Sunday, July 26, 2009

Legal issues with Kathleen O'Beirne cause Mainstream and Hodder Press to drop her.

From The Sunday Times
October 26, 2008
Sequel to Kathy’s Story sparks new furore
Calls for new tale of cruelty to be banned
Colin Coyle

IT’S Kathy’s Story, part two. But should it be filed under fact or fiction? Kathy O’Beirne, whose bestselling account of her abuse in a Magdalene laundry was described by her family as “a figment of her imagination”, is writing a sequel.

O’Beirne and a co-writer are working on Always Dancing, a follow-up to Kathy’s Story, which sold almost 400,000 copies worldwide. Although her first book (entitled Don’t Ever Tell in the UK) was dismissed as “fiction” by her family, the sequel will continue its theme of struggle and suffering. The blurb says it will chart Kathy’s anorexia, suicide attempts and the story of “hundreds of children she rescued and fostered”.

Promotional material adds that it will recount “Kathy’s ‘care’ by the nuns, cruelty by her father, lonely years in foster homes and a terrifying ordeal in a psychiatric hospital in which she was used as a human guinea pig in ECT experiments”.

The book, to be published by Hodder Headline, is set for publication next year. Breda Purdue, spokesman for Hachette Books Ireland, Hodder’s Irish associate, said it would be thoroughly vetted. “We are coming to this project with a fresh perspective. Hodder has a reputation for being very careful and meticulous in checking facts.”

Mainstream, publisher of O’Beirne’s first book, said last week that it had been outbid for the sequel. The ghostwriter of her first book, Michael Sheridan, has been replaced by Diane Taylor, a British journalist and author. Sheridan admitted in 2006 that there is no documentary evidence for O’Beirne’s claims but that he believes her account.

Hodder says the book’s publication has been delayed due to O’Beirne’s recent ill-health.
Eamonn O’Beirne, Kathy’s brother, said he had “huge reservations” about the sequel. “Kathy has no credibility,” he said. “There is no evidence that she spent her childhood in a Magdalene laundry. Last time her target was the church and the book came out at a time of revelations about nuns and priests,” he said. “When I saw her complaining about the health service in The Irish Times, I thought, here we go again. This time it will be the hospitals, doctors and nurses.”
Eamonn said she had never fostered a child and had a history of instability. “Who on earth would allow her to foster a child? I would call on the publishers to speak to Kathy’s family before going ahead.”

Florence Horsman Hogan, founder of Let our Voices Emerge (Love), a charity to reflect the positive experiences many had in industrial schools, said: “Those of us who have been in the industrial schools in Ireland and have been genuinely abused as children, and those who have been falsely accused of abuse, are extremely angry with Ms O’Beirne.”

O’Beirne had told “horrific and highly improbable tales” that had “damaged many innocent people”, she said. Records showed she was in school until almost 13, despite claims to have been savagely abused in industrial schools and a Magdalene laundry since eight, she added.
Hermann Kelly, who wrote Kathy’s Real Story, a rebuttal of O’Beirne’s first book, said he is “disgusted” that O’Beirne is publishing a sequel. “I have just written to Hodder Books in the UK sending them a copy of my book and requesting that they “cease from publishing what could be another work of fiction masquerading as fact,” he said.

O’Beirne contends that she was abused by her father and raped in a Magdalene laundry, after which she had a baby who died aged 10.
The Sisters of Charity, which ran the laundries, says it has no record of O’Beirne.
Her family say she spent time in a hostel for homeless girls in Dublin, St Loman’s, a mental institution, and Mountjoy jail, where she was imprisoned for petty theft.

From The Sunday Times
July 26, 2009
Publisher dumps sequel to Magdalene story
Bestselling author Kathy O’Beirne forced to shelve plans for second book
Colin Coyle.

Her first book was described by her family as a “figment of her imagination”. Now Kathy O’Beirne, the bestselling author whose account of her abuse in a Magdalene laundry sold 400,000 copies, has been forced to shelve plans for a sequel after her publisher cancelled the contract.

Hodder Headline had planned to publish Always Dancing, a sequel to Kathy’s Story, later this year, but decided against going ahead with the book after “failing to resolve legal issues” with the author.

Last week the publisher said that it had initially pushed the publication date back to 2012 to allow time to resolve matters with O’Beirne, but had now decided against publishing the memoir at all.

While her first book was dismissed as “fiction” by her family, O’Beirne planned to return to her childhood suffering in Always Dancing. The blurb promised that it would chart the author’s anorexia, suicide attempts and the story of “hundreds of children she rescued and fostered”.
It also promised to recount “Kathy’s ‘care’ by the nuns, cruelty by her father, lonely years in foster homes and a terrifying ordeal in a psychiatric hospital in which she was used as a human guinea pig in ECT experiments”.

Eamonn O’Beirne, Kathy’s brother, said he wrote to Hodder Headline to inform the publisher that the O’Beirne family had dissociated itself from the writer’s first memoir.
Hermann Kelly, the author of Kathy’s Real Story, a rebuttal of O’Beirne’s first book, wrote to the publisher as well urging it not to bring out a sequel.

Kelly also sent Hodder a copy of his book, which claims to highlight inconsistencies in O’Beirne’s account of her childhood.
O’Beirne stands over her story and claims to have taken a number of lie-detector tests proving that she is telling the truth.
The new book was to be co-written by Diane Taylor, a London-based journalist and writer. Last week Taylor, through an agent, said she had no comment to make about the book’s cancellation. O’Beirne could not be contacted for comment.

Mainstream, the publisher of Kathy’s Story in 2005, bid for the rights to publish the sequel but lost out to Hodder. It also refused to comment last week, saying that O’Beirne was no longer one of its writers. It has been steadfast in its support of O’Beirne’s first book. “We have made our own investigations and are convinced this is a legitimate account,” it said last year.
O’Beirne contends that she was physically and mentally abused by her father and raped by priests during a 14-year stay in a Magdalene laundry. She also recounted in Kathy’s Story how she had given birth to a baby while living in the laundry but claimed that the child died at the age of 10.

The Sisters of Charity, which ran the laundries, claims to have no record of O’Beirne apart from a six-week stay in a reformatory school for young people.
Her family say she spent time in St Anne’s Children’s Home, Kilmacud, St Loman’s psychiatric hospital and Sherrard House for homeless people, describing her as a “troubled child”. She also spent time in Mountjoy, where she was imprisoned for “petty theft”. Her family also deny O’Beirne’s claim that she was adopted.

After the publication of Kathy’s Story, her family held a press conference where they described the book as “a horrific miscarriage of justice ... in the interests of financial gain” and criticised its publisher, Mainstream, for not carrying out “the necessary rigorous checks”. “If they had,” the family said in a statement, “this book would never have been published.”

Friday, September 22, 2006

The final blow for 'Kathy's Story'? - media battle.

There are various serious annomolies in the publishers Mainstream's claim that they have 'carried out stringent checks'on the book 'Kathy's Story'.Mr Campbell, Mainstream M.D is on record two weeks ago as stating he's extreamly surprised this controversy is only starting up now, 18 months after the books publication, yet he's on record july 05 - two months after publication as defending the book and stating 'there is no question of pulling the book'.

As founder of the Let Our Voices Emerge charity, I will not tolorate any move Mr Sherridan makes to discredit me personally, or the work we do. Our charity stand fast in the call to Mainstream, and Mr Sherridan to produce the evidence they claim they have to verify the allegations in the book,or remove it from sale.We will not allow any efforts they make to distract us from this.

1) Rape by two priests: Kathy has claimed she recieved a settlement for the same. Mainstream claim they contacted the Dublin Archdiosesis and recieved no substansive reason not to publish this.If the Catholic Communications office state they have made no payment to a Kathy O'Beirne, who else did Mainstream verify this with. The Archdiosesis is the only one they've quoted.
Contact: Martin Long:086-1727678.

2)Internment in the Magdalene Laundries: Mr Campbell states they communicated with all the orders that ran the laundries, and recieved no 'legal challenge', and no substantive reason not to publish..In fact once a person wasn't named, there could be no legal challenge as religious congregations can't sue.

The reply from the congregations was that Kathy O'Beirne, following an intensive search by a professional archivist, did not exist in any of their records.
Neither has Kathy produced any documentation that she is on record as claiming she has, as proof.

In actual fact, when the religious congregation concerned informed Mainstream, pre publication, that Kathy was not in their laundries, but was six weeks in one of their childrens homes at eleven years old, they recieved a curt reply from Mainstream that they had no right releasing private information on Kathy without her permission.

3) Birth of a child 'Kelly Anne' as a result of rape in a laundry when Kathy was 13. Despite the ease of access to birth and death certs, these have not been produced.

4) Mainstream state they have taped evidence of a nun and also a child care worker that proves Kathy was in a magdalene laundry, have they spoken to the nun and childcare worker involved to verify the contents of the tape?. What efforts have they made to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the conversations were actually confirming her claims.

5)Mr Sherridan and Mainstream have tried to claim they only verified Kathy's allegations of abuse by her father with one brother because of 'a bitter dispute over the family home'. Would it not have been necessary to contact the other seven members of the family, to even acertain if they would support the allegations.
Besides the obvious fact that this is an effort to discredit the family's incentive for supporting their father, a dispute over the home would be no reason not to support Kathy's allegations of abuse.

6)All allegations in Kathy's book were investigated on the request of the Sisters of Charity, and the file was closed last year with no significant result, and no prosecutions eithir against the nuns or priests.Our information is that Kathy refused to cooperate with the inquiry.
Contact: Garda Detective branch in Harcourt St: 01-6669500.

7) Perhaps the most significant proof is the fact that Kathy attended Scoil Mhuire primary school until she was 22 and a half years old. The only time missed were days mitching, and the 6 weeks in St Annes Childrens Home.

This makes it impossible for her to have been in a childrens home from 8 -10 years old, and a psychiatric hospital from when she was 10-12 years old.The refutation of the magdalene laundry stands alone, she constantly states she has it, yet consistantly refuses to show it. The stay in the first laundry, with the subsequent rape and birth of a child was when she was 12 - 14. The role book for Scoil Mhuire has her attending 142 days out of the required 183 when she was 12 - 13!.

For any other information:

Florence Horsman Hogan: 086-8762148.
Eamonn O'Beirne: 086-8186983.

