The Irish Times – Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Detention order: this document grants the placing of a young girl in a Clonakilty industrial school. It is being auctioned on the internet.Detention order: this document grants the placing of a young girl in a Clonakilty industrial school. It is being auctioned on the internet.

Detention Order for sale on Ebay

Order of Detention for Sale on Ebay.

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

A 1913 document ordering the detention of a young girl in a Co Cork industrial school has been put up for sale on eBay.

It details how Fr Gus Ahern of the “North Cathedral, Cork” sought the detention of Mary Bridget McSwiney (sic) at Clonakilty industrial school, at a court hearing in Blarney.

The order was granted as she was “a child under the age of 14 years” who had “been found wandering and having a parent who does not exercise proper guardianship”.

Described as “Roman Catholic”, the child was to be detained until 1919 at Clonakilty industrial school, “it being a school conducted in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church”.

It was further ordered that her father, Eugene McSwiney, pay six pence a week to the inspector of reformatory and industrial schools in Ireland for the period of Mary Bridget’s detention.

The document has been put on auction with opening bids beginning at $29. It was placed there by Irish Celt, a Co Clare-based company which has been selling items of Irish memorabilia on eBay since 1998. As stated on its website, “our mission is to awaken memories from another era”. The company is run by Davoc and Anne Rynne of Knockliscrane, Miltown Malbay.

Last night, Mr Rynne said he had sold a similar detention document recently to a Kildare customer, who was “well happy” with it.

The documents had been brought to him by a furniture dealer who had discovered them in what appeared to be “a secret compartment” in a sideboard he had bought. There were two folders of documents in the compartment, only some of which the furniture dealer had sold on.

Paddy Doyle, author of The God Squad and whose own order of detention to Cappoquin was made in 1955 when he was four, found the eBay document “very sad” and “extremely poignant”. He was “disgusted and shocked, to say the least” at seeing it for sale on eBay.

But Mr Rynne described the documents as “a poignant piece of history”.

He recalled how Adams auctioneers had to withdraw Famine letters from sale recently due to public reaction. “I can understand that but we live in a capitalist society, so what can we do? I had to buy it.”

He added, however, he had been “thinking of taking it down” off eBay, where it was placed last Sunday, as “I wouldn’t like to be upsetting people”.


27 Responses to “Industrial school order placed on eBay”

  1. If anyone uses any photos of me in g b i will sue them as its my right and that means even if thay have never met me . so anything thats mine belongs to me i have asked for copies but was ignored . i dont want to be used .

  2. Rob Northall says:

    Hi Robert, sorry for the delay

    Paul Nolan is prepared to print out emails and personally deliver them to the Irish Ambassador in London!

    Will cause irritation to the functioning of the embassy and if you include an address you are entitled to a reply in writing!!

    If there are enough it may be a news story!!

    send email to

    Hope this clarifies things?

  3. robert says:

    cos i have no idea what you are talking about? ( in a nice way of course) with great respect to yourself i am just wondering why this question if i have submitted something i am a bit confused sorry rob best regards robert

  4. Rob Northall says:

    Can’t access the Facebook group mentioned above; It may be temporarily down or I have been blocked again?!?

  5. Rob Northall says:

    For those of you who want to help promote the Petition @

    This is what I am doing!

    Join a Facebook Group or Cause; there are many dormant ones relating to our “cause”. Their combined membership runs to around 6,000+ may be more.

    Send a friends request to each member!

    Add a personal message; the one I use is below:


    When you vote at you will be sent a confirmation email to the email account you supplied; your vote will not count until you click this link. Make sure you check your Junk email Folder?

    Revisit the site and check your name is there?


    (Copy and paste from note pad) use your own email address!

    You may provoke a response; my friends list is growing quickly!

    When you change your profile they get an update!

    When you type what’s on your mind they get an update!

    It is mass communication!

    Check the petitions’ page to see if you are having an impact???

    If you cant find a cause send me a friends message then look at my causes and groups I can do the all!

