‘They tore us to shreds’

Michael O’Brien, who suffered physical and sexual abuse while being held in Ferryhouse Industrial School, run by the Rosminians, made a moving appearance on RTE’s Questions & Answers last week. Here, in his own words, he describes how his family was

30th May, 2009

My mother died in 1942. I was eight years old at the time. There were 13 children in the family. Eight of us were dragged away by the ‘cruelty men’ of the ISPCC and brought to the court in Clonmel.

Four of us boys were taken together to Ferryhouse. One boy was sent to Cappoquin [industrial school] and, when he was five or six, he was sent from there to Ferryhouse. He was there for...

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