Childhood Interrupted, Kathleen O’Malley


In this terrifyingly true story, set in the 1950’s, Kathleen O’Malley relives her disrupted childhood, in which she was seized from the confines of her home and forced to work in an Industrial School run by the Sisters of Mercy.

Kathleen and her sisters were forced to leave home after Kathleen became the victim of a brutal sexual assault at eight years old. Her mother was found guilty of negligence and Kathleen and her two sisters became just three of thousands of Dublin’s ‘orphans’, who were physically and emotionally abused, stripped of their dignity and humiliated with beatings.

This story is not one of self-pity and resentment that is so often found in books of this nature but is one of survival and success; despite this horrendous experience, the author tells of her escape to England in a desperate search for a better life and now confronts her hidden past in a beautifully written journey through her childhood, which is bound to captivate your imagination and draw you in to the daily terrors that greeted the O’Malley sisters. Impossible to put down, this book is a truly remarkable story and certainly well worth a read.

Publisher: Virago
Price: £10.99


  1. Reading this book makes me ashamed that I was raised as catholic but glad that by the age of 14 was strong enough to turn my back on such a religon of fear. Those Nun’s were on a par with war criminals!

    • 22 Nov ’09 at 8:15 pm

      Kathleen O'Malley.

      I have left a reply to Kath Burgess on August 8th 2008.
      Kathleen O’Malley.

    • 22 Feb ’10 at 10:23 pm

      Kathleen O'Malley

      Hi Anne.
      All in good time, though there is no time like the present, you have already taken the first step. The WORD FEAR is but a word.

  2. 8 Aug ’08 at 11:03 pm

    kathleen O'Malley

    Thank you Kath for your review.
    I am the Author and now give Talks to the W.I. Townswomens Guild , Witness/Victims Support Groups and recently to the Survivors of the “Holocaust” This was very touching as everyone in the room had suffered under the rule of Hitler. Yes’ the so called Religious were very like the German Army as it was then. There are still two Nuns alive and living in Moate who should be treated as Criminals, I have tried to press charges alas’ time has run out. In Ireland the Catholic Church has immunity and therefore is protected and beyond reproach. Justice will never be done in Ireland and the stolen years and Family life gone forever.
    England has been good to me and life goes on. My motto is never give up. Thank you to everyone who has read my Book, this is the positive side bringing awareness to the Religious Organisations in Ireland and the cruelty to its children. Kathleen O’Malley.

  3. Kathleen I have just read your book,i could not put it down i am so sorry the way you had lived makes me treasure and be grateful for everything,i am glad you found happiness in the end could you give more information how are your two sisters in todays world?

    What a terrible life you all lived and all the other children I am very emotional thank you for writting the book .

    Helen from Wales.

    • Kathleen, I am just about finished with your amazing book. More than once I teared up. I cannot even imagine how you children survived and I do imagine some did not. I too, would like to know what became of your sisters and little brothers. Maybe someday you would write a “follow up”.

  4. Dear Ms O’ Malley, I am the chairwoman of the League of Jewish Women in Radlett and would very much like to contact you with a view to your speaking at one of our meetings. Could you please let me know the best way of doing this. Thank you Sheila Katan.

  5. 9 Jan ’09 at 10:23 am

    Jamela from Wales

    I have just finished reading this book and also could not put it down. I could not believe what i was reading. Nuns, people of christ, how could they be so evil, i couldnt understand it, i think it was disgusting what they and the goverment did. I think you are a very brave woman..

  6. 29 Mar ’09 at 12:07 pm

    samantha valentine

    hello my name is samantha im not sue if you wil ever get this but i wanted to say that i loved your book and it made me cry the things that happend in those times ur an amazing woman amazing book

    lots of love from new zealand

  7. 13 Jun ’09 at 10:32 pm


    i have justn finished your book and am afraid that i dont belive that this is fully true because, some of the things you try to exsplain just dont add up, and any one who gas read the book please read it again and you will see what i mean

  8. I’m fairly sure that people wouldn’t make up an eight-year-old sexual assaults, etc, to sell books….

  9. For the sake of clarity and fairness, it is a pity “missthingsdontaddup” above did not give any example of what did not add up and therefore did not seem true in this book of many facets:

    How independent and self-supporting a woman can be, even against the odds; single parenthood; birth control and lack of; predatory men and unneighbourly neighbours; sibling rivalry; career choices; intercultural relationships; religious belief, inculcation and education; State control and the power it exerts through the judicial and “caring” professionals to organise and interfere in family life….

    Examples of these are everyday occurrences.

    And in England the State is still using the courts to remove children from caring families, placing them in the care of uncaring professionals and patently unsuitable and inappropriate others – and even to the extent of adoption over the heads of parents, families and even the children themselves.

    The sort of law that can allow such cruel but legal family break-up is now coming to Ireland, where I live now, so we must all hope that past experiences like in this book are taken fully into account.

    I nearly lost my own small son like this some years ago….only a London magistrate saw sense. I trust Kathleen O’Malley sees the similarity if she is ever such a magistrate dealing with a “Freeing Order” (for adoption) under the UK’s 1975 Children’s Act or later….

  10. thank you for telling your story…the world needs people like you…this year i’ve the final exam and i take your book in order to explain the condition of women from 1900 til today.
    i’m not english… i hope i’ve not made big mistakes


  11. 17 Jul ’09 at 6:43 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    To the Chairman of the League of Jewish Women. Radlett.
    Sheila, I would be very happy to give a Talk on my Book at one of your meetings. Some months ago I visited the hatch End Group of Ladies. They have my details.
    Kathleen O’Malley.J

  12. 17 Jul ’09 at 6:46 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Samantha from New Zealand. Thank you for your comments. I spent three years working in the South Island some years ago. Lovely memories. I was called Kathy O’Malley then.

  13. 17 Jul ’09 at 6:50 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Helen from Wales.

    Thank you for your kind words.
    Sadly on release of my Book, my then Husband of thirty years divorced me. When you think you have dealt with all of your ghosts along comes another nightmare.
    fortunately Survival is somethng I had to learn as a Child and life does go on.

  14. 17 Jul ’09 at 6:51 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Thank you , you have made yourself very clear thank you.

  15. 17 Jul ’09 at 6:53 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Thank you for your support. As I confirmed in my Book I have the Court Transcripts of the Trial when I was cross examined on two seperate occasions.

