LETTER OF COMMITTAL: A COLLECTOR who bought a letter relating to the committal of three young girls to a Cork industrial school a century ago has donated the document to abuse victims after they complained about the nature of the auction.

On September 24th last abuse victim and Aislinn founder Christine Buckley and colleague Carmel McDonnell-Byrne protested at an auction in Dublin that was selling documents related to the committal of three young girls to a Cork industrial school a century ago.

Ms Buckley said she found the sale of such documents “physically nauseating. I am so shocked. It is absolutely grotesque and completely dehumanising. That could be me in 100 years’ time. I was ‘found wandering’ . . .”

The documents were sold to an anonymous telephone bidder who, she assumed, lived abroad.

They referred to Mary O’Connor (6), Wellington Street, Dublin, “found wandering and not having a proper guardian”, Catherine White (8) of Henrietta Place, Dublin, “found destitute and being an orphan” and Kate Keohane (11), Ring, Co Cork, “found wandering”. The lot was offered for “€200-300”.

The three children were detained at Clonakilty industrial school. One document detailed how on June 29th, 1911, at the request of “Monsignor O’Leary of Clonakilty”, Kate Keohane was committed to St Aloysius’s industrial school “being a school conducted in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church”, to be detained until January 17th, 1916.

It was run by the Sisters of Mercy. So was Dublin’s Goldenbridge orphanage, where Christine Buckley was detained as a child.

But the anonymous bidder at the Whyte’s auction last September was a Dublin man who read of Christine Buckley’s distress in this newspaper. He has since presented the documents to her and to the Aislinn Centre for abuse victims on Jervis Street.

He found his visit there “very emotional” and has undertaken to supply it with computers to help its education programme. “It’s terrible how we let these people down so badly,” he said.

The man, a company executive who wishes to remain anonymous,recalled how on that Saturday morning in September he and his wife were so moved by what Christine Buckley had told this newspaper, they decided to buy the documents for her. He was not to know that, doing so, he outbid Brian Donnelly from the National Archives at the auction.

Working to a tight budget he bid to €320. The anonymous bidder paid €470. Ms Buckley now plans to present the documents to the National Archive. Mr Donnelly said they would be “delighted” to accept them.

The Irish Times 20th December 2011


12 Responses to “Collector donates document from auction to abuse victims”

  1. yes me too to you all thank you very much for reading my comments as its the only contact that i have with other ex innocent in lots of patience and good times too to all .

  2. Paddy says:

    Rose, on behalf of all those who write to my website and on my own behalf I wish you a very Happy New Year. Paddy.

  3. Rose says:

    A Very Very Happy 2012 to everyone here.:))

  4. FXR says:

    Is this the same imaginary space thing master of the universe which is supposed to have been haunting the Earth when all this happened in the first place?

  5. jack dooley says:

    HI ALL . Micheal Walsh of of the NEW RIGHT OF PLACE,is indeed doing everything possible to notify survivors of what is happening in ref to the STATUTORY FUND and other matters of interest to us.So to MICHEAL AND PADDY for their good work, I wish both well and all survivors a HAPPY NEW YEAR.God Bless, may he give us who are still here and those who have gone from us PEACE.

  6. Paddy says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all visitors to this website a very happy New Year – one that will bring you everything you wish for. Paddy

  7. I think that these documents are in the right place. Thay prove that many of the condemed were carried into court in a policewomens arms. And not criminals. being destitute or whatever the excuse used. in the future because of the coverage recieved it will be remembered.its not about a person but many thousands of children.

  8. Hello all well best of luck to you all next year. you know seanie we abroad wouldnt even know about whos who in all these groups. if anyone contacted them to find out how to prepare for the redress board thay have been helped so thay keep all the names on thier lists even if the surviver went to the redress board by themselves. its only thanks to these two sites that we get a bit of information without questions being the main subject. anyway happy new year to you all .

  9. Seanie says:

    A very Happy Xmas Rose,
    The Govt. will be back in January and according to information I received they will discuss the 110 mil euro Statutory Fund proposition pending. What they are telling you is that the 12.5 million that was in a fund, a fund that most of us knew nothing about, has dried up over the ten years it has been dealt with by the Groups, I only learned of the 12.5 million available last year. Good to see some groups are reading Paddy’s site, the Shame of Ireland site also.
    Rose and all readers of this site, A very Happy Christmas Season and a better 2012.
    From the Arizona desert,

  10. Micheál says:

    Hi Rose,

    I hope you and your family are keeping well this time of year.

    At the moment, the education finace board have stated it is nearing it’s end however have not specified a date.

    As a result people applying to it have been informed that their application may not be processed and paid for. It is with this in mind that our policy (right of place) is to inform survivors of this.

    As a result we can still set up driving lessons for you or your family butit it may not be covered by the EFB, as they are due to close imminently.

    If you want driving lessons please contact Annmarie and say you spoke to Micheal Walsh and explain the above information. We will set up driving lessons but again inform you of the correct information.

    I am aware this does not help fully, but the education fund are governed by their legislation, which we can only inform.


    Micheál Walsh


    Info regarding our recent AGM will be added to our website at should you wish to view it or any additional info.

    Have a nice Christmas!!!!

  11. FXR says:

    They should be donated after they’ve been scanned and put online for anyone who wants to look at them. The national archives are a black hole where the agents of the pope lurk in the corridors.

  12. Rose says:

    Does anyone know if the Statutory Fund has been set up yet.?

    My sister contacted Right of Place in Cork last week, she wants to have some driving lessons. She was told that she should have applied before November(how was she supposed to know that?) and also that the funds had dried up. What exactly that means I don’t know,, does it mean we are wasting our time even trying to get support with anything? I really cannot see this Statutory Fund being of any use to anyone.