Author accused of literary fraud says: 'I am not a liar. And I am not running any more'

Story of rape and brutal childhood is 'truthful'
Dispute with siblings follows property battle

Esther Addley
Saturday September 23, 2006
The Guardian

It is a tale of almost unbelievable horror - rather too unbelievable, say her critics. Don't Ever Tell, Kathy O'Beirne's memoir of childhood rape, physical abuse and incarceration in Ireland's notorious Magdalene laundries, has sold 350,000 copies around the world and reached number three in the British non-fiction charts. But this week the book attracted charges of fraud, when five of her eight siblings apologised to her readers, saying large chunks of the book were fantasy.

In her most revealing interview since the story broke, Kathy O'Beirne insisted to the Guardian that her story was true, and produced documents that, she said, would back up parts of it. She says her family are trying to discredit her because of a property dispute. Her publishers, who say they went to great lengths to verify her story, are also standing by the book.
Meanwhile, one of her other brothers has spoken out in support of her story, insisting that the other siblings are lying. Joseph O'Beirne told a Dublin newspaper that Kathy's account of a brutal home life was accurate and that he, too, had been raped as a child by an older boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Don't Ever Tell details a cruel childhood; savagely beaten by her father, raped and sexually abused by two older boys from the age of five, Kathy was placed in a succession of brutal, Catholic-run children's homes and psychiatric institutions. After years of further appalling cruelty she was finally incarcerated with other fallen women in a Magdalene laundry where, after being raped again, she had a baby girl at the age of 13.
Her family says it is all lies: "Our sister has a self-admitted psychiatric and criminal history, and her perception of reality has always been flawed," said Mary O'Beirne, the author's younger sister. "We can understand that many people will now feel hurt and conned."
But the author defended her book this week, saying: "I'm not a liar. I'm a truthful person. And I need to speak out because I owe it to my readers. People can say what they like about me. I don't care any more. Like my brother doesn't care. We're not running any more."
Kathy's story is so bewilderingly complex that it would be impossible, without many hours and a detailed knowledge of the case, to verify every detail. But while she is clearly a very damaged woman, physically shattered by the stories she recounts and frequently close to tears, she insists she is not a liar or a fantasist. She is also, perhaps surprisingly, funny and immensely charming.
"[Some people] have said, 'Sure, who will believe you?'", she says in her scattergun Dublin accent. "'You were classed as mad years ago.' Well I'm not mad. I know that. Never was. Never was."
Stories like Kathy's are not unknown in Ireland: about 150,000 children were interned in church-run industrial schools between the 1920s and 1980s. But while the country is transfixed by an apparent literary scandal, at the heart of this public spat may be a much uglier private grievance. The siblings have been in dispute for five years over the house in which they grew up, which was left equally to all nine after their parents' death. Kathy, who had been living there caring for their mother, argued that she should be allowed to stay on as recompense for her appalling childhood. Her siblings wanted to sell.
The case ended up in court this year; according to Kathy, the details of her abuse were discussed as part of her argument. The judge ruled in her favour. "He said it seemed to him that I had always had to fight my corner, and so I deserved it," she said. It was then the other siblings began to claim Kathy's story was a lie.
Among the documents seen by the Guardian are police statements she made about her childhood rapes by an older boy and legal documents relating to a recent out-of-court settlement the man made with her.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, one of the orders that ran Magdalene laundries, has issued a statement saying that no records exist of a Kathy O'Beirne in any such institution. However, Kathy played the Guardian a taped conversation that she believes supports her claim that she was there. She also pointed to well-publicised cases in which religious orders have been exposed as having destroyed or failed to keep proper records.
The O'Beirne siblings' appeal against the court ruling will be heard in the next few months in Ireland's high court. Kathy says she hopes the case will allow a further examination of the truth, which she insists will vindicate her. "I'm just sick and tired of it," she said. "All I want to do is finish [the case] and get on with my life. Get a bit of happiness."

Don't Ever Tell by Kathy O'Beirne; Mainstream Publishing, 6.99
Like all little girls, I was desperately looking forward to my first Holy Communion. It seemed like a ray of light in the darkness of my existence, an opportunity for a cleansing, even temporarily, of the dirt that I felt I had become. At least I could dress up like all the others, in the lovely clothes that my mother had scrimped and saved to buy me.
The evening before my First Communion one of the boys who had been sexually abusing me went further than he had ever done before. This time he held me down and seemed to be trying to push himself inside of me. Now I know that the word for what he did is rape but back then I didn't have any way to describe or understand what he had done. I just knew it was wrong and that the pain was worse than anything my father had done to me.
The next morning, all dressed up in my lovely white dress and veil, I remember everyone saying how pretty and nice I looked. But I did not feel pretty and nice; I felt dirty and soiled. My dress was white but my body underneath was coal black. It hurt just to put one foot in front of the other but I couldn't let on why I was shuffling about. And I thought God knew. God had to know because he knew everything.


The Times
September 23, 2006

'New book proves my story of abuse'
By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

A WOMAN who wrote a controversial bestseller about a violent father and sexual abuse by Irish priests says that she will answer her detractors in a new book that will reveal further shocking details.
Kathy O Beirne s Don t Ever Tell has sold more than 300,000 copies but her claims that she was raped and tortured in Ireland s Magdalene Laundries for fallen women have been dismissed as fabrications by the religious orders that ran them, by a woman who claims that they knew each other while living at a hostel, and by seven of her brothers and sisters.

O Beirne told The Times that she had documentary evidence proving her story but when asked to present it she refused. She said that her new book, The Aftermath: Who Am I, would vindicate her. I have ten abusers in all. There s files on all of them, she said.
A spokeswoman for Mainstream, which published Don t Ever Tell, said that although no contract had been signed for the second book we would love to do it .
O Beirne s family said this week that their sister was a troubled person who had been exploited by her publisher. They produced a copy of her birth certificate to show that she had not, as the book claims, been adopted. One of the orders that ran the Magdalene Laundries is considering taking legal action.
Erica Wagner, literary editor of The Times, said: This will be by no means the last confession memoir we see whether this is true or false has no bearing on the matter. The plain truth is that confession memoirs shoot to the top of bestseller lists, and publishers will follow the money.

Publisher Expresses Confidence Despite Controvers

The authenticity of a memoir about a childhood of sexual abuse and survival at an infamous Magdalen laundry has been challenged in the English and Irish media. Greystone Books, the North American publisher of the book, Kathy's Story, issues a statement.
Vancouver, Canada (PRWEB) September 23, 2006 -- Greystone Books is the North American publisher of Kathy's Story: The True Story of a Childhood Hell inside Ireland's Magdalen Laundries, by Kathy O'Beirne (Greystone, ISBN 1-55365-168-5, $24.95 CDN/ $16.95 USD, trade paperback). This memoir was originally published by Mainstream Publishing in the United Kingdom and has been released this year as Don't Ever Tell. As a result of a family dispute, controversial remarks are currently being published in the English and Irish media questioning the book's authenticity. Greystone Publisher Rob Sanders states, We have confidence in the work done by Mainstream to ensure the appropriateness of the book for publication.

The Magdalen laundries were thrust into public consciousness with Peter Mullan's 2002 film, The Magdalene Sisters. Girls considered promiscuous or at risk were incarcerated in these notorious workhouses, which operated in Ireland throughout the twentieth century. Kathy O'Beirne was one of these girls.

As Kathy O'Beirne recounts her horrific story in unflinching detail, the strength of her character shines through. It's this strength that has enabled her to survive, led her to champion a campaScots publisher linked to 'second made-up book' as author accused

THE family of an Irish woman who wrote a best-seller claiming she was the victim of repeated physical and sexual abuse in a Catholic institution yesterday accused her of making the story up.

Kathy O'Beirne's book, published in Ireland as Kathy's Story and in the UK as Don't Ever Tell, was largely fabricated by a "deeply troubled" woman, they claimed.

The book was published by Edinburgh's Mainstream Publishing, which defended its contents yesterday. Five years ago another book published by the company, Jihad!, which was the purported story of an SAS officer serving in Afghanistan, saw its author exposed as a fraud.

In her book, O'Beirne, now 49, claimed she was tortured and raped in a Magdalene laundry where she worked for 14 years, giving birth to a child. The institutions were set up to rehabilitate "fallen women".

She also claimed in the book, published 18 months ago, that she was beaten and abused from the age of seven at the hands of her father.

Seven of O'Beirne's brothers and sisters, all originally from Clondalkin, Dublin, came together at a Dublin press conference to tell what they said was the family's real story.

"The anger and frustration we feel at seeing our father branded worldwide as a horrific abuser is indescribable," said Mary O'Beirne, 40. "The allegations are untrue. We can't go on living like this, we can't eat, we can't sleep."

She added: "If people tell lies for long enough, people will believe it. We want to get on with our lives and remember our mother and father. They were good to us."

The family did not stop at protecting their father yesterday. They displayed Kathy O'Beirn's birth certificate, saying she was not adopted as she claimed.

"Our sister was not in a Magdalene laundry, or Magdalene home," Mary said. Instead, she had been in children's homes, a psychiatric hospital and a prison.

"Our parents placed her in St Anne's Children Home for a brief period when she was 11 because of ongoing behavioural difficulties," Mary said.

The family claimed Kathy was living at home with them when she says she was in a Magdalene home during the years 1968 to 1970 from the age of 12 to 14.

In 2005 the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity insisted O'Beirne did not work in any of their laundries and wrote to Ireland's Department of Justice requesting an investigation.

"Our sister did not have a child at the age of 14 that she alleges died at the age of ten," Mary said.

In a statement signed by seven brothers and sisters - Oliver, Eamon, Mary, Margaret, John, Tommy and Brian O'Beirne - the family said there was no evidence to support Kathy's claims.

"This woman has broken our hearts, especially the hearts of our now deceased parents," Mary said.

"We are deeply sorry for all of the people who have bought this book believing it to be fact."

The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity said they wrote to Mainstream and the book's co-author, Michael Sheridan, last year.

The letter stated that the only time O'Beirne spent with the order was six weeks spent in a reformatory school. Mainstream responded to requests for interviews by issuing a statement.