  16. 17 Jul ’09 at 7:00 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Mr Dempsey.
    Cruelty still continues. Recently the Ryan Report Commisssion into Child Abuse in Ireland was completed. (This can be found on the Internet all three and a half thousand pages, it is not for the light hearted). the N.S.P.C.C. have been exposed there also where they accepted a Bounty for every child they took to the Courts and then received £9.00 per child from the religious Orders. we were treated like slaves. However only two of the Girls Prisons out of seventeen were investigated. So the complete findings will remain brushed under the carpet.

  17. Kathleen,

    I just finished reading your book. I cannot believe that someone who has had such a horrific childhood as yourself has managed to turn her life around. I am full of admiration for you and I think you are a very brave and clever woman, certainly not a ‘gom’ or an ‘amadan’ as you have been called for years.

    I grew up and live in Ireland myself and thank God things are no longer swept under the carpet. I am so sorry for the pain and suffering you and all the other poor children received. I cannot comprehend how the nuns can pray to God, read the bible and at the same time inflict such cruelty on little defenceless children whose only crime was to be illegitimate.

    On a more personal note and I hope I’m not being too personal here when I read your story I had a hunch that Uncle Terry may be your sister Sarah Louise’s father. Its just a hunch based on nothing.
    Sorry also to hear about your divorce.

    Wishing you love luck and happiness in the rest of your life.


  18. 8 Sep ’09 at 4:57 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. Childhood Interrupted.

    Thank you for your kind wishes.
    Yes it beggers belief what their last thoughts were at night before going to sleep. The Irish Religious Orders certainly never expected such exposure, for Criminal behaviour.

    I will leave your hunch as it is. Who knows Mammy took that secret to her grave.
    Have you read the Ryan Report “Commission into Child Abuse” it is not for the FAINT HEARTED. May I suggest you make it day time reading as you most certainly will have a disturbed nights sleep otherwise. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  19. Hey there,
    wow, im lucky to find a website where the author herself actually replies on posts. Your book just kind of came into my hands as I must read a autobiography and do a project on it. Yep, for a month I will try to become you, be like you and understand you. I found your story inspiring, a story of courage. What is the moment that strike you as the one you remember the clearest.
    Either in Moate or something else that happened? It may be a feeling, a moment you had with your mom or sister. I have to create a one minute sound piece on a moment, it can be anything as long as I can reference from it in. [Im so excited now, and ill score brownie marks with my lecturer]

    Oh, i am a copywriting student and this is my creative development project for the year end. Just to give you some background as well. Well, woudl it be able for you to help me on this project? I just want your input, it could make it so more solid, so much more real to life.

    Thank you very much, I hope that you are well, and may you have more happiness in your life than you have suffered.

    Kind regards from alllll the way down in South Africa
    Anica Swarts*

  20. 13 Oct ’09 at 11:12 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Anica.
    So nice to hear from you. Good luck with your studies.
    Recently I went through a divorce and the emotions I experienced in Chambers came I thought from nowhere, but they were finally released from my horrendous experience in open court as a little girl. and being parted from my Mum.
    Do feel free to ask me any further questions. Very happy to be of help. good luck with your studies.

  21. 15 Oct ’09 at 10:05 pm

    kathleen O'Malley.

    Hi Anica.
    Perhaps there is a time in my childhood that you wish me to refer to. Let me know.

  22. Kathleen, just read your book and what struck me most was the lack of self pity you displayed and total honesty. The human spirit can survive the most horrendous incidents and it takes a great deal of strength to confront your ghosts and remain compassionate too. Although there have been books and reports on these abuses I can’t remember reading about any deep soul searching by the Catholic Church. Times are very different now but abuse of children still goes on and on. As a former Catholic I can understand to some extent how you could be drawn in by the nuns
    best wishes and good luck for the future

  23. Hello Kathleen,

    the aim of the soundpiece is that I should describe your feelings and what you heard. I’m thinking violin, heart beat, some silent moments and a man (judge) droning in the background. So that one gets the dreaded feeling, but I’m not sure, I was never in a court before. Then a voiceover with a poem (which i yet have to write). This is of course the moment you told me about on the 13th.

    Originally I was thinking where you find out the truth about your mom, and then dedicate the poem to your mom from you (thus me as you). Oooorrr you describe a vivid memory of a girl getting beaten as you walk by.
    hehe, ill need someone that sounds irish to read the poem for me. I cant do it myself, for some reason i have an accent which has been everything from english, aussie to german.

    As going for sounds, I still think heartbeat can be a good base to build it on. Especially if I take a scene from Moate. I like the symbolism, you never played ir shouted or had fun (sorry if I am sounding unsympathetic) so it was always kind of quiet, and being so emotionally drained you only have your heartbeat to remind you that you are alive. As well, one’s heartbeat generally increases when you have done something ‘wrong’. In your case just before you get beaten.

    Maybe there is a specific happy feeling you had? How is your relationship with your sisters these days?

    gosh im so lucky to be able to communicate with you. its the first time that someone i have never met has been on my mind this much. Any thoughts on a moment i could choose?

    Anyway, I had to hand in a film synopsis, like what would happen if I had to turn your book into a movie. I think it ended quite well. Are you comfortable talking on the blog, or would you like to communicate via email? Either way I do not mind. I would liek your input when I finaaly wrote your poem. I can even when I am finished send you the sound piece. It’s your life after all. If you want to I can post/send you the film synopsis. I am curious what you will think of it. I think you’re an absolutely amazing woman and totally agree with Chris.

    Okay, well I just wrote you an essay of a letter. Thank a million trillion billion for your help!

    Kind regards
    Anica Swarts

    • 29 May ’14 at 9:01 am

      kathleen o'malley

      Have just opened my iPad and there you were. Please reply and let me know what became of the Poem and your project.

  24. 17 Oct ’09 at 10:09 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Samantha from New Zealand.
    Thank you for your comments. As you know I worked in New Zealand for three years. Wellington, Dunedin and Invercargill also Australia I so enjoyed my time in the southern Hemesphere.
    where do you live?.

  25. 17 Oct ’09 at 10:20 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Can you imagine going to bed every night, crying inside,feeling totally alone, starving freezing cold and trying to sleep on a “Horse haired mattress still wet from the previous night. finally crying myselt to sleep then to have this wonderful dream that Mammy had sent us a parcel filled with goodies and one bar of Frys Chocolate, having eaten a little I put the remainder under my horse filled pillow for the next day(no pillowcase). On waking up I excitedly reached under my pillow for my chololate bar only to find it was not there. the start of another day of emptyness.

  26. 17 Oct ’09 at 10:22 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Thank you.
    The Religious Orders in Ireland have not really apologised for their Criminal behaviour.
    Talking about it brings awareness to the truth.

