The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Auction of industrial school papers criticised

The Irish Times - Saturday, September 24, 2011


PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE PLANNED auction of detention orders, birth certificates and other documents relating to the committal of three children to a Cork industrial school a century ago has been strongly criticised by abuse survivor and Aislinn founder, Christine Buckley.

The documents, being auctioned in Dublin today by Whyte’s, refer to Mary O’Connor (6) of Wellington Street, Dublin, who was “found wandering and not having a proper guardian”. They also relate to Catherine White (8) of Henrietta Place, Dublin, “found destitute and being an orphan” and to Kate Keohane (11) of Ring, Co Cork, “found wandering”.

The auction catalogue describes the papers concerned as “extremely rare and evocative documents of a part of Irish history that was effectively suppressed until recent years” and says they are offered for “€200-300”.

The children were detained at Clonakilty industrial school. An example of the documents, posted as lot 145 online at, is for Kate Keohane. On June 29th, 1911, and at the request of “Monsignor O’Leary of Clonakilty”, she was committed to St Aloysius’s industrial school “being a school conducted in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church”, to be detained there until January 17th, 1916. It was run by the Sisters of Mercy.

So too was the Goldenbridge orphanage in Dublin, where Christine Buckley was detained as a child. “I find it physically nauseating. I am so shocked, it is absolutely grotesque and completely dehumanising,” she said about the planned sale of the documents.

“That could be me in 100 years’ time. I was “found wandering . . . I strongly object and find it absolutely appalling that such documents are put up for sale.”


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Views: 131

Comment by pauline jackson on October 5, 2011 at 21:26
These papers are about history. this is real and if anyone one wants to preserve them' well why not. its not about us as people. its about the way society acted under the care of the church. the effect of these papers in a 100 years doesnt matter. we will be dead. But if these papers become part of the official history well  it wont be forgotten or pushed into the darkest cuboard in history . it makes the link between the state and the church clear.
Comment by Geraldine Jackson on January 1, 2012 at 3:33

I I believe all Papers should be sold at Auction , They are part of Irish History whoever buys them I am sure will look after them. I hope they sell to an American ,  It's got nothing to do with Mrs Buckley.

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