,

    Sorry you have such horrible memories of the place. Pain relief in labour would have been down to Holles Street, rather than anything to do with the home. My baby was born in the Rotunda, and I had pethedine, and then an epidural. As I mentioned earlier, Sr Claire did the anti natal classes when i was there, maybe you missed them?

    As for being sick and feeling abandoned? There was a different one of the nuns on call each night for problems. I know the night i was sick with heartburn, Sr Cait was able to give me rennies at 4 in the morning.

    I'm not saying it was a warm and loving place, cause it wasn't, but to me, it wasn't excessively harsh or cruel, just functional. We were bumps on a conveyer, no one was getting too attached. We'd be gone and replaced by others soon enough.




  • :(
    I was there in the 1980`s there we were told our babies were going for adoption and that was final. i was so afraid to ask any questions. in the hospital we werent given any pain killers or anything
    i had not a clue of giving birth or anything did not know what was going on or anything they were so mean there I REMEMBER waking up after been sick
    i dont know how long i had been there or even what day it was and i woke up in this thing all i could see was horrible white / grey walls and a horrible smell
    The time I spent there will remain with me forever I will always have the feeling of been abandoned by the very community of people that was supposed to upstanding and a pillar of the community.
    If anyone is reading this and was a resident in Dunboyne I would like to hear from you
    Hi busylizzie i too had a dreadful experience in holles street no pain relief, being left uncovered for visitors to gape at, so humilating but who cared I was from dunboyne and an unmarried mother didnt matter i was in labour for nearly 2 days and my daughter was 11lb OUCH !! .




  • 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




  • Hi nowanatheist how good to hear u, another survivor we were there the same time and like you i remember hell and damnation and some of the secret laughs we had as well !!!! its got to be done... how great to hear you have a wonderful family i too have 2 lovely daughters and you may have seen i and my daughter met 10 yrs ago im 1 of the lucky ones and i thank god every day that it turned out ok for us. I too took care of my daughter for 6 days as i wasnt 2 well and was in the hospital for 6 days i remember giving in to the adoption nuns the day before i left and told them id sign whatever the day before they took her as i wouldnt be able to do the 2 together they took the chance and in they came( they prob ran all the way ) when they came the next day to take her the B**** of a nun said " do u want to say goodbye to your baby hurry up : i will never forget those words as she grabbed her out of my arms and walked away. My god do you know we should all get together and write a book what 1 couldnt remember the others could fill in.... I contacted the justice for madelenes to ask if they were aware of the stuffing of cards and everything else that took place in dunboyne i got a mail this morning and was shocked to hear that they hope to also capaign in the future for all the mothers of forced adoptions and ill treatment in the mother and baby homes. I ts good to know that the ill treatment will be recognised and that we are not swept under the carpet all our lives. However I do believe that each and every 1 of us that went through those doors can be very proud of ourselves for surviving x




  • junemay wrote: »
    Me too, after 35 years.

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




  • survived wrote: »
    Hi busylizzie i too had a dreadful experience in holles street no pain relief, being left uncovered for visitors to gape at, so humilating but who cared I was from dunboyne and an unmarried mother didnt matter i was in labour for nearly 2 days and my daughter was 11lb OUCH !! .

    OUCH is right i am just hart broken even after 30 years ,i am in contact with my daughter but it is still hard i think thet holles was the worst part as thay left afret bith in my and a week later i lost every pint of boold i had


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  • What are we meant to do now i feel like i need counselling, is there any one feeling like this
    I think i have the title from guinness book of records for councelling i was in it for 9 years ( not all because of dunboyne i should add i just had a screwed up life !! ) and im still upset now and because of all the publicity lately i find myself remembering more and more little details and dunboyne , my pregnancy, holles st etc its in my mind constantly so i think i have to get a grip or all the years of hard work wil be for nothing. feel free to have a good ol rant here im so glad i found this link it has helped me enormously .. thank you ladies


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