  27. This is getting pathetic now… and not only the usage of the word “mom”.

  28. Dear Kathleen,
    Just read the article about you in The Times (times 2 section) of 21st October 2009. I was so moved by your strength, courage and fortitude that I have ordered your book, but obviously not yet read it.
    You are one really incredible lady. I cannot begin begin to express my admiration for you.
    Your illumination of the crimes committed against you and your family are a wake-up call to sanity and the hope that lessons will be learnt and acted upon.
    May joy and happiness light up your personal life now.
    Valle con Dios, as they say in Mexico. (Go with God)
    With very best wishes

  29. 22 Oct ’09 at 11:47 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Thank you.
    for one more person to learn what went on in Ireland makes it all worth while. Look up on the Internet “Commission into Child Abuse” the material there in is very heavy reading. The findings are about the appauling abuse that both the Christian Brothers and the Nuns imposed upon innocent children, . The is another Report waiting to be released this will show what the Catholic Church was about.

  30. 23 Oct ’09 at 9:11 am

    Ela from Poland

    Dear Kathleen! I have just finished your book. Thank you very much for your story. Its very interesting and teaching for me: a citizen of ultra catholic country. Best wishes!!!

  31. 26 Oct ’09 at 6:43 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Ela.
    I was very flattered when the Translation Rights was purchased by a Polish Publishing company. You are the first Polish Person to contact me who has read it. I have often wondered about the Polish version, please do tell me, as a fuent English speaker, how did it read? It has also been printed in Sweden.
    Thank you.

  32. Dear Kathleen,

    Thank you for sharing your story, you are an inspirational woman. What a waste your life might have been, had you not had the courage to carry on and learn how valuable you really are. How much you have given to our society, when so much was taken from you.

    I’m sure your Mammy would be very proud of you.


  33. 7 Nov ’09 at 8:45 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Dear Victoria.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    England gave me opportunities that Ireland wouldn’t or were incapable of. So giving back a little is no hardship. I am also learning whilst doing my Court work. I see it as part of the education I was deprived of as a Child in Ireland. Yes I am sure she would have been very proud.

  34. 7 Nov ’09 at 10:17 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Dear Patrick.
    Its very kind of you to say what you did, thank you. I shall be very interested in hearing from you when you have read my Book. I spent some very memorable time last year in Mexico so your wishes brought an inner glow when reading “Valle con Dios”.

  35. 7 Nov ’09 at 10:18 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Dear Patrick.
    Its very kind of you to say what you did, thank you. I shall be very interested in hearing from you when you have read my Book. I spent some very memorable time last year in Mexico so your wishes brought an inner glow when reading “Valle con Dios”. I now realise I had not forgotten to reply to your comments as this is my second.

  36. 18 Dec ’09 at 4:54 am

    kathleen o'malley

    Happy Christmas everyone. Kathleen O’Malley. “Childhood Interrupted”.

  37. Dear kathleen
    It is with tears in my eyes as i am writing this,i cannot believe what the irish government let those nuns get away with,i felt for you and your sisters and all those poor children being treated like that,i thought nuns would never treat children that way i can only say how brave you all were a truly great read i could not put the book down,and also your mother to whom i hold no blame what so ever seemed like an incredible woman ,i hope you and your sisters now have a very happy and friutful life,
    kind regards

  38. 4 Jan ’10 at 5:59 pm

    kathleen o'malley

    Dear David.
    The Government, Judicial and the N.S.P.C.C. were servants to the Catholic Church. Yes the Government are responsable, even to this day with the “Investigation into Child Abuse” they protected the Church. The latest report called Dublin Diocese will shock you, you can download it. Survivors have had a little redress, perhaps one day we will have satisfaction. For ten years we have been campaigning for justice and exposure to the wrong doing, this is like a dripping tap, however you are another person who knows the Churches very dark secret and there is satisfaction therein. The Pope I believe is visiting the U.K. this year, yet he is not going to holy Catholic Ireland, I wonder why? Sadly I went through a painful divorce two years ago, which was not my choice, however life must go on. Thank you for your very kind comments. Health and Happiness for 2010.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  39. 19 Feb ’10 at 1:02 pm


    Dear Kathleen

    I have just finished reading your book this last week.

    I think that you must be a very strong, inspirational woman
    to be able to endure all these things.

    I think the fact that you even had the good grace to go back
    and visit those nuns, and even take your lovely little son with you,
    shows a strength of character that not many people have.

    I cannot believe that these so called religious women, brides of Christ, can put such young innocent children through such hell.

    I wish you a long and happy life, and send best wishes to all your

    Bless you and take care.

    Carol L

  40. 20 Feb ’10 at 11:22 am

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Dear Carol.
    Thank you for your very kind review. Life is like a deck of cards, we are dealt a hand and each and every one of us deals with it as best we can at the time.
    In retrospect, I am shocked that I gave them the time, having said that I was clearly still Institunalised. My greatest sadness now is that I actually split my precious time with them and my Mum. How damaging brain Washing can be at any level. Life has dealt another unexpected card, my exhusband petitioned me for a Divorce, life had been difficult and the hardest blow of all is my Son sadly took sides and refuses to speak to me.
    We are still waiting for an apology from the Pope.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  41. Thank you Kathleen you are a brave and wonderfull woman I havnt read your book but know for fact what went on in childrens homes I was a child in one of them, I understand what you are saying about splitting your time between them and your Mum, Maybe some day I will be brave enough and stand up for my self like you are


  42. Dear Kate
    I found the story of your childhood to be a roller-coaster of emotions. To be removed from your loving mother and installed into a regime which should have been caring and warm, but was brutal and cold was shocking. But ulimately your story is inspiring. The human spirir is amazing, some people are able to adapt and cope with the most extreme circumstances, whilst others suffer and never recover. You have come through this experience to realise that to harbour bitterness and resentment for those who perpertrated these deeds, will not serve you and will ultimately destroy you.
    You are able to call upon your experiences to understand the fears and imperfections of mankind.
    Ma I wish you the best of health and happiness for the future.

    Jim Connor

  43. 22 Feb ’10 at 10:30 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Jim.
    Thank you for your good wishes, Sometimes life opens a door and we go blindly through it. Then we might get a choice to deal with whatever presents itself there in. I don’t take any merit for surviving the abuse, thousands of Children in Ireland did so perhaps all in different ways. I had a good Mother who showed me right from wrong. I dare say this helped me make my choices.

  44. 27 Mar ’10 at 12:43 am

    Elaine Ashton

    Hello Kathleen,

    Just finished reading ‘Childhood Interrupted’.

    It’s a very powerful, moving account and I’m sure you will continue to inspire many other people, as you have me.

