Friday, October 30, 2020

The past haunts us all.

 Many years ago in Germany Jews Gypsies and others were rounded up and brought to death camps and many people turned their heads and denied that such a thing ever took place.

When the allied forces arrived they were numbed by the stench of death and the sight of starving people all around.

One of the first things they did was to round up al the people of the town (excluding children) and walk them through the death camp. 

They said "We didn't know"

Yet the stench of death could be smelled for miles around. 

I met German students around 20 years ago who told me that this never happened, it is only propaganda!

So on to dear old Ireland,nothing like this could never happen here, or anything like it, yet the mind set of the Irish was very warped by the church back then.

            Mother and baby homes.

The mother and baby homes is where girls who became pregnant were sent so as not to bring shame on the folks at home. They were worked by nuns in laundrys.

Then when the time came to give birth they would have to give birth without drugs to ease the pain. The nuns would say that it was a punishment from God for their sins. When the child was born it was taken away without the mother seeing it again.Because the baby did not get breast milk and formula milk was not as developed many of the babies died. Even though the state would pay for a proper funeral many of the dead children were thrown into a septic tank. No respect at all. Those who survived were put into nursing orphanages.

There was a huge inquiry into the Mother and Baby homes and at its conclusion the report is being sealed for 20 years.This is to protect the guilty, Sr.Bernadette, Mother Mary and all the others. If you were an orphan you could be granted under limited circumstances access to your file.

Like I say about my book The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

One really super guy that I met spent the early part of his life in an orphanage and he was on a quest to try and find out about his mother. He was adopted (Sold to) by a German couple and brought to the USA where he has made a lot of money, but he has this need inside to explore his past,I wish I had his email.

He said that he was never abused, though many were. I hope you never go through a period of your life where you are never loved. Not to ever told that you are special.Never hugged or kissed.

Something that was inside me helped me. 

The work ethic of the German and the sweet talking nature of the Irish got me through.

He has done very well and gave me £40 for a return trip to Guinness. 

So I Googled a story and I will give it here

If you have a weak disposition read no further.


Cavan Orphanage fire

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The Cavan Orphanage fire occurred on the night of 23 February 1943 at St Joseph's Orphanage in Cavan, Ireland. 35 children and 1 adult employee died as a result.[1] Much of the attention after the fire surrounded the role of the Poor Clares, the order of nuns who ran the orphanage, and the local fire service.[2]

The site of the orphanage today

History of the Orphanage

The Poor Clares, an enclosed contemplative order, founded a convent in Cavan in 1861 in a large premises on Main Street. In 1868 they opened an orphanage. At that time young petty criminals could be educated and learn a trade in a reformatory; however, orphaned and abandoned children were not accorded the same opportunity. The Industrial Schools Act 1868 sought to address this by the establishment of the Industrial school system. In 1869 a school, attached to the convent, was established and became known as the St. Joseph's Orphanage & Industrial School.[3]

Events of 24 February 1943

A fire started in the early morning hours of 24 February 1943 in the basement laundry and was not noticed until about 2 AM. The subsequent investigation attributed it to a faulty flue.[4] The sight of smoke coming out of the building alerted people on Main Street. They went to the front entrance and tried to gain entry. Eventually they were let in by one of the girls (Rosemary Caffrey) but not knowing the layout of the convent, they were unable to find the girls.

By this time all of the girls had been moved into one Dormitory. At this stage it would have been possible to evacuate all of the children but instead the nuns persuaded the local people to attempt to put out the fire. It has been widely claimed that the reason the orphans were not evacuated was that the nuns did not think it "decent" for the girls to be seen in public in their nightgowns.[5][6][7][8]

Two men (John Kennedy and John McNally) went down to the laundry to try to put the fire out. The flames were now too intense for this to be possible and McNally only survived by being carried out by Kennedy.

By this point it was no longer possible for the girls to get out through the main entrance or the fire escape. The local fire brigade had then arrived but their equipment was not sufficient for this fire. Wooden ladders were not long enough to reach the dormitory windows. In the absence of any other solution girls were encouraged to jump. Three did so, though with injuries; however, most were too frightened to attempt it. By the time a local electricity worker, Mattie Hand, arrived with a long ladder, and a local man, Louis Blessing, brought five girls down. One child left by way of the interior staircase while it was still accessible. One child made it down the exterior fire escape. One child escaped by way of a small ladder held on the roof of the shed. The fire completely engulfed the dormitory and the remaining girls died.


The following 35 children died:[9]

  • Mary and Nora Barrett (12-year-old twins from Dublin)
  • Mary Brady (7 years old from Ballinagh)
  • Josephine and Mary Carroll (10 and 12 years old, respectively, from Castlerahan)
  • Josephine and Mona Cassidy (15 and 11 years old, respectively, from Belfast)
  • Katherine and Margaret Chambers (9 and 7 years old, respectively, from Enniskillen)
  • Dorothy Daly (7 years old from Cootehill)
  • Bridget and Mary Galligan (17 and 18 years old, respectively, from Drumcassidy, Cavan)
  • Mary Harrison (15 years old from Dublin)
  • Elizabeth Heaphy (4 years old from Swords)
  • Mary Hughes (15 years old from Killeshandra)
  • Mary Ivers (12 years old from Kilcoole Wicklow)
  • Mary Kelly (10 years old from Ballinagh)
  • Frances and Kathleen Kiely (9 and 12 years old, respectively, from Virginia)
  • Mary Lowry (17 years old from Drumcrow, Cavan)
  • Margaret and Mary Lynch (10 years and 15 years, Cavan)
  • Ellen McHugh (15 years old from Blacklion)
  • Mary Elizabeth and Susan McKiernan (16 and 14 years old, respectively, from Dromard)
  • Ellen Morgan (10 years old from Virginia)
  • Mary O'Hara (7 years old from Kilnaleck)
  • Ellen and Harriet Payne (8 and 11 years old, respectively, from Dublin)
  • Philomena Regan (9 years old from Dublin)
  • Kathleen Reilly (14 years old from Butlersbridge)
  • Mary Roche (6 years old from Dublin)
  • Bernadette Serridge (5 years old from Dublin)
  • Teresa White (6 years old from Dublin)
  • Rose Wright (11 years old from Ballyjamesduff)

The one adult who died was 80-year-old Mary Smith, who was employed as a cook.

Aftermath and Inquiry

The grave containing the remains of the 36 victims.

Over concerns about the causes of the fire and the standard of care, a Public Inquiry was set up. The report's findings stated that the loss of life occurred due to faulty directions being given, lack of fire-fighting training, and an inadequate rescue and fire-fighting service. It also noted inadequate training of staff in fire safety and evacuation, both at the orphanage and local fire service.[4]

This finding has been disputed by many, including in a piece of verse (to be precise, a limerick) written by the secretary to the Inquiry Brian O'Nolan, better known as the author Flann O'Brien, and one of the counsel representing the Electricity Supply Board, Tom O'Higgins, later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and presidential candidate.[10]

In Cavan there was a great fire,

Judge McCarthy was sent to inquire,
It would be a shame,
If the nuns were to blame,

So it had to be caused by a wire.

— Flann O'Brien & Tom O'Higgins


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