"Mainstream took steps prior to the publication of Don't Ever Tell and were satisfied that the memoir was appropriate for publication," it said. It included working closely with O'Beirne and asking the Archdiocese of Dublin to submit any proposed changes.

"Don't Ever Tell was put under considerable media scrutiny upon initial publication without any content being found to be untrue."

Fiction writer? Kathy O'Beirne:
Natalie Clarke.Daily Mail Saturday September 23rd. 06.

The rape took place one Sunday within what was supposed to be the sanctity of a convent. Kathy O'Beirne's attacker was a visitor who had befriended her. He took her for a walk through the grounds and, when the nuns could no longer see them, he led her into a shed, put his hand over her mouth and forced himself on her.

Nine months later, aged 14, Kathy gave birth to a daughter whom she called Annie. Despite the harrowing circumstances in which she had been conceived, Kathy was a besotted mother — but the nuns took the baby away when she was three months old, leaving Kathy bereft.

This and many other deeply disturbing experiences are recounted in Kathy's book, Don't Ever Tell, which caused a sensation when it was published and has been on the bestseller list for many months. To date, 350,000 copies have been sold in Britain and Ireland.

Ms O'Beirne has become a heroine for other survivors of childhood abuse and suffering. It has been said that Oprah Winfrey is eager to interview her. At least one film company is trying to secure the rights to the book.

There will be no shortage of fire and brimstone in the film. 'The Devil himself could not have dreamed up a better hell than the Magdalen laundry,' Ms O'Beirne writes in the memoir. But perhaps he did not need to. For there is mounting evidence pointing to the likelihood that Ms O'Beirne has done it for him.

This week, her two sisters and three of her six brothers came forward to describe the book as a 'hoax publication' that was destroying their lives. They said they have no recollection whatsoever of her harrowing claims.

What has caused the siblings the most anguish are Ms O'Beirne's assertions that she was mercilessly beaten by a cruel and sadistic father who seemed to take pleasure out of inflicting extreme pain on her. They are demanding that the book be removed from the shelves.

So what is the truth? Is Ms O'Beirne really a victim, or is she a calculating liar who has managed to pull off a cynical scam on a gullible publisher eager to capitalise on the highly popular 'misery memoir' genre? There is, it seems, no end to the public's appetite for tales of abject woe and horror.

So could it be that the book is actually a work of fiction? Ms O'Beirne certainly talks a convincing game. 'I feel my story had to be told,' she said recently. 'It was like a volcano inside me, always ready to explode. So much evil was done there, and there was a voice inside me shouting “Justice”.'

A Mail investigation has cast a rather different light on Ms O'Beirne. What is true is that she clearly had an extremely troubled childhood. At one point she was placed in a home for problem children. There were spells in a psychiatric hospital and in prison.

But her family insist all these problems were brought on by Kathy herself. According to her sister Mary, she is, and always has been, a compulsive liar. As a child, she was a 'tearaway' who was constantly getting into trouble and was expelled from school.

'Kathy is lying about all this — just like she has lied about things all her life,' says Mary. 'She is very convincing, though, and that is what makes her so dangerous.'

The family say she can't even be truthful about her age, claiming to be 45 when they say she is in fact 50. At a press conference this week, the family dismissed another of Kathy's claims — that she was adopted — by producing her birth certificate. Kathy's account of the abuse levelled at her by her father at the family home in a working-class suburb of Dublin is profoundly shocking.

She writes: 'To the outside world, my father Oliver presented an image of respectability. He was a handsome man, well-built at 15 stone, who dressed immaculately. A builder's labourer, he went to Mass every day and, to the people on our estate, he appeared to be a highly religious pillar of the community.

But inside our home he became a cruel and violent man who subjected his family to a terrible life of mental and physical abuse. He regularly beat my eight brothers and sisters and me with his belt. The buckle would cut into my legs and the flesh wounds often turned septic. 'He would put our hands in the crack of the kitchen door and press it with his foot until we passed out with pain.

'One night, when he was in a particularly bad rage, he held my hand in a pan of hot grease. The pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and screamed, so he threw me outside the back door while he ate his dinner.' Her sister Mary's recollection of life in the O'Beirne household is rather different. She says their father was strict but kind, and that he worked long hours to ensure his wife and nine children were fed and clothed.

'My father never once lifted his hand to us. Never,' she says. 'Yes, of course we were chastised if we had played up, but he never hit us. It was a normal, happy childhood. We would go for days out in the mountains and had such fun up there. He was a very proud, good man and it breaks my heart to see the terrible lies Kathy has written about him.'

Far from Kathy being beaten by her father, it was actually the other way round, she says. 'I was told that one day Kathy laid into my father, kicking him over and over again, when he was sitting in his chair with a bad back and barely able to move.

'She caused no end of misery to our mother and father. She was always in trouble and a constant worry to them.'

'I remember my father standing up in court and bailing her out for something she'd done. It was shaming for him to have to be in court, but he did it for her — and this is how she repays him. The shock when the book came out was indescribable. She didn't give us any warning. I only found out when a friend told me. I've read some of it, but I find it just too upsetting reading these terrible invented slurs against our father.'

Not content with a character assassination of her father, Kathy also claims she was raped by a boy on the eve of her First Communion. In fact, the entire book veers from one horrendous tale of extreme suffering to another. As one reviewer put it (with more prescience than they perhaps realised at the time): 'Her story is so horrific, it is almost unbelievable.'

According to Kathy, she was placed in a children's home at the age of eight by her parents who could no longer cope with their problem child. This, at least, her family does acknowledge. But Kathy goes on to claim that while in the home she was subjected to sexual abuse by a priest. The family's response? If she was, they haven't heard about it until now.

According to Kathy, after the home she is sent, aged 12, to a Magdalen asylum. And it is Kathy's claim of her teenage years in a Magdalen laundry — homes run by the Roman Catholic for the rehabilitation of 'fallen' women — that has become the most contentious aspect of her story. Needless to say, it offers more woe, misery, cruelty and horror.

The so-called penitents and inmates of these laundries — often admitted against their will by their families or priests — were required to work, primarily in laundries. Inmates were required to be silent for much of the day and some women spent the rest of their lives in the asylums. (The last Magdalen institution in Ireland closed in 1996.)

In the book, Kathy describes her first day at the laundry. 'I was handed an overall and led to what looked like a huge shed. Inside, the clanking, churning machinery was overwhelming and there were clouds of steam swirling around. The place stank of chemicals, detergent and sweat and was unbearably hot.

'I was 12 years old and had just been delivered to hell. After a day in the furnace-like atmosphere of the laundry, I would collapse into bed exhausted. We were on our feet literally all day, while mice and rats scuttled around us.'

It is an intensely vivid description of life in the notorious laundries, where she says she was beaten with 'a special thick piece of rubber' by the nuns. But did it ever happen? Not according to her brothers and sisters, who maintain that at no time was she placed in one of these institutions. Nor are they the only ones to insist her tales are fabricated.

Before the book's publication last year, a few small articles appeared in Irish magazines about Kathy, written by the ghost writer of Don't Ever Tell, Michael Sheridan, giving an account of her incarceration in a laundry run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.

The Order was deeply upset by the content and checked its records for a Kathy O'Beirne. Nothing showed up. A meeting was subsequently arranged between the Order and Kathy, in which they told her their checks had confirmed she had never spent time in one of their institutions.

The Sisters of Our Lady Charity wrote to Mr Sheridan in April last year stating categorically that Kathy had not been resident at one of their Magdalen homes, and to inform him that the only time Kathy had spent with them was a six-week period in a reform school.

The letter was also copied to the book's Edinburgh based publishers, Mainstream. 'We have spoken to Sisters, lay staff and women who worked in the laundries and there is no recollection of Kathy O'Beirne,' says a spokesperson. 'In fact, we know all the women who worked in our laundries in later years — and Kathy O'Beirne is not one of them.'

This did not stop Kathy, after the book came out, claiming in an interview that she had been resident at a laundry run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity. The Order was forced to issue a statement saying it could 'categorically state' that this was not the case. The Order is now consulting lawyers over whether to sue. And what of Kathy's baby, Annie? Surely there must be some evidence of the child's existence?

According to Kathy's account, after being taken from her at three months, Annie was placed in a home run by nuns. She was allowed to see her child on occasional weekends, but Annie suffered from a disease of the bowel and died when she was just 10. Heartbreakingly, she said, to this day she does not know where her little girl is buried.

Yet, strangely, no birth certificate, or indeed a death certificate, can be found. Nor do her family have any recollection of Kathy ever being seen with Annie, or indeed even mentioning the fact that she had a daughter.

'Until this book came out, she never once mentioned it,' says Mary, 40. 'There was never any mention of it in our household as we were growing up. There is no birth or death certificate. There is no child.' Ms O'Beirne and Mr Sheridan claim they have evidence that Kathy did give birth — but no evidence has yet been forthcoming.

Mr Sheridan insists: 'It is no surprise there is no birth certificate. The nuns would not get one because of the circumstances in which the child was conceived. It was all hushed up.' He also said that Kathy had shown him photographs of Annie — but no such picture has yet been produced in public. 'As for there being no record of Kathy's stay in the laundry, the nuns used to falsify names to prevent the girls' parents getting to them,' he says.

'They did this because if someone came to try to collect their daughter, they could say they had been discharged, and there was no evidence to prove otherwise because the girl was now listed under another name.' The spokesperson for the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity says, however, that this is 'utterly untrue'. 'It's a pathetic attempt to cover up the fact that no research was conducted for the book.'

Mr Sheridan also claims that he spoke at length to another woman who remembers being in a Magdalen home with Kathy. 'Unfortunately, she died in a psychiatric hospital some time after we spoke,' he says. 'She is another victim, just like Kathy.

'The real story of Kathy O'Beirne's family life is ten times worse and more horrendous than was portrayed in the book, but cannot be published for legal reasons.'

As for the row between Kathy and her siblings, Mr Sheridan says it is not about the book but a dispute over the family home. After their father's death nine years ago, the house was supposed to have been sold and the proceeds divided. But a judge ruled that Kathy could keep the home because she had cared for her father in his last years.

Yet again, this does not quite square with what Kathy has said. If her father was such a terrible man, why did she want to nurse him?

Mainstream is — so far at least — standing by the book. In a statement, the publisher said: 'Mainstream took steps prior to the publication of Don't Ever Tell and were satisfied that the memoir was appropriate for publication.'