    I would also have liked to see included in the book some pictures of your family; of Lydia, Sarah Louise, your Mammy and brothers as well as places you visited and lived like Coosan Point, Bohernabreena etc.

    Kindest regards

  45. 31 Mar ’10 at 9:18 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Elaine,
    Thank you for your comments, and taking the time to. One of my regrets is that I have no photos of my childhood, then the Nuns were not charitable in any way or interested in family keepsakes. I do have one photo of my Mum and brothers which should have been published with my Book. Last October the Times Newspaper interviewed me, David Sharrock was the Journalist, it was a two page spread and there was the forementioned photo. It confirmed the vindictive nature of the Sisters of Mercy. My Mum was dressed in a suit and the boys were beautifully turned out. The photo certainly did not depict destitute children or an unfit Mother.
    If you are interested look up Kathleen O’Malley on Google among the lists one such U tube and R.T.E. Ireland, I made a Documentary and there are two photos of me one when I was very much younger but not a child.
    Nice to hear from you.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  46. 10 Apr ’10 at 2:34 am

    Anne Hennessy

    Dearest Ms. O’Malley,
    Just finished your great book. Thank you for taking the time and energy to expose the atrocities committed by the nuns at that school. I attended Moate’s convent of mercy from 1966 to 1972. I was a day student in the primary school. Given that my family was not influential in the community, my two sisters and I were treated badly throughout our years there. I was frequently hit with a cane, and when my father complained it got worse. I think the constant degrading and humiliation will never leave me. The children living at the school received even more severe treatment. We were beaten with a cane on the front and back of their hands and legs, but they were also beaten across their naked bottoms.
    Your strong voice has helped expose criminals hiding behind the shield of the catholic church, and shame on them for protecting them. I thank you with all my heart for helping end these crimes in Ireland.

  47. 11 Apr ’10 at 4:48 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Hi Anne.
    Thank you for your reply. So pleased to hear from you. Yes for so called good people they certainly treated a lot of children like second class citizens. I remember, Canon Pinkman reading from the Pulpit how much members of the congregation had donated to the Church. It was downright bulling and intimidation. You must not let their brain washing spoil your life, you are better than they could ever be.
    I believe Srs Vincent and Theresa are still living, sadl;y there is no way they would be made accountable for their part in Domestic Violence. Yes and all who are still alive are Criminals. You can be proud of your Dad for standing up for you.
    Enjoy and be proud of who your are.

  48. 5 May ’10 at 10:03 am

    Emma From Ireland

    Hey Kathleen, Ive just finished your book and half to say I am truley amazed. For you to have gone thorugh what you did is anyones worst nightmare. I was glad to see a lot of amazing things happened for you after, like the travelling and the experience you gained. I hope your in the right frame of thinking. A lot of people can influence you throughout life and I know you can decide whats right and wrong so hopfully your in the right frame of thinking and you do it alone, without your past haunts.

    God Bless


  49. 5 May ’10 at 4:54 pm

    Emma From Ireland

    Ive re-read a bit in your storie about your uncle terry. I have this feeling, he was happy and emotional to see you, things changed his wife was cold, he ended your meeting. your mammy brought you to see him but he wasnt your uncle by blood, did you ever look into this and find out if he was your father?

  50. 13 May ’10 at 4:25 pm

    Kathleen O'malley.

    Hi Emma.
    Thank you for your interest. I still find it rather odd, that an elderly man of 80 years who had not seen a child from the age of eight! seeing (me) the now middle aged adult , wept emotionally. There was definitely something bothering him.
    Emma what you have never had you certainly don’t miss, we each have to be at peace within ourselves, otherwise the conscience rules and torment takes over.
    One of his sisters made a very bold statement to me “He knows more than he is letting on” .
    Maybe one day, who knows.

  51. As a Survivor of Religious Child Abuse myself, i can identify in many way’s with the terrible Childhood that you described in your Book Kathleen. I found it very honestly written, and many area’s, that were often a problem for me to express, were well highlighted , as i’m sure the many who have posted on here to you, will agree. The most important fact being that Religious folk , men and women , could sink to the level’s of so called “care” of the Children, who they failed and damaged so badly, and got away with for so many year’s!
    Kathleen , thank you , on behalf of all Survivor’s and Victim’s, for the time ,trouble , and effort you put into your book, i have no doubt that it will give much inspiration to many, and i can only hope that the many folk here ,who have read your book, will, like me, pass it on to their friend’s and family, and help increase the awareness of the crime’s of the Roman Catholic Church , not just in Ireland, but all over the World.
    So Sorry to read of your sad Childhood, and other domestic matter’s, which have occoured for you, Kathleen, but as you rightfully say, we are Survivor’s, and have to get on with our live’s. Unfortunatly, many of the problem’s that rear their ugly head’s can be connected to our Sad and miserible Childhood, and can leave knock on effect’s, i hope you can take comfort in knowing , like myself, we are not alone!

    Keep Strong ,

  52. 6 Sep ’10 at 4:23 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Jimmy.
    Thank you. As you know the religious throughout Ireland abused the Children of Ireland. What a Legacy.
    We can now expose their behaviour, they were know as the LOVELY KIND SISTERS AND CHRISTIAN BROTHERS. When I give a talk I find members of the public are still shocked by what they are hearing. Especially as this happened in our life time. I know a number of women(Survivors) who have actually said reading my Book was like reading their life story.
    Our task now is to expose them for what they really are.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  53. mrs omally, i have read your amazing book. it has inspired me to write of my 2 brothers and i.we lost our mother and 2 brothers in a house fire in canada 1957. i am now 60 years old . you will understand it was just the being of a trerrible life for us, which has haunted us for over 50 years. i am well into my story.please could you advise me on who i could present my story too, with the hope of an understanding of the the hurt and honesty, like you, i have written. then hopfully being publised.i will understand if you cant help .yours sincerly, robert

  54. 8 Nov ’10 at 9:22 am

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Hi Robert.
    Loosing a Mother as a Child is enormous, your whole world tumbles and where do you get guidance from. My deepest condolences.
    I hope writing your story has helped you.
    I am no expert, for what its worth write a synopis and send it to some Publishing Houses. It is hard work but will be worth it. I was fortunate in that a Publishing House contacted me.
    Perhaps contacting your Local Paper and getting an interview someone somewhere could hit on it, the media can then pass it on The radio station could also be useful.
    Robert there is little or no money in this venture however the fulfilment is gratifying.
    I wish you success. Please let me know the outcome.

  55. I agree some things didn’t add up – I.e the timeline. It seemed from the age of 17 about 20 years pass but it is reveled the writer is still in her 20s. I enjoyed reading this book but it didn’t fill me with sorrow and I found it hard to follow – it was not very well written.

