“Nun at Derry home ‘facilitated’ abuse by priest, woman tells inquiry” & related articles

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Two victims waive anonymity to reveal abuse at religious-run homes in North Thu, Feb 13, 2014, 01:00

One witness repeatedly broke down yesterday as she described abuse she suffered at the Sisters of Nazareth home in Derry. Photograph: Trevor McBride.

One witness repeatedly broke down yesterday as she described abuse she suffered at the Sisters of Nazareth home in Derry. Photograph: Trevor McBride.

A woman waived her right to anonymity at Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry yesterday to reveal allegations of beatings and sex abuse at a home in Derry run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

Kate Walmsley, now in her late 50s, further alleged that a nun identified to the inquiry facilitated the abuse by one of the priests. She said when the girls at Nazareth House residential care home queued for confession on a Saturday, this nun would ensure she was at the end of the line.

Junior counsel to the inquiry Joseph Aiken asked her: “So you felt she knew what was happening and she put your hand into the priest’s hand?”

“Yes,” she replied.

Ms Walmsley said the priest brought her into his side of the confessional and abused her.

The witness repeatedly broke down. At one point, inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart suspended proceedings to allow her to recover.

When she returned, she confirmed various allegations contained in a lengthy statement which has been submitted to the inquiry. This included allegations of beatings carried out by senior girls at the institution and by nuns.

Force-fed
She told the inquiry how a nun had force-fed her during a meal, causing her to get sick. The nun, she alleged, then forced her to eat her own vomit. She said nuns told her she was carrying a mortal sin on her soul.

“I thought my mortal sin was the biggest mortal sin,” she told the inquiry. “I thought the devil would come and take us away.”

She described sex abuse by her peers over a three-month period, saying some girls touched her sexually and forced her to touch them.

She also told the inquiry of the horror of being bathed after an episode of abuse. “If you could understand an eight-year-old who had just been sexually abused by a priest, then put into a bath with Jeyes Fluid and it stinging my insides,” Ms Walmsley said.

“It was worse than any labour pains I ever had. You had to take that and not scream because you would have been beaten.”

Anonymity
A second witness told the inquiry chairman he was sick of hiding behind anonymity and wanted his name put to his testimony.

John Heaney detailed repeated sexual abuse by an older boy who was also a resident at St Joseph’s, Termonbacca.

“He is the only one that ever sexually abused me. Others would have given you a good thumping.”

Mr Heaney said some of the nuns were “monsters” and said that one in particular was “a vile, vile woman” who was “just pure evil”.

He said beatings by the nuns were “random”, and that there was a hierarchy among older boys, and this was wanted by the nuns to keep control.

He said he got beatings from two nuns who beat him on every part of his body.

The final witness said he couldn’t accept that apologies issued subsequently by nuns were sincere. “I think they were religious fanatics who hadn’t a clue how to bring up children.”

When he left the home as a teenager, the witness said he now believes he was “sold” to a farming family in the Republic.

“I worked seven days a week and worked from morning to night and got paid £3 a week.”

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Historical Abuse Inquiry: Boy punished for being ‘left-handed’

BBC News Northern Ireland

Termonbacca

St Joseph’s Home, Termonbacca, was run by the Sisters of Nazareth order of nuns

A former resident at St Joseph’s Catholic home, Termonbacca, has told the Historical Abuse Inquiry how he was punished for being left-handed.

Jon McCourt, a high profile campaigner to get the inquiry set up, has waived his right to anonymity.

He also told the inquiry that he did not realise two other boys in a photograph were his brothers.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions in NI from 1922 to 1995.

Termonbacca and another Derry home, Nazareth House, were run by the Sisters of Nazareth.

He told the inquiry on Thursday: “I remember, when I was about five years old, being constantly beaten by one particular nun, to get me to stop writing with my left hand.”

He said this was a common practice at the time before adding: “They were messing up with how we were wired.”

A photograph was shown of 40 young boys from the home on a day trip at the Guildhall in Londonderry.

He pointed out himself and his two brothers in the photograph, but said he did not know they were his brothers at the time.

When counsel for the inquiry said some of the institutions dispute claims about a lack of family contact at the homes, Mr McCourt replied: “I can’t talk about their truth, I know mine”.