But Kathy's siblings will not give up the fight. At a press conference this week, Margaret, 38, Mary, 40, Brian, 45, Eamonn, 48, and Oliver, 52, were united in their condemnation of the book. A statement released by them was also signed by two other brothers, John, 51, and Tommy, 60. Only one brother, Joe, has supported Kathy's claims.

The siblings said that at various times during her life Kathy has been resident at St Anne's Children's Home in Kilmacud, St Loman's Psychiatric Hospital, Mountjoy Prison and Sherrard House, a shelter for the homeless. But she was not, they say, ever at a Magdalen home.

'I have no idea why she is doing it. It can only be for the money,' says Mary. Don't Ever Tell is not the first 'misery memoir' to come under scrutiny. Has Ms O'Beirne climbed on to a growing bandwagon of 'victims' who have spotted an easy money-making opportunity? If so, she cannot be accused of lack of imagination.


The Sunday Times September 24, 2006

Kathy’s co-writer admits a lack of facts
Hermann Kelly

THE ghostwriter of Kathy’s Story, the bestselling memoir of childhood sexual abuse, has admitted there is no documentary evidence Kathy O’Beirne was ever in a Magdalen laundry or had a baby.
Michael Sheridan’s admission will further damage the credibility of the book, which has been challenged by religious orders and was described as a fabrication by members of O’Beirne’s family.

Asked yesterday what documentation he had seen proving O’Beirne had been in a laundry, Sheridan said: “I’ll tell you the evidence we have. There are no documents. Those documents are either falsified or destroyed. There is no evidence or records of Kathy in the two Magdalen laundries. There never was.”

This statement contradicts what Sheridan told RTE Radio’s Liveline programme last Monday. Then he said: “I saw mounds of documentation that Kathy has. She’s a punctilious keeper of documentation.”

Joe Duffy, the programme presenter, asked Sheridan if he had seen evidence O’Beirne was in a laundry.

He replied: “I have. And I’ve seen evidence of interaction with Kathy and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in the Bishop’s House.”

Sheridan said yesterday he had been thinking on the spot, and documents he referred to showed interaction between O’Beirne and the nuns at Bishop’s House. He has, for instance, seen letters to O’Beirne from her mother sent when she was in St Anne’s children’s home in Kilmacud for six weeks. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity says this is the only time O’Beirne was in their care.

Kathy’s Story claims that O’Beirne, who is believed to be 50 although she claims to be 45, was raped and had a baby at the age of 14.

No evidence of the child can be found and Sheridan says the nuns did not register the birth of the baby, Annie, or get a birth certificate. The book, which has sold 350,000 copies, claims Annie died at the age of 10.

O’Beirne has claimed to have proof of her story and all the necessary documents. They have not been produced in public since the row started, however.

Sheridan says his publisher in Edinburgh, which is standing by the veracity of Kathy’s Story, says it gave the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin six weeks to comment on the contents of the book and there were no objections.

The archdiocese says it commented on those aspects of the book that were within its direct knowledge. “(Our) response did not address other issues that are the principal subject matter of the book,” it said.

'I have no idea why she is doing it. It can only be for the money,' says Mary. Don't Ever Tell is not the first 'misery memoir' to come under scrutiny. Has Ms O'Beirne climbed on to a growing bandwagon Catholic News Watch
October 15, 2006

Mark Alessio

Did “Magdalen Sisters” Inspiration Fabricate Stories of Abuse?

( “An author whose memoirs recount a harrowing childhood of torture and rape while working in a Roman Catholic religious order is at the centre of a dispute over the accuracy of her claims,” reports The Telegraph (UK, Sept. 19, 2006).

Kathy O'Beirne's account of her early life, published as Don't Ever Tell in Britain and Kathy's Story in Ireland, became a bestseller with 350,000 copies sold in Ireland and Britain. In the book, O’Beirne claims to have suffered 14 years of forced labor in the Magdalen laundries, a Catholic institution which was originally set up to rehabilitate fallen women. She says that she was beaten by her father and sexually abused by two boys from the age of 5 before being sent away to an institution. She also claims that, at the age of 10, she was repeatedly raped by a priest and whipped by nuns, and later forced to take drugs in a mental institution.

However, O’Beirne’s own family are speaking out about her allegedly factual memoirs. Her older brother John O'Beirne, 51, denied the book's allegations of sadistic abuse by his father, describing the sequence of events outlined by his sister as "a jigsaw puzzle and nothing fits." He said that his father was a loving man, who held down two jobs to provide for his family. "Kathy has hurt a lot of people and it's now time for the truth to be told," he said. Another older brother, Oliver, 52, has stated that, “I read the book and I can’t figure out where she is coming from.” Adding that she did not have a good relationship with her family, he said, “I think she needs help.”

A younger brother, Eamon O'Beirne, 48, said he had "no memory whatsoever of Kathy ever being in a Magdalen laundry." He also denied her assertion that she bore a child after being raped by a male visitor to the laundries. "To my knowledge, she never had a child,” said Eamon O’Beirne, “and my father did not abuse or torture me. The stuff as alleged in this book did not happen in our house."

In addition, several women have come forward to say they lived with Miss O'Beirne in the 1970s in the Sherrard Street Hostel for girls in Dublin. During their time in the hostel, which has not been included in the book, they claim that Miss O'Beirne never mentioned having had a child or of working in a Magdalen laundry. Celine Dempsey, 47, said, "Kathy never spoke of being in a Magdalen laundry. How could she? She was in Sherrard Street."

The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the religious order running the laundry, has denied that Miss O'Beirne stayed in one of their homes or laundries. According to The Times (UK, Sept. 19, 2006), the sisters invited an independent archivist to study their files after nobody could remember Kathy O’Beirne. No record has turned up of her attendance.

Florence Horsman Hogan of the Irish charity “Let Our Voices Emerge,” established by people who spent time in religious institutions and who are now dedicated to defending their careers, told The Times: “By her own admission Kathy has had psychological problems from an early age.” She said that the only record of O’Beirne having been in a Catholic institution was when she spent six weeks in St. Anne’s Industrial School in Dublin in 1967.

Comment: What makes this story especially interesting is that Kathy O'Beirne's alleged “memoirs” of abuse at the hands of priests and nuns was the basis for the 2002 film, The Magdalen Sisters, directed by Peter Mullan. Steven D. Greydanus of the Decent Films Guide made this observation about the film:

Mullan’s black-and-white (or rather black and more black) depiction of clergy and religious is absolute: Not a single character in a wimple or a roman collar ever manifests even the slightest shred of kindness, compassion, human decency, or genuine spirituality; not one has the briefest instant of guilt, regret or inner conflict over the energetic, sometimes cheerfully brutal sadism and abuse that pervades the film.

Mr. Greydanus also accused the film of “viciousness, exaggeration, and lack of nuance or moral honesty.” Similarly, Film Journal International claimed that “the only real point of the script is that nuns are venal, priests lechers, and the inmates all innocent victims.”

“Garbage in, garbage out,” goes the old computer axiom – if invalid data is entered into a system, the resulting output will also be invalid. The director of The Magdalen Sisters, Peter Mullan, is a rabid Church-hater. Imagine that. At the Venice Film Festival, where The Magdalen Sisters was awarded the top prize (the “Golden Lion”), Mullan compared the Catholic Church to the Taliban, on the pretext that, “in the context of Ireland in that period, they were doing exactly what the Taliban were doing fifty years later." According to the Decent Films Guide article cited above, “Peter Mullan was raised Catholic but in interviews has stated that he has considered himself a Marxist from his teenaged years, and has described belief in heaven and hell as ‘nonsense’ and ‘the whole notion of celibacy’ as ‘nuts’ and ‘perverse’."

With all those stony, sterile, subhuman priests and nuns to ooh and ahh over, you can bet Mullan saw a hit before filming started on day one. Let’s face it, nothing gets the popcorn flowing like cartoon villains. Snidely Whiplash, Lex Luthor, Auric Goldfinger, a priest, a nun. Cheer the heroes and boo the villains. If the villains are Catholic – all the better.

Garbage in ... garbage out. It appears that the same axiom applies to Miss O'Beirne's “memoirs.”


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Critique of various articles promoting 'Kathy's Story'.

In the following articles Kathy repeatedly speaks of getting the word 'penitents' removed from a 'mass grove in Glasnevin cematry, she also states that women that died in the Magdalene laundries were wrapped in sheets and 'dumped' in mass graves.
Only after the Sisters of Charity issued a statement to say the stone refered to is actually a tribute to the 'Ladies of Monto', and does not refer to magdalenes did Kathy's statements change to 'monument'.She is also quoted in the article by the Irish Catholic as stating (when questioned on 'mass graves'), 'what mass graves, you'd want to get your facts right, I never said that'.( this was after the nuns stated there are no mass graves for magdalenes).

The porpose of the hunger strike originally was to get the word erased, then changed to getting her mothers letters. Considering she was only in St Annes Kilmacud for six weeks, the one letter from her mother wasn't altogether over emotional.

The meeting she speaks of with the justice minister, was to our knowledge actually totally different to Kathy's report. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity appealed to the Minister to intervene and get Kathy's allegations investigated by the state, unfortunatly, it would seem, there was a serious lack of cooperation (not by the sisters), and the investigation went no where. The gardai in Harcourt St press office might be helpful to any journalist researching this.
The 'hungar strike' was not 3 days, it was, according to our information (from media sources), not even one - Kathy was brought a take away by friends, and allegedly brought sandwiches with her.
There seems to be also a little confusion as regards the alleged rape that allegedly resulted in a child, some sources quote Kathy as saying it was a priest, others most definitly quote her as saying it was a lay visitor.

Kathy states she was 8 when she went to St Annes in Kilmacud, but documentation has her there at 11 in 1968. This would seem more correct as she was born in 1956.
The earliest she could have been in a laundry is 17 - which would be 1973.
Which leads to another strange discrepency, in almost all of the earlier reports she is 43 in 2005, but she is in reality 50 this year, why the difference.

There are other annomolies, the RIRB claim, the alleged donation to the charities etc.
The allegations against her father are as horrific as the allegations against the psychiatric hospital, the nuns, the lay visitors who raped her etc, how can the publishers say they have verified these stories ?, they didn't approach her family.
Read the stories below.
The News of the World

May 8, 2005



Michelle O'Keeffe

A MAGDALEN laundry survivor has revealed the horrifying abuse she suffered before and after she was locked in the institution.

