St. Vincent's Industrial School, Goldenbridge

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St. Vincent's Industrial School, Goldenbridge, popularly known as Goldenbridge, was an industrial school in Dublin, Ireland. It was run by the Sisters of Mercy.[1][2][3]

History[edit]

In 1880 a building within Goldenbridge convent was certified as an industrial school and named St Vincent’s Industrial School.[2] It opened with an initial intake of 30 girls.[2] In 1883 the convict refuge was converted into an industrial school.[3]

About thirty sisters were housed in the convent at Goldenbridge, which housed a large national school and a laundry which closed in the 1950s.[4] Few of these sisters worked in the industrial school.[5]

The industrial school closed in 1983.[6]

Media coverage[edit]

Christine Buckley was interviewed on The Gay Byrne Show on 8 November 1992 as she was looking for her parents.[7][8]

Media interest in Goldenbridge and other institutional abuse were sporadic until the broadcast in 1996 of the documentary Dear Daughter which made very serious allegations about physical and emotional abuse.[9][10]

Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse[edit]

Physical abuse[edit]

Punishment was pervasive, unpredictable, arbitrary and was used for small infringements, though it declined after the 1960s.[11] It was used as a punishment for bedwetting as late as the 1970s.[12]

Children were protected if they had family members visiting them or if staff liked them.[13][14]

There was a high level of severe corporal punishment in the school.[15] Beatings on the landing were particularly cruel.[15]

No punishment book seems to have been kept, contrary to regulations and this was not noted by the Departmental Inspector.[15]

Rosary Bead making[edit]

Children in Goldenbridge produced rosary beads from the 1940s to the 1960s.[16] They had a quota of sixty decades a day on weekdays and ninety on Saturdays.[17] http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2006/the-goldenbridge-secret-rosary-bead-factory/ The commission remarked that the conditions children worked under caused stress and anxiety and would not have been tolerated in factories.[18]The commission also noted that the bead-making deprived children of recreation that was essential for social, emotional and psychological growth.[18]

Sexual abuse[edit]

The commission concluded that in general there was not an issue with sexual abuse, though one incident in 1962 was dealt with promptly.[19] However, the management did not consider the possibility of abuse when sending children to foster families.[19]

Emotional abuse[edit]

  • Goldenbridge could have had a regime that was kinder and made children feel safe and secure.[20]
  • Low self-esteem was still a problem for those in Goldenbridge who testified to the Commission.[20]
  • Children were regularly humiliated and belittled by the nuns and carers who were supposed to look after them.[20]
  • Those with family who were in regular contact were shown favouritism.[20]
  • Girls who left Goldenbridge had a poor preparation for the outside world.[20]

Scraps[edit]

Scraps of food were thrown from a container and children scrambled for them.[21]

Neglect[edit]

Children suffered from severe neglect, though very hard work by two nuns produced improvements.[22] Departmental inspections were weak as they did not record the neglect.[22]

Education[edit]

The internal primary school for the industrial school had a lower standard of education than that for the external school.[23] Many children were only trained for domestic service.[23]

Children were taken out of school for domestic duties, with some being taken out more than others.[23]

No support or encouragement was given to children with serious educational problems such as little or no education.[23]

Chores[edit]

Older girls education suffered as they were taken out of class to look after younger girls.[24]

Chores became abusive because they were too taxing and carried out under threat of punishment.[24]

Older girls had no recreational or personal time because of chores and bead-making.[24]

Food[edit]

Food was of poor quality and there was little of it.[25] Occasional attempts to remedy this did little to help.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-09, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  2. ^ a b c St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-11, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  3. ^ a b St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-12, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  4. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-22, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  5. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-23, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  6. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-13, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  7. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-63, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  8. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-64, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  9. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-65, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  10. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-71, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  11. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-592, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  12. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-140, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  13. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-193, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  14. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-194, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  15. ^ a b c St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-232, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  16. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-233, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  17. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-235, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  18. ^ a b St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-273, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  19. ^ a b St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-287, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  20. ^ a b c d e St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-348, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  21. ^ St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-376, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  22. ^ a b St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-429, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  23. ^ a b c d St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-481, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  24. ^ a b c St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-513, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse
  25. ^ a b St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge (‘Goldenbridge’), 1880–1983, Chapter 7, section 7-562, Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse

Luas[edit]

Preceding station Luas Following station
Suir Road   Red Line   Drimnagh