Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Book Launch: Margaretta D?Arcy?s Memoir, Ireland?s Guantanamo Granny Thu Feb 11, 2016 13:09 | Irish Left Review
A Costly Health Service? Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:51 | Michael Taft
February Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:58 | Communist Party of Ireland
Blackrock, Noel Rock Thu Feb 04, 2016 23:15 | Des Derwin
So How?s the ol? 1 Percent Getting On? Tue Jan 19, 2016 23:21 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Behold the moderate face of the Republican primaries? 14:47 Thu Feb 11, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
Sanders and the structure of US politics? 13:46 Thu Feb 11, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
They?re not killing us at the doors when we canvass? 11:46 Thu Feb 11, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
And while we are discussing the SCC 09:41 Thu Feb 11, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
An unconvincing defence of the SCC. 08:47 Thu Feb 11, 2016 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
THE WRATH OF KANE: BANKING CRISES AND POLITICAL POWER 09:32 Fri Jan 30, 2015
ALWAYS THE ARTISTS: WEEK THREE OF THE BANK INQUIRY 23:11 Thu Jan 22, 2015
FIANNA FÁIL AND THE BANK INQUIRY : SOME INITIAL OBSERVATIONS 21:04 Mon Jan 12, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
From Wicklow to Wakefield - a victim of Protestant prejudice and state neglect
rights, freedoms and repression |
Wednesday July 01, 2009 21:17 by Derek Leinster - Victims of Institutional Protestant Prejudice - VIP(P) linster.d at gmail dot com
Derek Leinster survived to become a trade union convener, a father and a grandfather
Protestant abuse victims must also be heard
Irish Times, Wednesday, July 1, 2009
OPINION: Victims of Protestant prejudice and State neglect are at a disadvantage, writes DEREK LEINSTER
YOU DON’T have to be a Catholic to be listened to as a victim of institutional abuse, but it seems to help. That is my experience as a Protestant victim of institutional neglect. Like all sufferers, I am a victim of prejudice.
It was prejudice that forced my mother into the Bethany Home in Orwell Road, Rathgar in 1941 for the “social sin” (as one cleric put it) of being pregnant out of wedlock. To add to her burden, her gestating baby had a Catholic father. Marriage in those circumstances was out, and so was I, fostered out to a dysfunctional family in Wicklow where I was beaten black and blue and (I mention it since it seems to be what Irish people are most interested in) sexually molested.
Derek Leinster, born in a home for 'fallen' Protestant women - click it to read it
I left school illiterate when I was 13 and Ireland when I was 18, still unable to read or write. Some people escaped Catholic Ireland. I escaped the equally self-contained Protestant version, from Wicklow to Wakefield, in England.
Patsy McGarry wrote all too briefly about my call to include the Bethany Home in the Irish State’s redress scheme, but a lot about abuse being something peculiarly Irish and Catholic (Irish Times, June 20th). I can assure him that just being Irish was reason enough. That and being poor was often sufficient.
One reverend gentleman speaking in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin in December 1945 received reports on that score from the Bethany Home, the Protestant Magdalen Home (yes, there was one) and “the Detective Branch of the Civic Guard”. Unwed pregnancy was spreading beyond the “servant girl type”. Sometimes, “business girls and occasionally university students were victims”.
He should have said “victimised”.
The Bethany Home was set up in 1922, the opening presided over by the Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin. He said the home was “specially intended” for “fallen” women.
Another clergyman involved was the a leading supporter of the Orange Order in Dublin. When not making clever remarks about the pope, the Rev TC Hammond was persecuting fellow clerics for placing candles on church altars.
People like him pursued, as The Irish Times put it in 1964, the “moral welfare and rehabilitation” of Bethany women. The women had overstepped the boundaries of prejudice. Some found an all too fleeting happiness with a member of the opposite religion.
Their illicit offspring paid for it for the rest of their lives. Cast off, cast out, half-caste.
That was me and many others.
I am now old, a proud father and a grandfather. I want justice. Not just for myself but for all the victims of State neglect and religious narrow-mindedness. I will not rest until the lies have been exposed.
I was told that the Irish State did not monitor the Bethany Home. That is a lie. Though, as an excuse for getting off the hook, it takes some beating. It was the reason I took so many.
I forgive my dysfunctional foster father. He no more beat me because he was a Protestant than others were beaten because their tormenters were Catholics. He and his wife should never have been given a foster child.
Those who claimed to know better than the rest should have done better. They are to blame. The Irish State I do not forgive. The Irish people deserve better.
We victims of Protestant prejudice and State neglect are at a disadvantage because we were scattered to the four winds, disconnected from each other and forgotten about. Since my personal story, Hannah’s Shame, was published I have met fellow sufferers. They have medical problems alarmingly similar to mine that stem from early neglect.
I can be contacted through my website, derekleinster.com. I would like to share experiences with Catholic and Protestant victims. Maybe the Irish media and politicians will get more interested. That is up to them.
We need a bit of Protestant people power to make that happen. Catholics can join in.
I am not prejudiced. My father, who died before I discovered who he was, was a Catholic.
[Derek Leinster became a trade union official and accomplished amateur boxer in England. He is now retired. Hannah’s Shame, and a companion volume, Destiny Unknown, are available via his website, www.derekleinster.com]
Derek Leinster, The Guardian, Thursday 18 June 2009:
Poor, Protestant and Irish - a victim of institutional abuse - click it to read it