Kathy O'Beirne, who has scars on her body from years of beatings, has told the Irish News of the World of the nightmare she lived through as a child.

Kathy, in her 40s, of Clondalkin, in Dublin, endured thrashings from her father as well as sexual abuse from two boys before being sent away.

Then Kathy, aged only ten, was repeatedly RAPED by a priest and regularly WHIPPED by nuns.

When she reported the abuse she was sent to a MENTAL HOSPITAL. Now brave Kathy is fighting for the word "penitent", meaning sinners, to be removed from the mass Magdalen grave in Glasnevin cemetery.

Kathy said: "I was consigned to a hell of beatings and abuse. Tears replaced laughter, pain replaced pleasure. It was one long scream of suffering which has haunted all of my adult life."

Kathy, who was the oldest daughter of nine children, was not only beaten by her father but often locked in the shed.

She said: "My father Oliver, a builder's labourer, presented an image of respectability. He went to Mass every day and was a daily communicant. But at home he was a cruel and violent man. He regularly beat me with his belt. The buckle would cut into my legs and the flesh wounds often turned septic.

"One night he held my hand in a pan of hot grease-the pain was unbearable."

At the age of five, two boys began to sexually abuse Kathy and on the eve of her First Holy Communion one raped her.

After that she was labelled as "a child with a troublesome mind" by a psychiatrist and a social worker in Ballyfermot. She was soon carted off to an industrial school where she was put to work.

Kathy recalls: "I was not allowed to go to the classroom-I had been demoted from pupil to slave. This school was a training ground for the Magdalen laundries. The quicker the nuns got them accustomed to slave labour, the better they would fit into the laundry regime.

"According to the nuns, this was our punishment for being wicked sinners. This penance, they informed us, was the only way to save our souls and keep us from the hell fires of the devil.

"Many of the girls in the school, including myself, were so traumatised that we would frequently wet the bed."

Kathy remembers with horror the day a priest in this State institution raped her.

She said: "At first, the priest pretended to be kind to me and said that he would help me to get out of the reformatory school and back to my home. But after a short while, he started touching me.

"He would reach under his robe and rub himself at the same time. It got worse and worse until one day he followed me into the dormitory and forced himself on me.

"On two other occasions he locked me in an office and raped me. I decided I had to tell someone. Instead of trying to help me, a nun told me that I needed my mouth washed out, that I was evil and would burn in hell.

"The week after I spoke to her, I was taken to a city hospital. I remember the bang of the big doors closing behind me. I was ten years old and because I had dared to tell the truth I was now trapped in a psychiatric hospital."

In the hospital Kathy was given daily doses of largactil, which was used to treat schizophrenia, and injected with a horse tranquilliser called Ketamine.

Kathy also suffered electric shock treatment. She said: "The pain from the electric shocks was terrible. It was like lightning shooting through my body. My body was jerking about on the table and I was shaking and screaming.

"When you got upset, they would try to shut you up by giving you electric shock treatment or more drugs."

Kathy was also sexually abused by lay people who visited them in hospital.

She said: "They would come in and pick a child to take out for the day. We were supposed to be taken somewhere nice but often this was just an excuse for them to sexually abuse you. I was taken out a few times and this happened to me.

"Some of the staff also abused us. They would usually come into the dormitory and touch you under the bedclothes."

The News of the World
May 15, 2005


Michelle O'Keeffe

Part 2 of our devastating series I was happy there, says abuse victim

THE clap of a cop's hand on teenage runaway Kathy O'Beirne's shoulder filled her with dread.

Terrified she would be sent back to suffer more physical and sexual hell in a Magdalen laundry, the 15- year-old begged for mercy.

And in a strange way, she got it. For instead of being handed over to the brutal Magdalen nuns, delighted Kathy was thrown into Mountjoy jail for shoplifting.

"I remember my time in Mountjoy as one of the happiest periods of my childhood," said Kathy. "Prison was a breeze compared to life in the Magdalen laundries."

Kathy, now in her 40s, was nabbed with pal Patricia after the pair nicked a raincoat each from a Pennys store in Dublin.

The girls had been living on the streets for several weeks after fleeing the Magdalen laundry where they slaved.

Desperate to put yet more distance between themselves and their tormentors, Kathy and Patricia picked phone box locks to get enough money for some passport photos.

But then the heavens opened and the teenagers turned to shoplifting to stay dry.

After nervously glancing round to see if they had been spotted, Kathy and Patricia strolled out of Pennys wearing stolen raincoats.

With childish logic, the girls left their worn-out coats in the shop.

But in their haste to avoid being caught, the youngsters forgot all about the passport snaps tucked in their old coat pockets.

It was all gardai needed and they were quickly arrested.

At the time, their tender years were not a bar to being jailed-and they were sentenced to three months in the clink.

Yet instead of fearing being caged, Kathy WELCOMED it. She explained: "Nobody ever hit or abused me while I was in prison.

"I had new, clean clothes and I got three square meals a day.

"We were supplied with sanitary towels, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. I even used a hairdryer for the first time in Mountjoy.

"The work in prison was also nowhere near as tough as that in the laundries. And I went to school while in prison-which was the first time I had been in a classroom in a long time."

It was a far cry from the hell Kathy suffered after being sent to a Magdalen laundry at the age of ten.

Already an abuse victim, Kathy hoped she would be protected by the nuns who took over as "family".

But instead she was brutally beaten and worked to the bone, then raped by a lay visitor when she was 14.

Kathy revealed: "I was singled out by a visitor much older than me. He gave me sweets and cigarettes and seemed to take a real interest in me, asking me questions about my life during walks in the grounds.

"But then one Sunday he led me up to a big green shed in the grounds, pulled me down on the ground, put his hand over my mouth and raped me.

"Months later, after being in the height of agony for three days, I gave birth to a baby girl."

But instead of sympathy from the nuns, they branded Kathy a sinner- and after three months took the tot off her and sent her back to work.

Distraught Kathy, who now lives in Clondalkin, Dublin, recalled: "The irony was that we turned out to be at even greater risk inside these institutions, where we were supposed to be protected, than out.

"There were many girls who had been raped and become pregnant after they had entered the laundries.

"None were allowed to keep their babies. They had to leave them and go back to the laundries.

"These girls spoke about the babies being collected once a month and driven to the north of Ireland to meet a ship going to America. The nuns considered the Maggies, as the girls were known, as sinners who were heading straight for the fires of hell."

Kathy's own child, who she named Annie, was not sold to a rich American. But only because the tot was too ill. "My little girl had been born with a rare condition," explained Kathy.

"I was told she wasn't well enough to be put up for adoption and that she would stay in the care of the nuns.

"On her tenth birthday, Annie finally lost her battle for life and left this world behind her."

Tots were not the only ones to die. Many of the women forced to work in the laundries also passed away.

And Kathy is now campaigning to have the word "penitent"-meaning sinner- removed from their graves.

She said: "Every time I visit the Magdalen graves at Glasnevin I feel a wave of revulsion about the headstone, which declares that all the girls who were buried there were penitents, or sinners.

"I am desperate for this to be removed or for another more fitting and sensitive memorial to be erected on the same site.

"I am determined these girls will be given some dignity in their final resting place."

DON'T BELIEVE A WORD: Kathy is determined to end the stigma surrounding the numerous girls who died at the Magdalen laundry.

She is campaigning to have the word 'penitents' -meaning sinners-removed from their graves, as shown on the headstone here.

Kathy has even threatened to go on a hunger strike unless the young women, who were worked so hard in life, are shown dignity in death.

The Mirror

June 7, 2005, Tuesday




Kathy O'Beirne was only eight when a psychiatrist diagnosed her as a "child with a troublesome mind".

She had suffered years of physical and mental torture at the hands of her cruel father.

And on the eve of her first Holy Communion she was violently raped by two older boys near her home in Clondalkin, Dublin.

She was just seven years of age.

But this was just the start for the oldest girl of nine children.

AT eight she was locked up in a reform school run by a religious order and was raped by a visiting priest

SHE was then transferred to the children's unit of a psychiatric hospital to undergo terrifying drug and electric shock treatment to make her "forget"

AT 12 she was sent to a Magdalene Laundry where she slaved in horrendous conditions, receiving regular whippings from the nuns and sexual assaults from lay visitors, and

AT 14 she gave birth to a baby girl, Annie, after being raped. Her daughter had a serious health condition and died at the age of 10.

Now Kathy, 44, has come forward to lift the lid on the evil committed during one of the most disturbing chapters in Irish history and to tell her harrowing story in the hope that more will be done to help the survivors of institutional abuse.

She spoke exclusively to the Irish Daily Mirror just a week before the launch of her much-anticipated book, Kathy's Story: A Childhood Hell Inside the Magdalen Laundries.

Kathy said: "I feel my story had to be told. It was like a volcano inside me always ready to explode. So much evil was done there and there was a voice inside me shouting 'Justice'.

"Not just for me but for so many more.

"Ten years ago I wouldn't have sat here talking to you because I was too ashamed.

"But after a hard 11 years writing this book, and a second one I'm nearly finished called The Aftermath: Who am I?, I feel I've finally been set free.

"In the 50s and 60s the Catholic Church ran this country but they don't run it any more. When you think how afraid people were of the Catholic Church - I was afraid myself, I was terrified.

"I'm not afraid now. I'm not afraid of any priest or any nun, nothing.

"With all the people I have been afraid of, I couldn't meet anybody that I could be that afraid of again."

In her gripping book, Kathy recounts her tragic experiences in unflinching detail starting with the regular beatings and abuse she suffered at home by her father Oliver, a daily mass-goer who, she says, always painted a picture of "respectability".

She also reveals her love for her mother who endured years of mental torture at the hands of her husband although, despite his violent ways, he never lifted a hand to her.

But it wasn't until the reform school that Kathy's life descended into an unending nightmare.

The Magdalene Laundries were notorious workhouses that operated in Ireland throughout the 20th century.

The "Maggies", as the inmates were known, were forced to live a slave-like existence.

