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29-12-2018, 23:55   #1
Fuaranach
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Death of 25-year-old Peggy McCarthy of Listowel, 1946

Surprised there hasn't been a single thread about this yet. On RTÉ Radio 1's superb Documentary on One - one of the few RTÉ programmes worth paying the licence fee for - earlier today they delved into the death of 25-year-old Peggy McCarthy of Listowel in February 1946. The programme really should have come with a health warning:

RTÉ Documentary on One: Death of 25-year-old Peggy McCarthy, February 1946

If you're too busy to listen to it, here's a synopsis of sorts:

One of ten children, Peggy McCarthy worked as a domestic servant for local farming families. At 25, in the summer of 1945, she became pregnant following a local dance (as an old man recounts the dances, 'and this field out here is the courting field, and they say it's responsible for many a man getting the boat for Holyhead in the morning'). Her boyfriend, also from north Kerry, went to England for work ostensibly in order to provide for her but never returned. As was the norm.

On 10 February 1946 Peggy McCarthy went into labour at her home in the outskirts of Listowel, with her mother and a local midwife beside her. However, when she needed extra medical help she had to go to Listowel hospital. A local taxi driver named John Guerin brought her there where, despite pleas from Guerin that her life was in serious danger, she was refused admittance because she conceived a child out of wedlock. Sweet Christ almighty. Let that one sink in about that Christian god and that Christian charity. Our very own Papist Taliban, and they had the state's finances and power behind them. 'The person who refused her admittance then was a nun employed by Kerry County Council who looked after the medical matters in Kerry. The only rule, the only rule - and she was following regulations - was that she couldn't accept the mother because she was an unmarried mother whereas she could accept any other mother who was married.'

In a rapidly deteriorating condition, Peggy and John Guerin were told to go to Tralee, some 27km away by road in 1946. When they finally arrived in St Catherine's hospital in Tralee, and now at death's door, another nun met them and said under no account could they allow her admittance to the hospital. Peggy was told then to go to 'the Union' hospital in Killarney, a further 34km away, 'which was considered to be a more suitable place for her equals'. A historian comes on to explain three things:

1) all hospitals were funded by the Irish state in the form of Kerry County Council;

2) the hospitals were managed by the RCC in alliance with KCC;

3) because an unmarried mother was seen as 'contaminated' it would be unforgivable in the Ireland of 1946 to allow her inside the door of 'respectable' hospitals no matter what the situation was, and consequently she must go to the designated hospital for "fallen" women in Killarney. No debate. No exceptions.

Peggy appears to have made it to Killarney, where she gave birth to a baby girl named Breda, but Peggy herself died shortly after. So the taxi driver, John Guerin, had one final journey back to Listowel - with Peggy's coffin on a bed of straw on the top of his car. When he arrived back to Peggy's local Catholic Church the gates were not merely closed, but locked. They went to the chapel in the local convent, and the same thing. It transpired that the local RCC priest, 66-year-old Canon Patrick Brennan, had decided she could not be given a Christian mass in any of the parish's churches, or a Christian burial in consecrated ground. As the narrator puts the consequences of this, 'In 1946 this was tantamount to locking the gates to heaven to the young mother.'

A crowd had been gathered to pay their respects and as the taxi remained at the locked gate with the girl's body in the coffin on the roof, John Guerin, the taxi driver, got incensed, broke down the gate and managed to get many of the locals to stand alongside him against the ignorant Roman Catholic mullah - an extremely rare event in 1940s Ireland. The priest refused outright to have such a person in his church, so suggested she go to the chapel connected to the Listowel hospital that had refused her first. There, she got a wake but not a funeral mass. She was then. finally, given a Christian burial in an isolated corner of St Michael's cemetery in Listowel.

Now, an old man is saying that Peggy McCarthy's case was extremely unusual because unlike so many others she had people who made a stand for her and risked eternal damnation and whatever other bollocksology was in it. He instances a cowhand who slept not in a house but in a barn and couldn't take life anymore so took his own life in the local river, and the RCC refused outright to give him either a Christian mass or burial because he had committed something called a "mortal sin" by taking his own life.