  56. Hello Unsure, I am very sad to see you did not share the view’s of so many other poster’s here. As a victim of Child Abuse myself, i found Ms O Malley’s book both interesting and moving. Perhap’s because i can identify with the sad and horrible childhood experienced by the author. I found it easy to follow, and was very impressed by the fact that the author was able to move on and carve out a respectable and rewarding life for herself, after the terrible childhood She endurred.

    It is also to Ms O Malley’s credit that her experience has enabled her to give much support and assistance to member’s of various Child Abuse Group’s in the UK and Ireland, which is well appreciated.

    Like so many poster’s here, her book inspired me, and for me , it is alway’s a breadth of fresh air ,to see someone have the ability to expose the bad egg’s within the Roman Catholic Church.

    I see you enjoyed reading the book, despite failing to fill you with sorrow, so i dont mind saying that it had me in tear’s, and not just once! How do you measure Sorrow!

    Kind regard’s


  57. 5 Jan ’11 at 11:13 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley "childhood Interrupted"

    To; Unsure.
    Thank you for your reply. I am curious with your response,
    Question 1. You agree some things did not add up, what were they?
    2. Why would you expect it to fill you with sorrow?
    the feed back I had from my book was that it was an easy read (it had to be due to the subject matter) however you do say you enjoyed reading it, yet you found it hard to follow’! sorry you found it was not well written, we can always do better and learn. Perhaps I will get the opportunity to write a follow up and get more experience.
    I would like if you have the time to respond to me as to whether you are male or female and what age group you belong to.
    My Book has inspired many people , I have given many Talks on the subject and have six bookings for Febuary and March.
    I wonder if you also have suffered in your childhood, perhaps even more than what we in Ireland went through with the so called sisters of Mercy. and Christian Brothers.
    I would like to hear from you again. thank you again.
    Kathleen O’Malley

  58. 5 Jan ’11 at 11:21 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley "childhood Interrupted"

    Hello Jimmy.
    Thank you for your support and kind words. At long last we (Survivors) are stronger mentally and can support each other. gone are the days when we felt GUILTY for existing and ashamed to communicate with each other. We each had harrowing experiences, I was fortunate to get my published. My great satisfaction is spreading the word about the wrong doing of the representatives of the Irish Catholic church and indeed the Irish Government.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  59. Dear Kathleen –

    Recently I have read Paddy Doyle’s (God Squad) – no relation – and Kathy O’Beirne (Kathys Story) more from a perspective of how the Irish psyche and social structure could sustain such institutions. Particulalrly while promoting “Christian values”. Add in the case of Evelyn Doyle (again no relation) recently filmed with Pierce Brosnan. I have also read your book which in repeating the readers above is excellent. By reading around the subject and various publications its clear the state/govenrnment and church are willing participants in terms of maintaining such institutes. I can see the parallels discussed above regarding the Holocaust victims as well.

    Was the state “afraid” of the church in terms of maintaining public support or living in blissfull ignorance ? How did such a view on society (particulalry family structure/morals/church intervention) evolve ? How did it continue for so long in contemporary society ?.

    Its not as if its “in the past” when it is relatively recent. There will be disbelievers as it will also shake their faith (Church) and trust (Government).

    No doubt future historians may analyse this and present some insight ?

    My parents came to England in the 50’s primarily in search of work. Me and my siblings are children of the 60’s. We enjoyed going to Ireland for holidays and meeting the larger family. In England my parents had freeedom from the state and church we had our freedom to live and enjoy life.

    This is one part of Irish History that doesn’t sit well in looking back at a country I feel proud to be associated with and changes my perspective on a number of things.

    Keep up the good work –

    Regards and best wishes – Alick Doyle

  60. i just finished reading your book and i found it really hard to put down. my mum grew up in the sisters of mercy convent in dublin and never spoke about what went on.
    i found reading your book helped me to ask questions and find out what happened to her. it helped me to understand why she was always so strong and so tough when we were children.
    i admire you for telling your story and that of many other children from the convents and help there families to understand as i did.
    your book brought me to tears with sadness and in the end joy.
    your a remarkable woman and i am so glad i read your book and had a small idea of ehat my mum went through and her brothers and sisters too.
    your son is a lucky boy to have such a strong mum and hemust be very proud. x

  61. i have read you book and found it very good and moving. It was a difficult childhood and i am glad my childhood was normal in england.
    I went to a christian brothers school in england again this was normal.
    A very good book which I have recommended to friends and family. My parents came here from ireland in the 50’s.

    Aidan Crilly

  62. 15 Apr ’11 at 8:25 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear Aiden,
    Thank you for your very kind comments. You had only what you deserved and entitled to. I am happy for you.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  63. 15 Apr ’11 at 8:48 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear S.Jones. “Sean”?
    Thank you. I am so pleased reading my Book helped you understand your Mum. Has she been able to converse with you on how she was treated as a child.. My guess is she was not and is not hard but merely putting on a front. Inside I am sure she is a very soft centre, when you have been treated so badly as we were as children you withdraw emotionally and then put on a brave front for the world. My greatest heartache occured when my ex husband petitioned a divorce, after my Book was Published.
    My son took sides, he has not spoken to me in five years. He knows his Father petitioned the divorce. I was taken from my Mum and now my son has left me. One has to go on I keep myself very busy and regurlarly give Talks on my Book. Yes I understand releasing my story helped many other Irish survivors to open up and realise none of what happened to them was their fault. The Religious Orders in ireland were very good at transferring their guilt to us. It has helped them and I am happy to be their voice.
    I am glad you appreciate your Mum, spoil her and never stop loving her. Is she aware of the Redress Board she should have lodged the Abuse she went through as the Irish Government was initially responsible for what we had to endure.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  64. 15 Apr ’11 at 9:15 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear Alick.
    Yes’ you were fortunate to grow up in the U.K. Your parents certainly made the right decision leaving Ireland.
    It beggars belief such atrocities took place, they did and Irish Society knew about it but closed their eyes and turned a deaf ear. The Religious had unbelievable power. Ultimately the Government were responsible for allowing such cruelty. Yes the Government knew what was going on and their is no denying it. Ireland is engulfed in denial and secrecy. Then confession has always been an easy out. I recently gave a Talk at a Townswomen guild on my Book. There was one woman there who was not happy with my revelations. She adamantly told me and her associates that the Nuns were not like my description of them. I agreed not all were but those I had direct contact with were. I asked what Order of Nuns she was referring to , it was the Loretta Order. She had been educated by this Order and therefore was from a very comfortable background. Quite different from my social position or lack of. I invited her to log on and open up “Commission into Child Abuse” “The Ryan Report” and Dioceses Report” there she would find more Satanic behaviour than I had described in my Memoir. This material is not for the faint hearted and is factual. she firmly declined my suggestion. I came away from this venue realising the Education she allegedly received was non existant as her mind was still closed. I on the other hand am self educated and very proud of where I am at. I do feel pity for Irish Catholic people who are still in denial and their are many.
    Thank you for your support.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  65. hello Kathleen
    i have just read your book that a friend lent to me,it didn’t take me long as i couldn’t put it down,i told my friend that she will cry when she reads it,it open’d my eyes as to what goes on behind closed doors,it was shocking,i also read the “Commissions into child abuse”,i didn’t read much as i come over a little ill,my 13year old son asked what i was reading so i read a few witness staitments out to him,he went quiet for a while (which is so not like him) then said why do people do things like that to kids,he then told me not to read anymore,my son is a teenager with a teenage attitude but even he felt bad, now that must say something,i rely do admire you so much for being so strong even though its just on the outside,i hope by the time you read this message you have got your relationship back with your son.
    all my best you……
    Lorraine xx

