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A Survivor's Tale
on 23 January 2009
Although accounts and stories of brutality in Catholic Church run institutions are legion in modern Irish culture; the tale of systematic cruelty, dehumunisation of personality and casual sadism at the hands of this order of nuns related by Frances stands out above any other account in this genre. One can virtually smell the fear felt by Frances before the beatings in the cupboard and the nauseaous aroma of the dinner hall as one turns the pages. One can almost physically feel the abandonment and betrayal of trust by the adults in Frances' life outside the Nazereth convent; her mother and the Murphy family. Frances and the other poor children were God's concentration camp inmates whose only crime was being born in the wrong circumstances.
But yet the triumph of the human spirit emerges through her acts of resistance to the regime at the Nazereth, her escape from it and the way in which Frances fashions out a singing career as well as,of course,the successful legal action she takes against the nuns.
A testimony to the horrors perpetrated in the name of institutional religion.