The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Hi all,

Firstly thank you for accepting me into the community. 

I am a researcher in Design History and Material Culture in Ireland. At the moment I am working on a project looking at the leather straps that were used by Christian Brothers. We know that these were manufactured by leatherworkers in Dublin city centre, like O'Donoghues, as well as by the boys in industrial schools like Artane and Letterfrack. 

I have been in contact with the Christian Brothers archivist who confirmed (unsurprisingly) that they have no documentation relating to the straps whatsoever. I've also been in contact with the fantastic people in the Redress section of the Department of Education, they were very willing to help but were disappointed to find that they had no additional information about these straps outside of what is included in the Ryan report.

I would be interested in speaking to anyone who could tell me more about the manufacture of these straps. I understand that it is an extremely sensitive subject but I feel that it is an area with high cultural and historical importance that has been consistently overlooked by church & state.

Any response, input, advice or criticism is welcome.


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Leather straps were used in all the institutions. The nuns wore long leather belts. Perhaps thay were made in the same place . but as thay were handed down from one generation to Another thay could have lasted a very long time.

Have Any Of The Sadists Been Sent To Prison? 

Hi Pauline. O'Donoghues (Dublin) manufactured them on the quays and Owen Sheehy Skeffington had a list of manufacturers that supplied them - waiting to see it in the national library

Hello . Nice to hear from you.

No Jack they were given immunity 

That Would Not Help Their Victims And Makes any "Sorry" Hollow  (Meaningless).

All the Leather Straps in St Patricks Upton, and Ferryhouse were made in the Shoe Shops of these two Industrial schools! Some were lined with Strips of Lead, and Coins, so when you got a belt of that i can tell you, you Bloody well knew about it! I know where there ( Was ) one from St Patricks Upton, the person who did have it has since dies, i must try and check to see where it went!

Maurice Heaphy. That is very true because I used to make them there were two separate pieces of strap which were stitched together and coin put at the bottom end at St Patrick's industrial School Upton County Cork the prison I call it. I had a s***knocked out of me with them Leather Straps 

Hello Maurice - yes it seems that nearly all of the industrial schools made them in the shoe shops. One that I was able to see had a coin or key at the top. awful

Five or six of them are in the river suite just outside the back gate where I dumped them 

I was in Artane and i remember on brother telling me he had a leather strap made specially for him it contained 12 old pennies sown into the strap his name was Brother Moore 

I was in artain, there was a few bad brothers in there, remember the slob in the nitting place,where we mended socks, with his whip, and gravy marks on his clothes,, and brother furlong with the missing finger, he was another, hope he is in much regret for his actions.



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