    Post the Cause you are working on here so we don’t waste our time!

    Does beebo work the same?

    Anyone on forum you can PM there!

    Maybe we can wake some up!!

  6. Rob Northall says:

    If you are on facebook there is this –

    where I have been also promoting!

  7. Rob Northall says:

    Robert, Have you also submitted something for Paul to take to the Irish Embassy in London?

    emails to

    small deeds build into big ones, if we all pull together.

  8. Rob Northall says:

    Hi Charles, If you have an alternate email address you can have another go! It is vetted by 1 vote per email address! Hope this helps? I have already told via their contact page about you missing vote but not heard back yet?

    Regards Rob

  9. Rob Northall says:

    Hi Robert,
    The first task is to get them to listen; this petition needs a lot more names to prove that we need to be considered!

    I did post draft Aims and Objectives for all to see!

    To Lobby the Irish Government to undo the “Great Injustice” it has done in its dealings with the Congregations of Religious Ireland C.O.R.I.

    Dissolution of the Statutory Trust Fund on the Grounds that it is Iniquitous.

    Dissolution of the Diplomatic Immunity of the Holy See.

    That is where I am there are a few more! But I have promised not to get on my soap box untill affter the petition!

    Personally I want a Bancrupt C.O.R.I. and all the money that they paid to the Holy See over the 2 hundred years. They are the wages of the Survivors!!

  10. doris dowling says:

    charles i have had the same problem been trying for two weeks .am i on the list i dont know .Rob is there an eaisier way?

  11. robert says:

    thank you rob yes i have signed too i was so glad to but can we also state the government owe us that 500 pus million euro they took from the religious using the tax payers name in vain for their own profit.

  12. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Rob, I filled in the petition and received a confirming mail which I deleted by mistake. I have filled in the petition several times but to no avail. All that comes up is that they already have my mail. Can you rectify this for me Rob?.

  13. Rob Northall says:

    Dear Martha and Robert; There may be only a dozen or so regular contributors to this site; some slip in some slip out and so on and so forth.

    However public opinion is building on the petition at

    119 People who want Survivors to be consulted!

    I hope that your name is amongst those?

    Regards Rob

  14. robert says:

    thanks martha.
    you know what when paddy said when we look on this site we have only a dozen or so on here i was saddened by this truth i never realized.
    i feel so lonely in writing what i write, i would have thought any survivor who can use a computer would express their feelings here. we talked of trying to organize getting together and doing something more positive to get heard but paddy was right we cannot even get 50 people on here.
    there must be thousands of survivor/witnesses who know of paddy’s work on here yet never make their views known. i can only ask why oh why?
    so i can only say on this you are so right in your comments martha.
    i can only stand up for what i believe to be right. paddy is one of a kind he does his best as does all on here no matter their views i personally like paddy respect the for or against the issues though i do find some hard to accept.
    just as many girls and boys of the prisons of ireland i have to fight for what is right or i feel the children of tomorrow will be robbed just as we were and are to this very day.

    the public must understand that they cannot trust this government or church with their children if this government refuses to pay its 100% debt to the children of abuse.

    any person who works with children are supposed to be vetted for crimes against children so where do you put them both here?

  15. Martha says:

    Hello Robert, As far as I’m concerned the Irish government and the Catholic Church are one and the same institution. I cracked that nut when I was a mere teenager and have never changed my mind about that FACT ever since. Also, whilst I have the greatest sympathy for those who were forced to spend thei childhood years in the industrial schools, aka the child slave camps of the Catholic Church, the fact is (a) most such survivors have been so dehumanised by their childhood experience (systematic terror) that they have, in effect, become clones of their erstwhile masters (makers). But its not as if they are the only survivors of the systematic tyranny – which is mostly psychological – of Roman Catholic dogma; the FACT is the vast majority of Irish people are too, myself included.

    Why else, do you think, the same sociopaths (and I don’tuse that word lightly) are still in power since the formation of our so-called Independence?

