Fund ‘abandoned’ thousands of victims


The Ragged Wagon

A state agency responsible for paying redress to survivors of institutional abuse has been accused of acting beyond its authority by incorrectly sending letters to thousands of people telling them that their case was closed.

The victims which Caranua was set up to help have accused it of substantial failings in submissions sent by their representatives to the Oireachtas education committee.

In the documents, seen by The Times, Caranua is accused of misleading survivors and warning them that they could be reported to the gardaí for fraud. It is also accused of causing them to miss medical appointments by failing to send cheques in time.

Catherine Connolly, the independent TD and member of the Dáil’s spending watchdog, told The Times that she had lost all confidence in the agency.

“I believe it is completely not fit for purpose. I am horrified at the way survivors are being treated and I…

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A reminder of Jacob’s on Bishop Street.


Come Here To Me!

Jacobs1 Jacob’s signage, Bishop Street.

Today, the Dublin Institute of Technology (Aungier Street) and the National Archives of Ireland dominate Bishop Street, but the Dublin street was once home to Jacob’s, one of the largest employers of female workers in the city for generations.

On 20 May 1987, Dubliners woke up to the news that the former biscuit factory site had been “badly damaged in a spectacular fire.” Twelve units of the Dublin Fire Brigade battled the blaze, and the Irish Press reported that “a thick pall of smokes hung over streets as far away as half a mile.”

By 1987, there were no more biscuits being made on Bishop Street. Like Cadbury’s across the Liffey, Jacob’s had long left the city for suburbia. As historian David Dickson has noted, there was something of an “industrial flight to the suburbs” at the time. Having merged with Boland’s Biscuits, Tallaght became home…

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The judiciary remains the last potential obstacle in securing a not guilty verdict for the Jobstown Protesters

‘Brainwashed into believing our mother abandoned us for 18 years’


Patricia Devlin

cropped-website1

LAST month I got speaking to two very brave brothers who decided to share their desperately sad story of how their father brainwashed them against their own mother.

JPand Brendan Byrne, both from Dublin, are the only authors in Ireland (that I am aware of) who have tackled parental alienation in this way. Their story tells how as young boys they were cruelly manipulated by their father into believing their mother didn’t love them and that for 18 years she had abandoned them.

By the time they realised that wasn’t the case they were grown men, and their mother had missed out on the most precious years of their lives.

A small piece of the below article was published in the Irish Daily Star today, but even reading my more indepth, original version won’t do JP and Brendan’s story justice. You have to read their fantastic book, Don’t Hug Your…

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He made millions from heists, armed robberies and drugs, but today this criminal godfather has just €3.50 in his pocket


Patricia Devlin

dunne-young A young Christy Dunne

By Patricia Devlin

CHRISTY ‘Bronco’ Dunne was once the King of Ireland’s criminal underworld who made millions from heists, armed robberies and trafficking drugs

Today he lives in a Co Dublin council flat with just €3.50 in his pocket. The man who pulled off Ireland’s first Tiger Kidnapping certainly is living proof that crime doesn’t pay.

The 79 year-old has long left Ireland’s criminal scene, dominated by the deadly Hutch-Kinahan feud, but Dunne isn’t afraid to voice his opinion on today’s guntoting gangsters.

“My brother Larry was right when he said, ‘if you think we are bad, wait to you see what’s coming next’. He was very prophetic. There is less regard for life now among people – all people.”
Dunne adds: “There’s a subculture all over Ireland now kids that don’t know their arse from their elbow.
“They only know what they learn on the street…they…

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Dublin’s ‘Backstreet Abortionists’ (1930s – 1950s)


Come Here To Me!

In a very grim way, Mamie Cadden (1891 -1959) found her way into the folklore of Dublin city. Dublin’s most infamous ‘backstreet abortionist’, her name was almost synonymous with evil in the city for a generation, and she emerges in several memoirs of Dublin in the mid-twentieth century. Edna O’Brien remembered hearing of Cadden, “to some an angel of deliverance, to others a murderer, and who would die, declared insane, in a lunatic asylum in Dundrum.”

MamieCadden.jpg Mamie Cadden, photographed following one of several arrests.

Yet Mamie Cadden, whose story has inspired books (Ray Kavanagh’s Mamie Cadden: Backstreet Abortionist) and documentaries was just one part of a much bigger tale. In the Dublin of her time, there were many others who emerged as so-called ‘backstreet abortionists’, and across the city men and women like Cadden offered to provide terminations to women who found themselves in crisis pregnancies.

In 1941, The…

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