The historian points out that the people who rose up against the RCC in 1946 were not the middle class in Listowel but rather the same social class as the McCarthys - the small farmers and poorer families in the area. And the RCC and the Irish state weren't finished with pushing the McCarthy family about yet. Peggy's child, Breda, had been born with a serious intellectual difficulty and was raised by Peggy's parents as their own child. 18 years after Peggy died, Peggy's mother died in 1964. A RCC priest knocked on the door and the upshot was that Breda was brought to a Magdalene laundry in Limerick to be "looked after" (to work). She was subsequently transferred to a variety of laundries in Dublin where she was kept to work until the 1990s. As of 2018 she is now in care.

----------------------------------------------
Words fail me on what completely savage bastards Irish conservatism produced in 1946. And any of us who have read Máiréad Ní Ghráda's very brave and controversial play An Triail (1964) know this was far from an occasional event. Rather, what happened Peggy McCarthy happened in almost every parish in Ireland to countless "fallen women" (invariably from poorer families) while the lads got the boat never to return again. This sort of societal impulse to control and contain "radical"/"alternative"/"dissenting" views or behaviours doesn't just disappear; rather, the mob tends to find new targets, new scapegoats. Who are the pariahs of Irish society in 2018, and who are the thugs and bullies of Irish society in 2018? Or will we only be able to answer that in 70 years time?
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30-12-2018, 00:04   #2
 
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Is that you bull?
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30-12-2018, 00:06   #3
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I listened to it today on my drive and bawled my eyes out.

Tragic.

You know what struck me the most? That her daughter ended up living a life in an institution and still lives in one today. And she entered that in the 60's?


So between 1946 and 1966 nothing really changed?


It's so sad how long Irish society took to get out from the shackles of the Catholic church.


I will never ever forget this documentary.
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30-12-2018, 00:07   #4
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Anyone who hasn't heard it, please listen.

It will really make you reconsider your take on life.
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30-12-2018, 00:08   #5
 
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People blame the Catholic Church for everything that was wrong in Ireland back in those days but the truth is without the borderline cruelty of a lot of Irish citizens in the way they treated people the catholic church wouldn't have been able to do anything.

People seem to forget the church were not armed and if people actually just stood up to them and not tolerated their inhumane bull**** they wouldn't have had any power.People allowed the church to have the power they had because they just didn't stand up to them when it wouldn't have been that difficult a thing to do.

The church only had power and influence in ireland because irish people allowed them to have power and influence but the church is a really convenient whipping boy for all of the country's problems for so long because people just don't want to accept that their parents grandparents etc were complicit in allowing the church to have the negative influence on society that they had.

By the way I'm not saying the church weren't to blame just that they weren't solely to blame.
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30-12-2018, 00:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley and Marley View Post
People blame the Catholic Church for everything that was wrong in Ireland back in those days but the truth is without the borderline cruelty of a lot of Irish citizens in the way they treated people the catholic church wouldn't have been able to do anything.

People seem to forget the church were not armed and if people actually just stood up to them and not tolerated their inhumane bull**** they wouldn't have had any power.People allowed the church to have the power they had because they just didn't stand up to them when it wouldn't have been that difficult a thing to do.

The church only had power and influence in ireland because irish people allowed them to have power and influence but the church is a really convenient whipping boy for all of the country's problems for so long because people just don't want to accept that their parents grandparents etc were complicit in allowing the church to have the negative influence on society that they had.
Did you listen to the documentary?

She died because of the Catholic Church? And it was ordinary PEOPLE who stood up to them.

Listen and then restate all your bull****.
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30-12-2018, 00:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley and Marley View Post
People blame the Catholic Church for everything that was wrong in Ireland back in those days but the truth is without the borderline cruelty of a lot of Irish citizens in the way they treated people the catholic church wouldn't have been able to do anything.

