Daily Archives: February 8, 2013

Hell on Earth

WARNING: You will need Tissues. A CRATE FULL.

How can I, an Irishwoman, dare to write a post at this time on the particular subject chosen for us today?

The world has many images of Ireland: –

Lakes of Killarney
Hills of Donegal
Fermanagh Lakes
Cliff of Moher
Giant’s causeway
Ring of Kerry
The Burren
Galway Bay
Dublin’s fair City

Happy go lucky
Book of Kells

Jaunting cars
Irish Coffee
Turf Fires
Forty shades of green

Island of Saints and Scholars
Tír na nÓg

Tír na nÓg “Land of the Young” is widely known as an Otherworld in Irish mythology

The version of Tír na nÓg “Land of the Young” portrayed across the world’s media this week, was a very different world. Definitely no myth. It is now a time for generations of us who claim to be Irish, to bow our heads in shame and weep.

Many of you may have seen the Movie The Magdalene Sisters, it was based on truth.

To think for all, if not more than my sixty six years, this form of torture was metered out on children as young as four, in Magdalene Homes/Laundries across the Island of Ireland.




There are enough words already written to cover the globe, way more succinctly and eloquently than I could ever manage so I offer you four links. The middle two are interviews with victims.

Magdalene Laundries and the Power of Shame

Interview with one survivor “We were Slaves!”

A former Magdalene Laundry resident speaks out.

Involvement of the State

For years, In Ireland, the clergy (priests, brothers and nuns) were all placed on pedestals and we were taught that they could do no wrong. We were to look up to and respect them.

My sister said to me only yesterday:

We were lucky. We might have ended up in a place like that, in 1958!

In that year my father was dying and spent most of the time in and out of hospital. An error was made in surgery and a swab left inside his body. It turned gangrenous and all his internal organs were effected. Out of work meant out of pocket – no wage coming in. Before you ask, it was long before the Compensation Culture was heard of. Daddy did survive. He eventually returned to work and limped through life for twenty years, developing Addison’s disease and emphysema along the way.

We survived, thanks to generous relations who quietly paid the regular bills and friends who visited. These friends usually ended a visit with a hand being pulled from their pocket and a note being left under the little brass bell that sat on the mantelpiece over the fire. The action was accompanied with:

Eileen, I forgot to buy sweets for the kids, you know what they will like!

The sweets we got were soups and stews to keep the life blood in us.

With the Church, State and the Forces of Law & Order in the gutter, where respect is concerned, who in our hour of bleak need can we turn to now?

We haven’t lost our smile at all, it’s right under our noses. We just forget it is there at the moment.

Nature vs nurture was the topic chosen by Shackman that I was supposed to write about. I suggest you skip on over to see what he and the other active members are writing about this time: Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

Photographing the Alphabet ~ A

It is time I began another challenge on my ‘To Do List for 2013‘, to photograph the alphabet.

I didn’t mean to line up each of the letters, but years ago it would have been an easy task with magnetic letters on the fridge. We actually had two sets of them and the numbers. Each evening the ten words of the spelling homework were lined up in a column.

For the next twenty six Saturdays, this challenge will have pride of place. The plan this time round, is to take the letters in order and find a word beginning with that letter and a photograph or photographs to go with it.

AncientGiant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the north east coast of Northern Ireland.

Many features in the surrounding landscape have acquired names such as the famous wishing chair, the giants boot, the ladies fan, the giants organ, the chimney stacks, the giants chair, to name a few.

The area is a haven for sea birds such as fulmar, petrel, cormorant, shag, redshank guillemot and razorbill.

The weathered rock formations host a number of rare and unusual plants including sea spleenwort, hare’s foot trefoil, vernal squill, sea fescue and frog orchid. ~ Wikipedia