Kathy said the hardship she endured behind those walls nearly killed her and she had to open up. She added: "It ate away at me. I have a bowel disease. I've had eight major operations. I nearly died three times. "This bowel disease that I have killed my mother. It killed my daughter and it killed my relations.

"I'm always in and out of hospital but if that's all the suffering that I'm going to have to endure to get justice then that's what I'm going to do.

"We were done wrong to. We were innocent people and the perpetrators are getting away scot-free.

"So many of the young girls became pregnant, including myself, and we were branded as sinners. All the babies were taken to the North, put on a ship and sold off to wealthy American families.

"There is no way for the mothers to trace their children or for the children to trace their real parents if they ever find out they're adopted.

"My Annie wasn't because she was very ill but I did see her and she was well looked after."

She described a stint in Mountjoy Prison when she was 15 as one of the happiest phases of her teenage years.

She said: "Myself and my friend ran away from one of the laundries. We tried to shoplift a raincoat each from Penneys but got caught.

"The judge jailed us for three months but I didn't want to leave Mountjoy because I knew I'd be sent back to the laundry.

"I was treated like a queen in jail - I had dry clothes, three square meals a day and never had to worry about anyone laying a hand on me."

Her fight for justice will include a hunger strike outside one of the former laundries in a bid to have the word "penitent" removed from the mass Magdalene Laundry grave in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

Kathy added: "It means sinner and that is just wrong. I have a letter from my doctor advising me not to do it but I'm prepared to die to get what is right.

"I firmly believe that the Lord let me survive, because thousands didn't, to get justice for me and everyone else who was done wrong to in those institutions."

The proceeds of the book are going to three charities - the Magdalen Graves, a children's hospital in Dublin and to Romanian children.

The News of the World

July 3, 2005


Michelle O'Keeffe
'They're abusing me again'

EVIL school nuns kept a cruel secret from Kathy O'Beirne as they physically and sexually abused her.

For 36 years she believed her mother Annie had abandoned her as an eight-year old child.

But Annie had written to her every week and sent presents which the nuns at St Anne's Industrial School in Kilmacud, Dublin, never passed on.

Then Kathy, right, who spent 21 years of hell in institutions including the Magdalen Laundries, discovered the truth when she read her dead mother's diary.

But the Sisters of Charity are still unreptentant. St Anne's School has been pulled down, but they still have the letters. And they wouldn't talk to the Irish News of the World this week about them.

But Kathy, now 43, wants them back and along with hundreds of supporters she's planning a protest march on the Magdalen Laundry in High Park, where the letters are beingheld.

She said yesterday: "I suffered horrific sexual, physical and mental abuse by these nuns.

"Refusing to give my mother's letters to me for all these years is like abusing me all over again."

The News of the World

July 3, 2005


BRAVE Kathy O'Beirne was sexually and physically abused by brutal nuns for 21 years.

Now she is facing her abuse nightmare all over again.

Precious letters written to Kathy by her mum have been kept from her, by the so-called Sisters of Charity, for the past 36 years.

Now with her mum dead, these letters can, in a small way, help to make up for her lost years.

But the nuns refuse to hand them over. They should do the decent thing and not only return her letters but also publicly apologise to Kathy for the terrible trauma they have put her through.

She has suffered enough at the hands of the Sisters of Charity.
The News of the World

July 10, 2005


A MAGDALEN Laundry survivor has gone on hunger strike in a bid to get letters cruel nuns have kept from her for decades.

Kathy O'Beirne, 43, won huge support yesterday as she led a group of protesters - other survivors from brutal schools run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity.

They marched to the nun's High Park convent in Drumcondra.

And Kathy said her hunger strike would last until the nuns agreed to give her the letters from her mum they are still holding there.

The plucky Dubliner said she was prepared to die to get them.

Kathy, who was sexually and physically abused in institutions, was at St Anne's Industrial School in Kilmacud, Dublin from the ages of eight.

And her mum Annie wrote to her every week. But heartless nuns never gave her the letters.

Kathy said: "It is very sad that I have to starve myself to get back what belongs to me.

"I spent years as a child thinking my mum had abandoned me but all the time she had sending me letters of love."

Kathy also wants the nuns to remove the word 'penitents', meaning sinners, from a Magdalen monument in Glasnevin cemetery.

The News of the World

July 24, 2005

JUSTICE Minister Michael McDowell has agreed to help a Magdalen Laundry survivor who was on hunger strike.

Kathy O'Beirne, 43, began her protest in a bid to get letters from her mum that cruel nuns kept from her for 35 years.

The plucky Dubliner spent three days without food outside High Park convent in Drumcondra but the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity refused to confront her.

She finally came off the strike when she managed to arrange a meeting with Minister Michael McDowell who promised to look at her case.

Kathy, who was sexually and physically abused in institutions for 21 years said: "Those letters my mother wrote to me while I was at St Anne's Industrial School in Kilmacud mean the world to me and I want them back.

"I was only eight when I was sent there and I was left thinking my mum had abandoned me but all the time she had been sending me letters.

"I managed to arrange a meeting with the Minister for Justice on Wednesday so I came off the hunger strike. He listened to what I had to say and told me he would look at my case.

"I am disgusted they did not have the decency to meet me."

Kathy also wants the nuns to remove the word "penitents" meaning sinners, from a Magdalen monument in Glasnevin cemetery.

The News of the World

July 31, 2005


A MAGDALEN survivor was celebrating last night after someone erased the the word penitent from a monument to those who died in the infamous laundries.

Kathy O'Beirne has waged an 11-year battle to replace the monument which labelled the Magdalen girls as 'sinners'.

The plucky 43-year-old Dubliner even went on hunger strike but callous Sisters of Mercy superiors still refused to remove the penitent stigma.

Now, a campaign supporter sneaked into Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery and chiselled off the words 'penitents' and 'asylum'.

Kathy, who was sexually and physically abused in institutions for 21 years, said: "I am over the moon. I feel fantastic. I am dancing with joy."

She said she has a bottle of champagne waiting for the culprit.

The News of the World April 16, 2006 Sunday

The News of the World

October 16, 2005


ABUSE survivor Kathy O'Beirne went to Rome this week to get the word 'penitents' removed from a monument for the Magdalen dead.

Kathy, who was physically and sexually abused in institutions for 21 years, took a petition to the Pope demanding the sinners stigma be removed from the monument in Dublin's Glasnevin cemetery.

The 43-year-old has battled for 11 years to replace the memorial, but the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity have refused to let her.

Kathy said: "More than two thousand people have signed the petition to get the word 'penitents' meaning sinners removed from the monument.

"I had to travel to the Pope in Rome in the hope he would listen because nobody here in Ireland is.

"It is disgraceful that I have to go to these lengths but I will not stop until the Magdalen dead are resting in peace with the dignity they deserve."

Kathy decided to go to Rome after the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity replaced the word 'penitents' after a mystery vandal chiselled it off.

October 23, 2005


A DEVOUT Catholic who endured years of horrific abuse in religious institutions has finally turned her back on her faith.

Magdalen laundry survivor Kathy O'Beirne, 43, amazingly continued to be a practising Catholic despite a childhood of being beaten and raped while in the care of callous priests and nuns. But after the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity refused to remove the word "penitent" -meaning sinners-from a Magdalen monument in Dublin's Glasnevin cemetery, Kathy has become a Born Again Christian.

May 20, 2006 Saturday


KATHY O'Beirne suffered in silence during a childhood of unimaginable abuse.

Beaten mercilessly by her father, she was also molested by local boys. When, at the age of eight, she was sent to a Catholic home the abuse continued at the hands of brutal nuns and a perverted priest.

Kathy plucked up courage to confide in a nun - only to end up being sectioned in a mental institution. From there she was sent to one of the infamous Irish Magdalene laundries, where the torture and torment continued.

In our first extract we tell of how Kathy, now in her 40s and from Clondalkin, Dublin, survived her early life.

On Monday we recount her determination to highlight the suffering of herself and the other Magdalene girls.

'TO the outside world, my father presented an image of I respectability. He was a handsome man, well built at 15 stone, who dressed immaculately.

Oliver, a builder's labourer, went to Mass every day and, to the people on our estate, he appeared to be a highly religious pillar of the community. But inside our small home he became a cruel and violent man who subjected his family to a terrible life of mental and physical abuse.

He regularly beat my eight brothers and sisters and me with his belt. The buckle would cut into my legs and the flesh wounds often turned septic.

He would put our hands in the crack of the kitchen door and press it with his foot until we passed out with pain.

One night, when he was in a particularly bad rage, he held my hand in a pan of hot grease. The pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and screamed, so he threw me outside the back door while he ate his dinner.

For reasons I don't understand he often singled me out, accusing me of having "the devil in me", and regularly left me outside all night, even when it was thick with snow.

WHEN I was five two local boys, one much older than me, began to lift up my dress and touch my body.

I had no idea what they were doing to me, only that it made me feel dirty, but they said if I told anyone I would be taken away from my mammy.

The night before I was to make my first holy communion, aged seven - a very special day in the life of a Catholic child - one of these boys raped me. The pain was worse than anything my father had done to me and the following day it hurt even to put one foot in front of the other.

A few months afterwards, my father told me he and a nun were taking me on a trip to the seaside. I was baffled but utterly overjoyed and insisted on wearing my communion dress for the occasion.

However, we never made it to the seaside. It was a cruel trick my father had played to lure me to a home for "problem children" run by nuns. As we arrived at the front door of the grim, forbidding building, he grabbed me roughly by the hand and said: "You're going to be staying here for a while."

I was devastated and cried to go home to my mammy. The Reverend Mother told me: "You are here to do what you are told. There will be no more of your bold behaviour."

I was then put to work, scrubbing and cleaning, with the rest of the girls imprisoned there. We were beaten with belts for what was seen as misbehaviour, however slight. I was also given the job of clearing away the religious implements after Mass on Sunday. At first the priest pretended to be nice to me and said he would help me to get out of the reformatory school and back home.

But then he started touching me and putting his hands into my pants.

He would reach under his robes and rub himself at the same time.

When I complained he said: "Well, you do want to go home, don't you?" before reminding me not to tell anyone what had gone on.

A few months after my arrival I was allowed home for Christmas.

I couldn't wait to see my mother and was sure she would prevent my father sending me back to the home. But she couldn't stop him and was threatened that, if she tried, my father would send her away too.