McCourt also told the inquiry he blamed unionist domination in Londonderry in the 1950s for him ending up in Termonbacca.

He said he spent 10 years in the home “not because my mother didn’t love me”, but because unionist leaders would not build homes for Catholics in the city.

The inquiry, being held in Banbridge, County Down, is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases in 13 residential institutions.

Public hearings are due to finish in June 2015, with the inquiry team to report to the Northern Ireland Executive by the start of 2016.

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Nazareth House care home abuse descended into hell, inquiry is told

The Belfast Telegraph

The emotional distress of life in a children’s home run by nuns left a woman feeling as if she had “descended into hell,” an inquiry has been told.

Three former residents of Nazareth House in Londonderry gave evidence yesterday to the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) at Banbridge Court House in Co Down.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995.

They spoke of the physical, mental and sexual abuse they were subjected to as children living in the home.

A female witness described to the inquiry how she was sexually abused by a nun when she was aged just three or four. The woman, now in her 50s, claimed she had been sexually and physically abused by nuns and older girls and said she had prayed she would never have children herself.

“I couldn’t bear to see them going through the pain and hurt I suffered,” she said.

She described how she drank from drainpipes when she was thirsty and suffered sores all over her body as a result of having her skin scrubbed with a floor brush.

Another woman who appeared via videolink from Canada told the inquiry that when she was four or five years old she was spoon-fed her own vomit.

She told the inquiry she would be force-fed her breakfast of basic porridge and as a result she would vomit it up – she was then spoon fed her vomit as punishment.

She also spoke of how she witnessed a nun give a brutal beating to another young child.

The woman recalled seeing her body left covered in blood as she was struck from head to foot repeatedly with a thick stick.

The woman described the nuns running the homes as “heartless” and “emotionally handicapped”.

Another victim described how she too was beaten by older girls within Nazareth House and said the emotional distress of being a resident left her feeling as if she had “descended into hell”.

The inquiry, chaired by Sir Anthony Hart, continues.

BACKGROUND

The Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 1995. The inquiry is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart.

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Abuse inquiry told nun forced young girl to perform sex act

Witness says older girls gave frequent beatings and once made her eat her own vomit

A file image showing the opening session of the independent Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down last month. Photograph: PA

A file image showing the opening session of the independent Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down last month. Photograph: PA

The Irish Times

Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 16:06

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has heard claims that a child was forced to perform oral sex on a nun.

A witness, who was a resident at Nazareth House in Derry’s Bishop Street during the 1960s, said she was between the ages of four and five when she was made to lie on her back on the floor by a nun who straddled her, lifting her habit and forcing the child to perform a sex act on her.

She said she was terrified.

She told the inquiry she reported the incident to another nun some time later. The witness, who cannot be identified, said the nun did get back to her, but now denies this ever happened.

“She said to me – she would have remembered if something like this had have been said – but I would swear on the Bible that this conversation took place,” she said.

The inquiry is examining the treatment of girls and boys at 13 residential institutions across Northern Ireland since the foundation of the state.

The witness told of frequent beatings by the more senior girls and alleged repeatedly that nuns looked on without preventing abuse. She had entered the home, she said, because her parents were not married.

On one occasion she told the inquiry panel she was forced by other girls to eat her own vomit having got sick during a meal. She complained of being constantly cold and hungry. She said that due to thirst, she would often drink rainwater from a drain.

She told the inquiry that when she began having periods she was only given two sanitary towels per day, morning and evening. The witness said that as she was only given one pair of pants per week, she used to wash her pair out daily and try to get them to dry overnight.

“They were always soaking, but at least they were clean,” she said.

She further told the inquiry that while there were many beatings in the home, one nun showed her great kindness and tried to look after her when she was taken ill.

She said the atmosphere was always better at Christmas.

“There was a lovely atmosphere in the home at Christmas. They [THE NUNS]were a lot nicer at Christmas,” she said.

“We got the one present – I can always remember getting snakes and ladders or a selection box and on another occasion getting a night gown. “

She said she also enjoyed Hallowe’en. “They held a party for Halloween. We had fireworks, I was petrified of them but we had a party.”

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Historical Abuse Inquiry: Nun ‘beat girl black and blue

BBC News Northern Ireland

Nazareth House

The witness lived in Nazareth House from 1957 to 1969

The first female witness to give evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry said she was beaten by a nun until she was black and blue.