  66. 26 Jul ’11 at 9:08 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Lorraine.
    Thank you for taking the time to make you comment.
    Its interesting that your Son didn’t want you to read on. Mind you the “Commission into Child Abuse” is heavy stuff and yes one wonders how adults could possible treat Children in this way, they did and they still do. They are a type (sadistic sick bullies) as the saying goes “Show me your friends and I will tell you what you are” These sick individuals find each other and that is how they get away with it.
    It is out there now and that is important, making awareness in the hope that such so called human beings will be mindful of their gross behaviour.
    I achieve great satisfaction giving Talks on my Book and exposing the wrong doing.
    Sadly my Son still refuses to reply to my communications.
    Life goes on and I deal with this great loss in my life, by keeping as busy as I possible can.
    Keep well and enjoy your Family life.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  67. Hi Kathleen
    I read your book recently and was saddened, appalled and disgusted at the way you were treated, you have bravely overcome your past and I wish you well. I have given the book to my Irish father to read, he was very badly treated at school in Ireland in the 1940’s by lay teachers and still suffers from depression relating to his past, however he said he would be interested in reading your book. It seems that child abuse was commonplace and nobody challenged nuns, priests or teachers as they were put on a pedestal.


  68. 12 Sep ’11 at 7:52 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley Childhood Interrupted

    Hi Anne.
    Thank you for your comments. They sure knew how to abuse, control was their aim and they certainly had that. The Irish Government sat back and allowed the Religious to do whatever they wanted. In fact the Religious had to apply for a Licence to run these Prisons :Industrial Schools: they were never questioned and when Dr Annie McCabe visited us and submitted the report on her findings it was ignored by the State.
    Sorry to hear about your Dads suffering you sound a lovely daughter and he is lucky to have you but no doubt you have suffered because of his depression.
    I am in Seattle just now still searching for my younger Sister it is now 30 years from when I first started this journey hopefully by the time I return home I will have got somewhere. I have found her Son, so together we can make progress.
    All you can do for your Dad is to be there for him. I wish you both a healthy and happy life.
    Best wishes.

  69. Hi Kathleen,
    Your book came to mind this week as I began preparations for my Masters degree in history. I read it back in 2007 and it has stuck with me. I think I have problems when I’m struggling at university or I have no money to go out with my friends…then I think of your book and I realise I have everything a young girl should have, but that sadly life doesn’t work that way and that life in Ireland was so different no so long ago.
    You are such an inspirational person. In the book you displayed no self-pity, but simply honesty throughout. I am truly sorry to read about your divorce and I hope that things are getting better for you.
    I hope you don’t mind me asking this, but do you have much contact with your siblings these days?
    I am trying to plan my Masters dissertation and I am hoping to take an angle of abuse in Industrial Schools that hasn’t been researched in depth before. If there is anything you feel needs to be addressed then please let me know.

    I wish you all the best in the future and once again commend you on all your achievements in life, not least writing the Book which has impacted on so many people but ultimately will help other survivors like yourself.

  70. 26 Sep ’11 at 5:06 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Anon.
    Thank you and good luck with your dissertation, if I can be of any help do let me know.
    Perhaps we could make direct contact somehow? any suggestions by pnone face book?

  71. 2 Oct ’11 at 9:03 pm

    Amanda McDonnell

    Dear Kathleen,
    I have read your book at least three times now. I just had to look you up to see if there was any way I could contact you. I just want you to know that I am in awe of you. The abuse you suffered is evidently a part of you, but you have made it a means to help others and yourself in finding justice against the people who destroyed your childhood. I’m sad to hear that you divorced your husband. Life can be so harsh and almost always to the best of us.
    I’m priveledged just to have this oppurtunity to leave you a message on here and I wish you all the very best in the future. If there is ever any way in which I could help you on your journey, I would be very happy to do so. One thing I know for certain, you may not have spent long with your wonderful mother, but you’re everything she would have wanted you to be and more. She must be so proud of you.
    Take care,
    Amanda (25, Belfast)

  72. 4 Oct ’11 at 9:08 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Amanda.
    You are very kind. Thank you for your kind words.
    Each and every one of us have a journey, the choice is where we go on it. I have been lucky making some right choices.My Mum set quite an example to me so I had a very good foundation.
    The divorce was unfortunate I could not have made such a decision as he was disabled. My ex had left home eight times in last fifteen years of our twenty eight years of marriage. My Book had just been published when he decamped again, on this occasion I decided enough was enough and my welcoming him home ceased. He then divorced me.
    My greatest sadness is my Son has taken sides and refuses to acknowedge me.
    We never know what is around the corner and life certainly seems to enjoy tripping one up. Life goes on and keeping oneself busy is the only medicine. I have just returned from the U.S.A. where I found my younger sisters only son after 36 years. So joys comes when we least expect it.
    Best wishes to you and make the most of your wonderful young life.

  73. Hi Kathleen, just want to say “hello” and wish I could give you a hug. I’ve just finished your book, I think its very sensitively written and I finished it in 2 days (would have been 1 but had to do some housework!). As the only child of elderly parents who “kept themselves to themselves” and a little bit older than you, I can connect with your aloneness throughout life, but you have come through such a lot and have shown such courage. All the very best for the future – embrace it, with all best wishes

  74. 28 Oct ’11 at 5:29 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Gracie.
    I appreciate you very kind words thank you. I suppose the difference between Aloneness and being lonely is interesting. I was lonely in my marriage,now that I am on my own and alone, I am at peace. I prefer to be on on my own.
    I wish you the very best also.