    Kind regards,

  16. robert says:

    very well spoken martha
    but my argument is still at the way we are being treated by both the church and state.
    the people will never change but the way things are they would be wise to see how we survivors are being treated.
    the way the country is heading they will suffer at the same hands that have made us suffer for years.
    we need to flag the truth that the government are only willing to pay 50% for their 100% responsibility towards the abuse of the children of ireland.
    if they trust this government after all this, to run this country then they will suffer their loss also.
    the country is what the government decides it to be if people remain still and quiet.

  17. Martha says:

    To Robert:

    This so-called government of ours IS doing what it likes to Ireland and to its people. Its always been like that and its not going to stop as long as the Irish people themselves refuse to let these Roman Catholic thugs contine their rape and plunder of OUR country.

    Sadly, the vast majority of the Irish, not least the so-called Middle Classes, are “Good Catholics” themselves, even if they never set foot in a RC church again!

    Where’s it all going to end, you ask? When the Irish “middle classes” are deprived of their money, or rather, the ILLUSION of being well-off; when their credit cards can buy them no more debt!

    To John Crawford: I wish you and your family well; you are just one of thousands (millions, actually) of Irish people who have been sold down the river by their own so-called political leaders. The Irish are still too “catholicised” for their own good.

    The guys selling those Industrial School Detention Orders are amoral parasites; what they SHOULD have done was track down the family survivors and handed over said documents to them. But, such profiteers do not posess a conscience.

  18. Rob Northall says:

    I agree with everything that is said!

    We have important work to do promoting the petition to get the Statutory Trust Fund disolved

    104 signature; The government will laugh that right off the internet!!

  19. robert says:

    john my heart goes out to your loss as it does all survivors please keep safe your self your family and all documents as this government will not.
    these people who sell these documents are parasites we must be aware of them and expose them for their actions as criminals.
    john you seem such a good person with a big heart for his loved ones and i hope you find the healing you so deserve.
    keep safe and well regards robert

  20. hi i have five of them.belonging to my two sisters. and two belongs to my two brothers who are deciscd.they are comital orders from dad rip had to pay ten shillins,a month.for the five of us.

  21. robert says:

    where did this document come from anyway god only knows where and how all similar documents will be in the future?
    surely the question must be asked how they got hold of this document as it belongs to someone else not the company selling it.
    as maureen said the family may be still alive.
    and their permission should have been asked. no excuses research the family who owns it firstly.
    this survivors identity has been made known by this mindless carry on

  22. robert says:

    this is rotten to the core so the world can do what it likes and no one gives a toss?
    is this the fall of humanity?
    first we have the government paying only 50% for their 100% involvement and the church?

  23. Phil says:

    Even though an item is removed by Ebay or the Seller, it is still available on computer as you will see from below.
    Scroll down past the pics and see the item that he was selling. this was the second one. God only knows what happened to the other items found in the piece of furniture.

  24. Paddy says:

    The item has been removed from Ebay due to the pressure put on the company by a few individuals. However, scroll down this page and see what has been done in the past. (My thanks to the person who sent it to me) Paddy

  25. Rob Northall says:

    I have looked and it would appear that this item is not for sale anymore.

    These Items should not be destroyed; but the thought of them being sold to the highest bidder; leaves me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

    May be it should be donated and on permenant display in the Irish Parliament.

    Or in the office of the Mary Coughlan!

    “Lest they Forget”

  26. Portia says:

    This is sad in one way, yet it opens the eyes of the world to the hidden truth of Irish children who were imprisoned for “wandering” and the audacity of the institution to seek payment from the father.It also shows the power of the priest and the collusion of the state courts.
    Also, it is only a few years ago since the HSE sought an order from the courts forbidding Catholic children to have non Catholics at a birthday party. The secrecy and control of the church still prevails.

  27. Maureen says:

    Can’t believe someone would do this. This girls family are most probably still living in Cork
    And as we all know she probably was Found to be without a guardian. When in fact she was taken and put to work in the Industrial school. And her father having to pay for the privilage

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