The woman, who is now 58, said she realised the nun enjoyed it when she cried so she stopped crying when she was hit.

She lived in Nazareth House in Bishop Street, Londonderry from 1957-1969.

The inquiry is investigating abuse claims against children’s residential institutions in NI from 1922 to 1995.

The witness also told the inquiry she was sexually assaulted by two foster carers she was placed with.

When she went back to the home and told the nuns, they said she was talking nonsense.

The woman’s evidence also included an allegation of being lined up for baths along with 100 other young girls, and of the same water being used to wash them all.

Searched

She said she did not know she had a sibling in the home until one day, when she was six, another of the residents said to her: “I’m your big sister.”

Her sister left the home aged 16, the witness claimed, and wanted to take her with her, but that she was too young to go.

She told the inquiry: “I’ve been trying to search for my sister for a long time since I left the convent but I just can’t find her.”

The woman said she also searched for her mother but has never found her either.

She said she did not know what age she was or her birthday while she lived in the home.

Fear of God

She also told how she discovered, three years ago, that she had three other siblings, a brother and two sisters, who had been raised by their grandparents.

On Monday afternoon, another former resident, who is now 46, told the inquiry that the nuns put the fear of God into him by locking him in a cupboard as punishment for truanting.

He said he was traumatised when a nun would not let him attend his mother’s funeral.

“It was like she ripped my heart out,” he said.

The Historical Abuse Inquiry also heard that children at the Sisters of Nazareth Home in Londonderry were routinely given scalding or freezing showers.

The inquiry, being held in Banbridge, County Down, is chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart and is considering cases in 13 residential institutions.

Public hearings are due to finish in June 2015, with the inquiry team to report to the Northern Ireland Executive by the start of 2016.

_________________________________

Brothers recall terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse at children’s home

The Ulster Herald

28 January 2014

Willie Kelly

Willie Kelly is still haunted by his childhood experiences at Rubane House.

THE death of their mother (in Fintona) during the early 1950s dealt a cruel hand to two local men and their six brothers and sisters.

At a time when they should have been enjoying growing up, the brothers were separated from their siblings, and plunged into a terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse in one of the North’s most notorious institutions.

For Patrick Murphy and Willie Kelly, the painful memories of that period will never fade. Both are now aged in their 70s and say they will never forget the horrors of their youth.

The shocking nature of the abuse which children were subjected to at Rubane House in Kircubbin, Co Down and other institutions is currently being investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

Last week, The De La Salle Brothers – which ran Rubane House – was one of two Catholic orders that said sorry for the abuse children suffered in their children’s homes in Northern Ireland.

The Sisters of Nazareth and the De La Salle Brothers issued apologies on the second day of the inquiry in Banbridge – the biggest public inquiry into child abuse ever to take place in the UK.

It is investigating abuse claims in 13 children’s homes and juvenile justice centres in Northern Ireland, from 1922 to 1995, including Rubane House.

Upwards on 100 people from the Omagh and Strabane areas are said to have submitted evidence to the inquiry.

However, the brothers are not taking part because they feel it has come “too late” for them.

“I am 77 years of age now and the chances of me getting anything other than a feeble sorry are remote,” said Patrick. “But if we had been born in Donegal then we’d have received compensation.

“It is hard to say why all of this has taken so long and to be quite honest our view is that they’re only going to be touching the surface of what went on.

“My intention was to take this to the grave with me. But when the inquiries started in the Republic my son began asking me about my experiences because he knew I’d been in a children’s home here.

“He started to make the connection. The real truth became apparent and he couldn’t believe that I had held onto those memories for all these years.”

Patrick and Willie never met for almost four decades following their mother’s death. Both now live in Strabane and it was only by chance that they discovered their shared experience in Rubane House.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather when Willie told me that he had also been in Rubane House,” said Patrick.

After spending most of their lives being separated from each other and their other brothers and sisters, the family is now reunited. Despite the brothers’ reluctance to take part in the inquiry, Survivors NI is appealing for other local people who have been abused to contact them.