BACK at the home, the abuse from the priest got worse and, locking me in the Reverend Mother's office, he would rape me.

I decided I had to tell the nun what was going on, hopeful she would stop it.

Instead, she took me to a psychiatrist at the local hospital, who signed the necessary papers to have me committed, aged 10, to a mental institution.

There I was reunited with other girls from the home who had made similar allegations about the priest.

They drugged me with something which I have since discovered was commonly prescribed for schizophrenia and mania. It left me like a zombie.

I was also given electric shock treatment. When I tried to run away they increased the drug dose.

Two years later I was called to the office, where the psychiatrist told me I was being sent to a new school. While I hated it in the hospital, I was terrified of where I might end up next.

However, I was taken in a taxi to yet another institution, a convent which was to be my new home.

The Reverend Mother was waiting for me and said: "You have been sent here because you still have not learned how to behave. You are here to work, and work you will."

I was handed an overall and led to what looked like a huge shed. Inside, the noise of clanking, churning machinery was overwhelming and there were clouds of steam swirling around.

The place stank of chemicals, detergent and sweat and was unbearably hot.

This was the first sight I got of a Magdalene laundry.

I was 12 years old and I had just been delivered to hell.


May 22, 2006 Monday


BEATEN cruelly by her father and raped on the eve of her first communion, Kathy O'Beirne silently endured a hellish childhood.

She emerged from a mental institution, only to be sent to one of the infamous Irish Magdalene laundries, where the torture and torment continued. Here, Kathy, now in her 40s and from Clondalkin, Dublin, tells how she is fighting for justice for herself and her fellow Magdalene girls.

'AFTER a day in the furnace-like atmosphere of the laundry I would collapse into bed, exhausted. The nuns considered the Maggies, as we were known, to be the scum of the earth - sinners who would never earn redemption and fallen women heading straight for the burning fires of hell.

The Devil himself could not have dreamed up a better hell than the Magdalene laundry.

We were on our feet literally all day, while mice and rats scuttled around us. When a Maggie died a black cross was placed on her body by the nuns. It's a symbol of the Devil and used to ensure that the deceased went straight to hell. Her body was then wrapped in a sheet and dumped in a mass grave.

When we tried to escape, the nuns, with the help of the police, would hunt us down and take us back. On Sundays we were visited by members of various lay groups, who would lecture us and give us holy medals and cards.

One of these visitors, a man much older than me, singled me out and gave me sweets and cigarettes.

We would sometimes go walking together and one Sunday he led me to a big green shed in the convent grounds. Once we were out of sight he pulled me to the ground, put his hand over my mouth and raped me.

When he had finished I pulled myself from underneath him and ran back to the convent with tears streaming down my face. I told the other girls what had happened and they weren't shocked. One said: "Why do you think they come to visit here?" She warned me not to report it or I would end up back in a mental asylum.

I was so innocent that I had no idea what was happening to me when, months later, my stomach began to swell. I was completely shocked when an older woman said to me: "You are probably having a baby."

A month before my 14th birthday I gave birth to a baby girl, weighing 4lbs 3ozs. Annie was a beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed little thing. She was also very sick with a rare bowel condition. Sad though that made me, it at least meant that she would not meet the same fate as other babies born to the Maggies.

They were taken from their mothers, shipped off to America and sold to wealthy couples.

I got to spend three blissful months with my daughter in a mother-and-baby home before being sent back to slave labour in the laundry.

The nuns kept Annie, and I lived for the few weekends I was allowed to go visit her.

Around the time of my 15th birthday my friend Patricia and I managed to escape from the laundry and went on the run for several weeks. Penniless, we were eventually arrested for shoplifting and terrified that we would be returned to the laundry.

It was a huge relief to instead be sent to Dublin's Mountjoy prison. The three months I spent there were the happiest of my young life - a breeze compared to life in a Magdalene laundry. I was fed, clothed, treated like a human being and never beaten. In the years that followed I was back in the control of the nuns, with visits to Annie the only bright points.

Aged 17, after losing my temper through frustration and punching out windows, I was sent to another mental hospital.

There I saw a psychiatrist who was the first person ever to listen to what I had been through.

She kept her promise to have me released from the hospital, and soon afterwards a social worker found me a flat.

Without doubt the most painful time of my life was losing my precious daughter when she was only 10 years old.

Annie died as a result of her bowel condition and it is a loss from which I will never recover.

I've spent the past few years piecing together my past and gaining recognition for everything my friends and I suffered while in the care of the nuns.

Recently Ireland's appalling record of child abuse and the neglect of children in state-run institutions was pushed to the top of the political and media agenda following the broadcast of a documentary series called States Of Fear.

I, like many others, am now fighting for compensation through the Residential Institutions Redress Board, though it will never heal the scars.

At the same time, I am determined to ensure a headstone is erected at the mass grave which became the final resting-place of my fellow Maggies - innocent girls condemned as sinners by the nuns.

The headstones will recount the history of the Magdalene laundries and dignify the memory of all the women who died there.'

When a 'Maggie' died a black cross was placed on her by the nuns

The Mirror

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

'Pull the Book' Campaign - Letter and supporters list.

If you agree that a book with serious allegations ( in this case against a parent, the medical profession, and a religious congregation ) should be recalled from sale until proven authentic, please contact me with the name of your group, or individuals that wish to support our 'David and Goliath' action.

This letter will be sent, with the supportors list to Mainstream publishers and the primary sales points where the book is on sale ie the book shops and supermarkets.

Child abuse always sells - but what if the story is untrue - it's a mockery of all children ever abused, and that's abuse repeated again, but in this case aided by the publishers in the name of profit.
We will add to this list as the groups and individuals come in.

Florence Horsman Hogan. .


Body of Letter and support list.
Sir / Madame,

'Kathy's Story' we know is now claimed to be for the main part, a work of fiction, by her own family as well as the religious congregation in whose Magdalene laundries she claims to have been resident.

Are Mainstream prepared to state as you have done before that you have carried out back round checks, and are 100% behind the details of the book ?.Are Mainstream prepared to indicate in what way the allegations were verified to 100% certainty.
If not the onus is on you the publisher to withdraw, investigate, and publish the results of the investigation.
How much responsibility does Michael Sherridan, the books co author have for verification of the allegations made.

Marketing this book as an autobiography allegedly destroys the name of an innocent man (according to the authors own family), brings into disrepute the Irish psychiatric services,and vilifies a religious congregation (The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity)with no substantiation other than Ms O'Beirne's word.

Ms O'Beirne can only have documentary evidence for her 6 week stay in St Annes in Kilmacud, Dublin when she was 11 years old (1967), her stays in St 'X' psychiatric hospital, and her stays in Mountjoy prison.

Have you seen the birth and death cert of 'Annie'(early 70's?),have you seen documentation specific to High Park laundry in Dublin, (early 70's?).
And has Ms O'Beirne been able to name or even describe any of the nuns working there at the time?.

These are only some of the key questions to which we are sure you won't have answers to.

I request, in the name of the following support groups and individuals, that the book 'Kathy's Story' and the spin off 'Don't Ever Tell' be removed from the shelves of all of the bookshops and supermarkets internationally until investigated.

If not, these bookshops, supermarkets etc are facilitating fraud.The fact that 'Kathy's Story' is on the British and Irish bestseller lists, and is now on sale as far abroad as Austrailia is indicitive of how well books on child abuse sell.
Florence Horsman Hogan. 23-08-06.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ SUPPORT GROUPS.

1)Let Our Voices Emerge (L.O.V.E). Shankill, Co. Dublin. email:

2)False Allegations of Carers and Teachers.(F.A.C.T.)P.O.Box 3074, Cardiff,

3) The Alliance Victim Support Group, 30 Castle Gdns, Richhill, Co. Armagh. BT

4) The Kerlaw Support Group, Glasgow, Scotland. email:

5)Website support: Family Media Association:


1) Florence Horsman Hogan. Seaview Wood, Shankill, Co. Dublin.

2) J. Harrison, Merseyside. Englamd.

3) F. Harrison, Merseyside. England.

4) L. Gibbons, Merseyside. England.

5. J. Evans, Merseyside. England.

6. A. Burrows, Merseyside. Eng.

7. B. Strettle, Cheshire. Eng.

8. D. Strettle, Cheshire. Eng.

9. L. Sutcliffe,Lancashire. Eng.

10. P. Sutcliffe, Lancs. England.

11. J. Horrocks, Cheshire. England.

12. G.Stack, Cheshire.

13. M.Sutcliffe, Lancashire, England.

14. Mrs B. Galvin, Ballybrack, Co. Dublin.

15) Mrs F. Clarke,Main St., Eyrecourt, Co. Galway.

16) Mr. Tom Hayes, Castle Gdns, Richill, Co. Armagh.Northern Ireland.

17) Mr John Scanlon, Bantry, Co. Cork.Ireland.

18) Mr Jim O'Sullivan, Czardas, Bantry, Co. Cork.Ireland.

19) Ms F.Howard, Eyrecourt, Co. Galway, Ireland.

20) Diane Nolan, Glasgow, Scotland.

21)Rory Connor, 11 Lohunda Grove Dublin 15.

22)John Easling, Brisbane, Austrailia.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Comments and concerns regarding Kathy's Story.

If you would like to post a comment or give your opinion on this issue, please send them to Florence at and they will be forwarded for posting.If you don't want your comment posted, just mark 'not for posting'.
If you would like your name added to the support list, please say so - initials and vague address will only be posted, but full name and address are needed for verification.
Kind regards,
First Page of the story.

