The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Sorry I've not been on here for some considerable time. I'm still fighting the results of stomach cancer. It's a whole new lifestyle living with out a stomach: completely removed due to cancer. As if life was not challenging enough I've now got double vision! I've had two falls over the Christmas and New Year once when out on my morning run and just when I recovered I fell over on to the edge of a table and injured my arm and below my rib cage  when putting on my tracksuit bottom.

Presently I'm writing my life story as I've just now got most of the information about the parents and family I was denied contact with from the age of two. To some it may appear strange that I've waited till now at age 84 and a half to tell my complete story. The problem was when I left Ireland as a seventeen year old to join the RAF I just wanted to forget the fourteen years I spent in Industrial Schools from age two to sixteen. Luckily I managed to scrape past the entrance exam and became a 'messing orderly.' As I had no home in Ireland to go on leave to I spent my time off in YMCAs and bed and breakfasts through the UK. In those days there were signs outside pubs and lodgings: 'No dogs or Irish'.

My story is amazing enough in that I married a young girl from a coalmining town in Co. Durham. She worked in a clothing factory from the age of fourteen. By the time I left the RAF I was teaching logistics to students with good educational Qualifications. When I left the forces I was employed by BAC as a Speciality Training Supervisor. I took a year out of work due to the sudden loss of our 15 year old daughter. (killed by careless driver). My final job was as a Site Superintendent with Lockheed International. I retired at age 54 as I had achieved all the goals I promised my wife. In addition to my work I managed to win national title at sport and compete at international level.

Sadly my wife developed Alzheimer's and I chose to care fro her on my own in my own way till she passed away. As one expert remarked: "You proved us all wrong."

Now I'm having problems with coming to terms the way the parents and family were treated by the Irish Catholic State. The parents marriage was doomed from the start. He was Protestant and she Catholic and to make thing worse he married he when he learned she was pregnant. She was 24 and he 19! There are so many lies and inaccuracies contained in the official records relating to both my case and that of a sister I never knew existed, it's difficult to know whether to laugh or cry. In the final analysis all the evidence proves beyond a shadow of doubt I was wrongly convicted.

Had I had this evidence some years ago I would have taken legal action against the authorities. It is an iron clad open and shut case. Sorry for such a long post, but I feel the better for posting it.     

Views: 324

Comment by Rob Northall on February 8, 2016 at 15:18

Always interesting to read your posts, Your Life story will certainly be an eye opener!

Comment by John J Hogan on February 8, 2016 at 15:23

Great Job .

Comment by John J Hogan on February 8, 2016 at 15:24

great Job

Comment by William Delahunty on February 8, 2016 at 15:44
Best of luck Patrick
Comment by Ken Doyle on February 8, 2016 at 16:14

The pen can be mightier than the sword. Keep writing it also will relieve stress on you . When you have finished try send it to Obrien Press Dublin. They published our book and have done a few stories on the Industrial schools. Best of luck to you Patrick.

Comment by seanie morrison on February 8, 2016 at 16:25

Patrick, I have just lost my wife of 59 years we were together for 64 like you and your heart rendering story we met when I was released from Glin 1951. She a prodestant and me, of course a catholic who has not set foot inside a church since, except for my fathers and mothers passing, they split when I was eight, like you I find it comforting to write my life story. I joined the British Army at age 21 after completing my apprenticeship in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria, When they saw that I was Irish after calling me up they said you don't have to go in on conscription, I said in anger, if I'm good enough to live in your country, then I'm good enough to fight for it, Peg and I were married four month's then. I was in the Kings Own Royal Regiment for six weeks when the physical trainer there encouraged me to apply for the SAS, I passed the tests in the Breacons, Singapore and Malayan Jungle and spent my time fighting communist terrorist there until 1960 three to four month's in and a month out at the time met some great RAF lads pilot, dispatchers when we jumped in and used to ask them to meet us in Nanto's Milk Bar, our favorite pub. God bless you Patrick and I walk the mile in your shoes now.

Love, Seanie Morrison in Canada.

Comment by Catherine Roberts on February 8, 2016 at 19:44

Best of luck Patrick hope your book gets published.

Comment by pauline jackson on February 8, 2016 at 22:26

Good for you. Your a writer.

Comment by Patrick Rice on February 9, 2016 at 15:14

Thank you all for your kind comments. Seanie, I can relate to your story as four members of my family are, or have served in the SAS. My son-in law was a Regimental Sergeant Major, sir name Ball.

In writing my story I'm trying to piece a large jigsaw together There are stories with-in stories. The first chapter relates to the parents I never knew but with all the information I've collected it reveals a shocking story. Thankfully I've got photo copies of all the evidence from official records. My Grandfather and great Grandfather worked as keepers at Dublin Zoo. There is a photo and article about them in the recorded history of the Zoo.

The second chapter covers my time in St. Patrick's School in Kilkenny. Though I was unaware of it, I had two sisters. The older one was raised by the Grandparents, whilst the other one was raised by both parents. The younger one then seven years old when we both appeared in front of Judge Cussen in early Feb 1934. She was sentenced to nine years to be served at St. Joseph's Industrial School, Whitehall, Dublin. Whilst I was given 14 years and shipped off to Kilkenny. I have copies of us both registered on arrival at our respective schools. There appears to have been a standard procedure operated. Firstly were given a number, then our names, age, date on admission, where when and by whom ordered to be detained, by whom who committed, what charged with and sentence of detention are recorded. There is then a section: State if Illegitimate. The answer to that question on my sister's form is: 'No'. on my form the answer is: 'Yes'. (they knew that to be untrue). They also record a physical description of each individual. Finally there is a report on my conduct at the age of three: "Sulky at times";

.At our hearing in court a Mrs. Clarke of the SPCTC who brought the charges, sought to have the older sister age 9 to be also charged. When questioned on what grounds: "She's attending a Protestant School" was the reason. The request was denied as the child had achieved school results above average for a student her age.

More than fifty years later I received a letter from a girl in Manchester which read: "I believe my Mother is your sister. I've tracked you down through the Forces records, she would like to know if you wish to meet her". Like all records I've retained the letter to this day. That is another harrowing story, as I managed to bring all three of us together at our home in the countryside. Neither of them wished to speak of the past, just lots of crying. I had hoped to learn why everyone abandoned me. Only now have I discovered the pain they went through.

One of the first actions the nuns took to ensure I conformed to their concept of integration was to beat the problem of being left-handed out of me.

Comment by seanie morrison on February 9, 2016 at 17:57

Patrick, I cried this morning reading your story we are all damaged goods, keep in touch please.

Seanie.

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