Spokesperson Margaret McGuckin told the Ulster Herald, “Our organisation has been contacted by upwards of 100 people from the West Tyrone area. Many more have not come forward, but I would urge them to contact us because there is nothing to fear,” Ms McGuckin said.

“Victims now have protection and, while we have given a guarded welcome to the apologies by two religious orders in the Catholic Church, this must be supported by their full co-operation with the inquiry.

“At last the victims of this abuse have been given a voice and I have seen grown men and women cry tears of relief that their stories are finally being listened to.

“The pain which they have carried with them for a lifetime never goes away. There will be more heartache ahead for them, but it will be worth it.”

Brothers recall terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse at children’s home

Willie Kelly

Willie Kelly is still haunted by his childhood experiences at Rubane House.

THE death of their mother (in Fintona) during the early 1950s dealt a cruel hand to two local men and their six brothers and sisters.

At a time when they should have been enjoying growing up, the brothers were separated from their siblings, and plunged into a terrifying cycle of sexual and physical abuse in one of the North’s most notorious institutions.

For Patrick Murphy and Willie Kelly, the painful memories of that period will never fade. Both are now aged in their 70s and say they will never forget the horrors of their youth.

The shocking nature of the abuse which children were subjected to at Rubane House in Kircubbin, Co Down and other institutions is currently being investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

Last week, The De La Salle Brothers – which ran Rubane House – was one of two Catholic orders that said sorry for the abuse children suffered in their children’s homes in Northern Ireland.

The Sisters of Nazareth and the De La Salle Brothers issued apologies on the second day of the inquiry in Banbridge – the biggest public inquiry into child abuse ever to take place in the UK.

It is investigating abuse claims in 13 children’s homes and juvenile justice centres in Northern Ireland, from 1922 to 1995, including Rubane House.

Upwards on 100 people from the Omagh and Strabane areas are said to have submitted evidence to the inquiry.

However, the brothers are not taking part because they feel it has come “too late” for them.

“I am 77 years of age now and the chances of me getting anything other than a feeble sorry are remote,” said Patrick. “But if we had been born in Donegal then we’d have received compensation.

“It is hard to say why all of this has taken so long and to be quite honest our view is that they’re only going to be touching the surface of what went on.

“My intention was to take this to the grave with me. But when the inquiries started in the Republic my son began asking me about my experiences because he knew I’d been in a children’s home here.

“He started to make the connection. The real truth became apparent and he couldn’t believe that I had held onto those memories for all these years.”

Patrick and Willie never met for almost four decades following their mother’s death. Both now live in Strabane and it was only by chance that they discovered their shared experience in Rubane House.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather when Willie told me that he had also been in Rubane House,” said Patrick.

After spending most of their lives being separated from each other and their other brothers and sisters, the family is now reunited. Despite the brothers’ reluctance to take part in the inquiry, Survivors NI is appealing for other local people who have been abused to contact them.

Spokesperson Margaret McGuckin told the Ulster Herald, “Our organisation has been contacted by upwards of 100 people from the West Tyrone area. Many more have not come forward, but I would urge them to contact us because there is nothing to fear,” Ms McGuckin said.

“Victims now have protection and, while we have given a guarded welcome to the apologies by two religious orders in the Catholic Church, this must be supported by their full co-operation with the inquiry.

“At last the victims of this abuse have been given a voice and I have seen grown men and women cry tears of relief that their stories are finally being listened to.

“The pain which they have carried with them for a lifetime never goes away. There will be more heartache ahead for them, but it will be worth it.”

– See more at: http://ulsterherald.com/2014/01/28/brothers-recall-terrifying-cycle-of-sexual-and-physical-abuse-at-childrens-home/#sthash.GeaGDvWx.dpuf

4 Responses to “Nun at Derry home ‘facilitated’ abuse by priest, woman tells inquiry” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    More of the horrors that so many have endured as children, this time at the hands of nuns, priests and, yes, even other children.

    Such pain. Such hurt. Such suffering.

    Let’s keep all those who are testifying at these inquiries throughout the world in our prayers.

  2. Manuela (Mandy) says:

    Because of this site I am not alone fighting my demons.

  3. G.R. Pafumi says:

    “The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has heard claims that a child was forced to perform oral sex on a nun.” There is a scene in the film, “The Magdalene Sisters” depicting the same sort of occurrence.

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