I am running down a long corridor. At the end of it there is a door with a bright shaft of sunlight shining through a glass pane. It is like a light from heaven. Beyond the door is the sunlight, the deep-blue sky and a golden beach that stretches on forever beside the rolling white waves. It is where I want to be, making sandcastles, feeling the heat of the sun and swimming in the sea. My happy childhood. My heaven. When I reach the door, I am almost blinded by the light. I try to open the door but there is no handle and there are bars on the glass. I bang my hands against the bars and scream but no one can hear me. I hear the echo of the footsteps on the floor of the corridor coming slowly towards me. I close my eyes as I kneel and clasp my hands. Tears flow down my cheeks as the footsteps stop behind me. Above me, the light fades and the sun, sea and sand disappear into a black night with no moon. I am plunged into the darkness of my unhappy childhood. I grip the bars and scream with pain, humiliation, anger and hate. I am a child in the cruel grip of an unending nightmare. A child should have happy memories to balance the normal pains of growing up but I have few or none. I never made it to the sea of my childhood heaven; instead, behind the locked door, I was consigned to a hell of beatings and abuse. Tears replace laughter, pain replaced pleasure. Love was destroyed by hate. There was darkness instead of light. My childhood was one long scream of suffering which has haunted all of my adult life. Although I am now able to express myself more clearly, when I recount early my experiences it is in the stark voice of the tortured child I was then. I had great difficulty in recalling some of the worst experiences because for most of my life I had repressed the memories. This is the natural self-defense mechanism of the abused. There are still some events that I find it impossible to talk about.'


Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 11:18 PM
Subject: Kathy's Story. To Mainstream Publishers.

I would strongly urge you to consider that the above book which you are promoting as an autobiography contains many factual errors.

Several members of Ms. O'Beirne's family have clearly stated that she was never in the Magdalene laundry ; they have strongly contradicted many of her claims in the book and state that it is full of fabrication and untruths. If this is the case, this book, in which Ms. O'Beirne contradicts herself on several occasions, is causing a lot of suffering to many innocent people; If it is proven that allegations made in the book are untrue, it is essential that these be checked before publication. The book should not be published prior to establishing the facts of the situation

John Scanlan,
Co. Cork


'Kathy's Story' The Alliance Support Group support all efforts to have this Fictional Book removed from publication. It is clearly a Scam.

For too long people such as Kathy and others have been allowed to say whatever they liked about the Religious and Institutions without challenge. Let your support and ours be a warning to Kathy and others that we will seek justice for the genuine victims while exposing the many false stories and articles that have become commonplace over the years from unscrupulous people. (many former members of these Institutions)who have done so for personal gain at the expense of genuine victims.

Tom Hayes


'The mere fact that unsubstantiated stories can make the
best seller lists says a lot about the world that we live in today. What
happens when these stories are found to be untrue? People go and look for
the next 'horror' story without having learned any lessons from the last.
When this happens it is the real victims of abuse that suffer, as they
cannot get anyone to listen to their story.

Diane Nolan, Founder of The
Kerelaw Support Group.'
Regarding the tall tales told by Kathy O'Beirne, people may care to look at the "Magdalene Laundry Survivors" website which is run by Richard Wood.

(I hope the following link works but you can find it easily through Google anyway -

While the website is very sympathetic to women who were in Magdalen Laundries, it is most unusual in that it gives BOTH sides of the story. See for example the sections on "Counter Arguments" and "Reactions to Kathy O'Beirne". See also the "Messages" section.

Nobody is completely impartial. We are all partisans of one side or the other. However it is important that we keep an open mind to the arguments of the other side. Kathy O'Beirne's book could only be a best-seller in a society that has lost its reason. Remember the famous definition of a Liberal - "a person so broad-minded that his brains have fallen out"!

Rory Connor

It's so disappointing to again see that the publishing world's lust for
and horror stories overrides their duty to confirm whether Kathie's story is
fact or fiction.

Horrific allegations are very easy to make, politically correct to believe,
lucrative to cash in on,
but society has a duty of care to fastidiously investigate and substantiate
which can, and often do, ruin innocent people's lives

John Easling , Australia


I have just finished reading a transcript of Vincent Browne's Radio interview with Kathy O'Beirne author of the now infamous book "Don't ever Tell"

I never cease to be amazed that people are still now commonly known as "The Abuse Industry". It originated in North America and was in introduced to Ireland at the beginning of the Nineties. It proved to be very successful and a God send for the media who made the most of the opportunity of earning a quick buck . Members of the media have to make a living and it was an easy task to indulge the insatiable appetite of the Irish people for ordure. It is apparent now that they were on a winner as this book has been on the best sellers list in Ireland for over three months now.

I haven't read the book but I heard enough from reading the aforementioned transcript that it contains nothing more than a rehash of hundreds of similar stories told on Radio /shown on Television and in the cinema. How people are not bored with the same repetitive garbage is un believable. It must be that Religious bashing is unfashionable with those who have pretensions of being "hip and cool"/pseudo intellectuals and neo hippies.

It would be an interesting thesis for a Post Graduate in Economics or related discipline to study the success of the Abuse Industry I am reminded of the Nora Wall case where she was con convicted of "gang rape" (Judge Carneys words) and sentenced to life imprisonment. Her two accusers recanted the evidence because they weren't told that Nora would be convicted ".They" told them(the accusers) that if they told a few fibs they would get big money and nothing would happen to Nora. Would the study ever find out who the "THEY are. Are they members of a cartel or acting independently. Do they get a commission when the so called abused receive their awards either in the Courts or the Redress Board.

A Social Science Post Grad could do a thesis on those in the Irish Society who having no economic gain continue to perpetuate a hate and malicious campaign against the Religious.

Reviewers of the book accepted without question everything it contained as if it was Sacred Scripture. I was particularly interested in one by Diane E. Griffith (Romolus) MI USA. ) and I quote "Ms.O'Brien tells a bitter painful tale of abuse the most horrifying is"that it is all true" How does Ms Griffith know this ? She has adduced no evidence to support a single allegation She doesn't even get the name right.

To all those concerned -so called survivors of child abuse/ Mafia styled Godfathers and members of the media

Have a nice day

Bridget Galvin

2 September "2006
Launch of International Campaign.

An International campaign has been launched by the Let Our Voices Emerge charity (L.O.V.E.) to get the book 'Kathy's Story' removed from sales until the publishers Mainstream can verify how they've authenticated the serious allegations of abuse made against the Irish medical profession, the authors father and a religious congregation.

The L.O.V.E. charity maintain it was impossible for them to do so - as Kathy empathically was not in a Magdalene laundry.
She was however in a childrens home in Kilmacud, Dublin for 6 weeks only. She was also an inpatient in a psychiatric unit, and spent some time in Mountjoy prison.
These are the only institutions she can possibly have documentary proof of.
She also seems strangely reluctant to either be able to describe any of the sisters who abused her so horrifically, or indeed, provide a death or birth cert for her daughter 'Annie'.

This book has caused irreparable damage to the reputation of Ms O'Beirne's father (who has passed away and so can't defend his good name) , the Irish psychiatric services, and the religious congregation she claims abused her so horrifically.
Kathy's siblings, who defend their father, state they were not approached by the publishers on the allegations of abuse against him.

In the name of all genuinely abused children, both from Irish society as well as the institutions, and all who have suffered false allegations of child abuse, we are asking that the book be withdrawn from sales pending a full investigation.

Ms O'Beirne has issued threats to the founder of the L.O.V.E. charity to picket outside the family home unless this campaign is stopped. This has caused considerable distress to the children, this is highly inappropriate, but will not succeed as a bullying tactic.

If Ms O'Beirne would just provide the documentation she continually states she has to prove she was in a Magdalene laundry to the many journalists who ask her for it, the matter would be solved.

See the following link for the letter to the publishers and list of support groups and individuals (will be updated on an ongoing basis).

Send comments to

Please pass this on or put on website as a permanent link. Continual updates will be provided as the campaign advances.
Kind regards,
Florence Horsman Hogan: Let Our Voices Emerge Charity. .


Kathy threatens Florence Horsman Hogan.23-08-06.

As one of the leading campaigners to have the book 'Kathy's Story pulled from the shelves and investigated , I suppose it's only inevitable that I would get a call from Kathy herself.

However, the call only stregnthened my concern that Ms O'Beirne is not a very well woman to say the least. She made some fairly outragious remarks, one to the effect that she's had 300 support calls since yesterday evening - thats at least 15 calls an hour for the past 20 hours (she called at 17:50 pm). Also invited me to her case in the High Courts next week, but wouldn't tell me what it's about, in which case I declined the kind invitation.

There were a number of other fairly bizzare remarks, but one I took exception to - she's threatened to bring out gangs to picket our home.

Now thats not nice !. For a start off this is a family home with children ( and a rabbitt, and dog ), but also I don't like threats, particularly from bullies.Evidently she seems pretty annoyed about remarks made by her family in last weeks Sunday Mirror, and decided I was calling her a liar because of my involvement.
How absurd, I say the book needs verification, and she takes that to mean she's a liar !.

The Gardai in Clontarf were really nice, yes, they do know Kathy, yes she's relativly harmless, yes, it might be advisable to file a report to our Gardai here in Shankill. I like the garda, they're always very helpful to the Horsman Hogan teenagers - even gave them a lift home in the squad car once or twice ( had to catch them first tho'!).
Florence Horsman Hogan.


Best selling Author issues Threatening phone Call to family.23-08-06.

Statement from LOVE

Last night the author of the best selling book 'Kathy's Story' rang the home of Florence Horsman Hogan of Let Our Voices Emerge (L.O.V.E.), making many strange allegations, but more worryingly, threatening to picket the private residence due to the 'quest for truth campaign' Ms
Horsman Hogan has waged against the book.

The gardai in Clontarf, and Shankill were notified of Ms O'Beirnes call and threats. 'This campaigh is a matter of
truth and record and does not require any action which could alarm or upset to the Horsman Hogan children'.

'Evidently Ms O'Beirne is unhappy at her family coming forward last Sunday to deny her allegations in the book' states Ms Horsman Hogan, but she can't bully any of us by threats .

This remarkable and courageous development by the O Beirne family has at last delivered a well deserved hammer blow to the credibility of this 'horrific fairytale'.

Ms O Beirne may have totally fooled a publishing house and some sections of the media - but the chickens
have now come home to roost - and her story based mostly on Magdalen Homes is shown to be nothing more than a tissue of lies and fantacy. Not a shred of evidence or a single witness has been presented by Kathy or her
publishers (Mainstream)to show she was in a laundry or Magdalen Home.

We will not be bullied by Ms O'Beirne, and if she thinks threatening me with a picket on my family home is going to make us back down, she can think again.

Kathy can produce the evidence now required at anytime and I will put it on the LOVE website - in the interests of justice and fairness for all involved.

The book must to be pulled from the shelves until it's authenticity is verified - and we will keep going until it is'. Florence Horsman Hogan. 01-2821414. / 0886-8762148.