People seem to forget the church were not armed and if people actually just stood up to them and not tolerated their inhumane bull**** they wouldn't have had any power.People allowed the church to have the power they had because they just didn't stand up to them when it wouldn't have been that difficult a thing to do.

The church only had power and influence in ireland because irish people allowed them to have power and influence but the church is a really convenient whipping boy for all of the country's problems for so long because people just don't want to accept that their parents grandparents etc were complicit in allowing the church to have the negative influence on society that they had.

By the way I'm not saying the church weren't to blame just that they weren't solely to blame.
Seriously, I am fuming that you posted this crap without even listening.

Gob****e.

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Last edited by Nosnon; 30-12-2018 at 00:22.
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30-12-2018, 00:16   #8
 
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Originally Posted by BBFAN View Post
Did you listen to the documentary?

She died because of the Catholic Church? And it was ordinary PEOPLE who stood up to them.

Listen and then restate all your bull****.
The church had such power in ireland because continually the people of this county voted for politicians who allowed them the power because the media didn't challenge them enough, because the public didn't challenge them etc etc, continually these sorts of things happened yet it took until the 1990's before the church's influence was removed from the country.Stuff like this happened constantly and yet it took far too long for the churches power to be taken away from them.
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30-12-2018, 00:17   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley and Marley View Post
The church had such power in ireland because continually the people of this county voted for politicians who allowed them the power because the media didn't challenge them enough, because the public didn't challenge them etc etc, continually these sorts of things happened yet it took until the 1990's before the church's influence was removed from the country.Stuff like this happened constantly and yet it took far too long for the churches power to be taken away from them.
Did you listen to the documentary?
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30-12-2018, 00:26   #10
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Quote:
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Did you listen to the documentary?

She died because of the Catholic Church? And it was ordinary PEOPLE who stood up to them.

Listen and then restate all your bull****.
No, she died because a useless lump of a lad knocked her up, and then fúcked off to England instead of marrying her.
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30-12-2018, 00:34   #11
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No, she died because a useless lump of a lad knocked her up, and then fúcked off to England instead of marrying her.
Well that's not true.

She literally died because she was refused care at several hospitals by nuns.

Dirty disgusting people who are probably rotting in hell for their sins rather than some devine absolution they thought they'd get.


Sure the fella should have looked after her but he didn't kill her


Those that choose to protect that sort of nonsense need to really take a look at themselves and their pretend Christianity.

And I do say pretend
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30-12-2018, 00:34   #12
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No, she died because a useless lump of a lad knocked her up, and then fúcked off to England instead of marrying her.
What a sad person you are.
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30-12-2018, 00:35   #13
 
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The RCC are a disgusting organisation, my mother grew up in 1950s Limerick and even when she was a child she knew it was rotten.
RCC priests were all angry thin lipped men that were just pure evil - rotten org.
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30-12-2018, 00:40   #14
 
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Originally Posted by BBFAN View Post
Did you listen to the documentary?

She died because of the Catholic Church? And it was ordinary PEOPLE who stood up to them.

Listen and then restate all your bull****.

Note that one of the contributors pointed out that people still bowed down for the priest in Listowel in the 1950's after the incident.Why the **** would you do that having known what the church did in your own town to a young woman.

People knew that this sort of horrible stuff went on all over the country and yet the still went back to mass, they still went along with the churches teachings, still voted for politicians who allowed the church to exert their corrosive influence on the country.

Again I state the church were wrong but so many people allowed them to do stuff that was wrong, The hospitals were funded by the state and yet the allowed these rules to be enforced by the church who were running them.

The public sadly allowed the church to have such a negative influence on society.
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30-12-2018, 01:01   #15
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People wanted to goto heaven.

People were afraid of being excommunicated.

People were brought up to shun those excommunicated.

The religious schools brought people up to believe in this.

=-=

Personally, I want every religion in Ireland to pay taxes. If they can't pay, level a church or 13, and sell the land.
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