  75. Hi Kathleen,

    I too have just finished your book and have never felt to write a review before but i was so moved by your story. One of the saddest parts at the end (for me) was that you had no contact with your sister in 30 years. I was encouraged reading the other replies to hear you were searching for her and wondered are you in touch with her yet? I hope you still have contact with your other siblings, although after everything you all went through it must be hard.
    I’m also sorry to hear about your son, i really hope he comes around soon.
    Your life after that place has been inspiring and i wish you every happiness for the future,

    Thank you for the amazing ‘eye opening’ read..

  76. 3 Nov ’11 at 9:58 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Nina.
    Thank you for your review it is such a complement to learn my book has been your first.
    I am still searching for my sister I have found her son and visited him in U.S.A. in September. I last saw him on his second birthday when they came to stay with me in my first home, when we celebrated his second birthday. I had the great joy of repeating this occasion again this year, 36 years on. He has been estranged from his Mum for many years and we are now looking for her together. we have reported to the Dept of Disability and Pensions of possible fraudaulent identity and we now wait for feed back. It has been an eventfull journey sadly always coming up against a brick wall.
    In any sadness one learns to live along side it. there is no other choice.
    Once again thank you for your kind wishes.

  77. Dear Kathleen,
    Apologies for the late reply, I have been business at university.
    I would be delighted to make direct contact, but would rather not publish personal details here. I have given my email address with this post, can you see it? If not let me know. Delighted that we will be communicating.

  78. EDIT *busy

  79. 7 Nov ’11 at 9:08 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    No I could not see the address. Perhaps if you explain how I can locate it. alternatevly you could drop[ a line via my Publishers in that way privacy prevails.

  80. 8 Nov ’11 at 9:55 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Not sure how to do this?

  81. 5 Dec ’11 at 8:27 pm


    I’m a bit upset that the comments on this article have dried up. They were quite absorbing.

  82. 6 Dec ’11 at 5:33 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"


    this is your chance to keep the comments going. Have you read my Book “Childhood Interrupted”? your chance to to write a comment. I would love to hear from you and reply.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  83. 9 Dec ’11 at 9:07 pm


    Think I’ll pass on the book. It was just the string of comments on this article that I was interested in. Ta.

  84. 9 Dec ’11 at 9:08 pm


    And – given that you’re a writer – your spelling, grammar and punctuation.

  85. 13 Dec ’11 at 9:23 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    To Disappointed,
    Have an enjoyable Xmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

  86. 14 Dec ’11 at 6:16 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    To Disappointed.
    Many comments on my Book have been made by real people.
    Life can be disappointing, ….. grow up.
    Kathleen O’Malley. “Childhood Interrupted”

  87. Hi Kathleen,
    Sorry I took so long to reply, I wrote my comment just days before giving birth to my second little daughter. I’m saddened to hear that things have continued to be difficult for you. Is your son a father? I find children don’t ever appreciate what a mother really is until becoming a parent themselves. I pray he will come round in time. Ultimately, the reasons behind your divorce are not for him to dispute and taking sides seems a very heartless way to behave towards a mother who has raised him, especially given how you have experienced life and your need for family.
    I’m so glad to hear you have found Lydias child. Im unsure if that is her real name, but it was one of the names I had picked out for my baby.
    Yes life is given to its trip ups. I suppose how we handle them is the real test. Do you think anything of your past is representing itself in your present to make things difficult? I had a hard time as a child myself (though not to the degree of your own suffering) and I find it sticks its ugly head into my life all the time, sometimes disquising itself and catching me out. Just like you, I return to my abusers again and again, looking for approval and love and never daring to break the continual cycle of bullying for fear I will be quashed and rejected. Your book was the first to open my eyes to the fact that I actually do this. How did this eventually cease for you?
    I hope you realise how very strong and admirable you are
    Best wishes for the New Year

  88. Dear Kathleen:
    Like most commentators on this page, I just finished reading your book. The past month I have read other books of child abuse and… children abandoned, treated injustly, etc. weight heavy on my heart so in prayer I present them to the Lord. Life as it goes for some is a mystery… Your strength through it all speaks well of you. I firmly believe in life afterwards and I think that none can cheat God. Everyone will have to come one day face to face with their own actions and those who seemingly suffer most here on earth will have their reward, eternally if suffering has been accepted as you have. May God bless you. Cristina (I am from Spain and an Irish Lady gave me your book. I read English. This lady has a brother and they speak some Gaelic…. which must be like Basque to the Spaniards, really dif

  89. 2 Jan ’12 at 9:36 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Amanda.
    Congratulations on the birth of your second little girl. I think Lydia is a beautiful name. No It is not the real name of my sister as I decided not to go down that route without her permission. She also has a special name.
    thank you for getting back to me.
    You mention you visit your abusers, I believe you have more than journeyed half way, in that you recognised what you are doing.You don’t need anyones approval or permission to do anything in life. Be proud and content of who you are.
    If I could suggest one thing to you it is. Please don’t involve your beautiful children into your past behaviour by taking them to visit your abusers. They will soak up the vibes and may learn to accept this conduct as normal. I took my son to visit the Nuns and to this day I regret it . I believe the seed was sown then.
    I understand he obeys everything his father tells him to. Prior to my ex leaving for he eight time in fifteen years I asked him o leave our Son out of our dispute, he replied to me “He is my his son and will do whatever I tell him.” It appears he has done just that.

    This is always a painful time for me, not seeing my Son, you learn to live along side it.
    Enjoy you beautiful children and may I wish you Health and Happiness for 2012.

  90. 2 Jan ’12 at 9:53 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Christina
    Thank you for taking the time to comment on my story. Faith is a wonderful thing and gives great peace and comfort.
    Gaelic I suppose is simular to Basque. I spoke very little Gaelic and was failed in my exams because I was not fluent. I have since had a form of apology from the Religious Archives in Dublin, I applied for my exam results for what they were worth. I received a letter stating I had actually done very well in all subjects other than Gaelic. On that I was failed. Pretty cruel and rather pompous. I have never had to use it so it was superfluous. There is a saying “what goes around comes around”
    May I send you my best wishes for the New Year.

