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Email: gerard.craughwell@oireachtas.ie

They did what’s natural – They had SEX.

Last night I attended the ‘Living Bereavement’ art show from institution survivors at Tallaght Library. This presentation was hosted by my friend and colleague Councillor Francis Timmons and it was without doubt a very moving experience.

I often think of the pain those wonderful girls I grew up with must have suffered leaving their child behind them. I often wonder what those children thought of a world so utterly cruel that it forced their mother to leave it to another to raise them. What sin did they commit? They had SEX. They engaged in what is the most natural of acts. What a price they and the children they gave life to, paid?!

The following poem says more than I could ever say about this.

Degradation of the Soul

You’re a Nobody she said.

You here because nobody loves you.

You’ll never amount to much, she said,

No decent man will ever be bothered with you.

Our daily intake. Of real nourishment of our souls.

No name, no identity, dehumanised by the good sisters of the cloth.

The dark heavy door always locked, keeping us all in.

They too, trapped within their own beliefs,

Their heavy burdened chains, beads, treaded together from the fingers of innocence.

Brides of Christ, they too held their own sense of invisibility.

No love, nor care bestowed upon any of us.

Each of us female, thrown together by a prominent male dominated regime.

I feel so Ill, I said, and what do you think I will do for you she said…

My pleas for medical care went unheard.

Go on your knees, and pray, your future and your Bastard child is in God’s Hands. Some of us must atone for our sins, maybe one day God will forgive you, for throwing your life away.

Your filth offends God, and our Good Lord, she said.

I knew, her words would last a long time, for in my solitude, I searched for a reason, yet it escaped my comprehension, as to Why any God even theirs could be so cruel, and then I began to realise, the Good Sisters, were in his grasp, he their owner, a, Male, the Man they obeyed without question.

The Man that ruled their very thoughts, their Man God, who led them away from their precious Christ’s teachings.

I wondered if they ever would open their hearts, their souls, and cleanse themselves of their daily intake of soul poisoning.