  91. 3 Jan ’12 at 11:52 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    To break the habit took much to long almost my life. I was in a difficult marriage and had learnt to be dictated to from a young girl always wanting to please. I took insults over the years in the form of put downs. I look back now and see so clearly my acceptance of this behaviour and wish the light had come on earlier. Better late than never. Education helped me. Sitting on the Bench ongoing training was what finally did it for me. I had grown emotionally stronger and became confident in me. I recall one day travelling home from Court having dealt with a Domestic Violence Case and linked my Childhood with those evil Nuns where I experienced domestic violence on a day to day basis, I also looked closer to home where I had accepted psychological abuse during my entire marriage. This of course was learned behaviour. I can recall my ex phoning most Monday mornings to apologise for giving me a hard time. On the last occasion I pointed out to him he was no better than a man who physcially beat his wife. He told me not to be so stupid. I gradually stopped behaving as I had always done. I paid a heavy price though,being estranged from my son. The plus side, I am now more content and at peace and laugh. I also quite like me now.

  92. 10 Jan ’12 at 7:04 pm

    Amanda McDonnell

    Hi Kathleen,
    I completely get what you said about quite liking yourself now. It’s so hard to just accept yourself. I’m still not there yet. It’s much easier to believe the sly comments others make, and live your life according to how they believe you are, instead of how you really are. My fiancé taught me that. He’s very headstrong and sensible and does not give one damn about what other people think about him as he says most people arn’t worth your time. I have come to realise this.
    Your son himself will be going through a stage and will hopefully come out the other side soon. I can most definitely understand why he does as his father tells him. My mum would often use that phrase, she will do as I tell her. Empowerment rather than decision in his case maybe.
    The troubles I have myself take over my whole life. I am a person with low self esteem, illnesses, insecurites and anxiety. All of which have been as a result of the abuse I sustained. The problem I have though, is that no one recognises that I was abused. It was at the hands of my mother and she denies any of it. My family ignore it, and me. It’s a very complex situation but I can’t deal with it very well. They treat me like an outcast. They rarely see my daughters, although my mother would have you believe she has them all the time. It would take me a long time to explain it all. When I met my fiancé, he had me going to my mum to apologise as when I told him my story he had never heard the like, and was convinced I was a spoiled brat. However, upon meeting my family, he told me he was so sorry to ever doubt me, and says to this day he has never seen such underhand, sneaky ill treatment of someone who is completely innocent.
    I really hope I work out what to do about it all, but as yet I’m in complete turmoil about it all. It devastates me not to have my mothers love. I believe it is something you can’t quite forget about, no matter how old you get.
    I finally settled on Sophia for my baby daughter, but Lydia was up there in my top names. Happy New Year to you. God has given you some very trying obsticals in life to overcome, and you are dealing with them without giving in, without surrendering. That shows your strength and determination never to let them bring you down. I admire that a lot.

  93. 11 Jan ’12 at 10:18 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Amanda.
    Thank you for your kind words. It has taken many years, don’t waste your life on people who are not worthy of your love.
    You have got to start believing in your self today. A good exercise is to look in the mirror and tell your self you DESERVE better. Only you can change your acceptance of the abuse you are dished out to on a plate. You already know how your Mother treats you and you don’t like it. So why put yourself through this emotional trauma. Perhaps you think half a loaf is better than none. Its not. Ask yourself would you treat your little girl like your Mother treats you?.
    Respect for your self starts today as with out that no one else will give it to you. Unless love is unconditional its worthless. My ex husbands mother behaved just like your mother does to me and my son, she used to call him BOY. I also thought my Son needed a Grandmother regardless of her lack of attention towards him . I was so wrong as he now behaves like I did. He used to say to his friends “he wished his Nanny was like theirs” he is still trying to prove himself to her.
    Try not contacting the family for a while and enjoy enjoy being with your little girl and your Husband. They are your family now and will appreciate the love you have to give, life will be much easier. who knows the tables could turn’. Amanda please try to stop this . Bullies recognise needy people. Give your love to those who deserve it. Sophia is a lovely name, love her and tell her she is very special little girl every living hour.
    Good luck.

  94. The book ‘Childhood Interrupted’ is moving and gripping. I was struck by the irony of the sub-title: ‘Growing up under the cruel regime of the Sisters of Mercy’! How could should treatment be perpetrated in the name of religion? I admire Kathleen’s remarkable honesty and resilience: she is a truly remarkable ‘survivor’!

  95. 24 Jan ’12 at 6:17 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Simon.
    Thank you for the complement. I am still surprised by such praise. As you know we do what we have to do. When doors open we either cautiously go through or remain outside. I have been lucky in that opportunities have presented themselves and the confidence my Mum instilled in me is responsible for my achievements blindly or otherwise. The Religious have left a legacy marinating some remaining Survivors with no self worth. This is where I was fortunate in experiencing love and a role model to look up to.

  96. Hello Kathleen,
    I have just finished reading your book for the second time. I still can’t believe you survived.
    I am doing some research into Ireland’ s child abuse, industrial schools and orphanages, hoping to turn it into a M.Phil. Would it be possible to contact you through your publisher and ask you some questions?
    I have nine chidren of my own and 8 grandchildren, and the thought of what you went through is terrifying.

    Good luck to you,

    Best Wishes,

  97. 19 Mar ’12 at 5:33 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Diane.
    Thank you. Yes of course you may . I look forward to hearing from you. I give Talks should you be interested? where do you live?.

  98. Hi Kathleen i have just read your book what a amazing story and what a brave woman X

  99. Kathleen i couldnt put your book down I have read many similar books over the years but yours really touched me. I have the upmost admiration for your courage & bravery to have gone though such a terrible childhood & then gone on to achieve the things you have is amazing im sure your mum would be proud. I understand you & your husband are no longer together his loss i say but i really hope your son comes back into your life. Hold your head high you deserve to be happy i truely wish you all the best for the future keep smileling much love Maria X

  100. Thank you Kathleen. I will be in touch. I live in North Wales


  101. Hi Kathleen,

    I forgot to add, I would be very interested in coming to one of your talks. I can travel almost anywhere !!
    Hope you are keeping well.


  102. 21 Mar ’12 at 4:58 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Maria.
    Thank you so much for your very kind words. I know I have repeated this sentence many times on this page, the words truly come from my heart as I feel such love and tenderness from all the comments.
    Yes’ my ex Husband petitioned the divorce, having left me eight time over the years and closing the joint account. Finally I ceased being the Victim.
    My great sadness is not having my son in my life.
    I do get great joy from my girl friends, when they talk about their sons and daughters and Grand children, when I can share their happiness.
    Yes! my Mum was very proud of all of us, however the fact that Kathleen was a Magistrate in England, well! were she alive I do believe she would be broadcasting it all over Ireland and probably be given a warning for being a public nuisance. (joking of course).
    Love to you.

  103. Kathleen i have never left an author a message before but i simply felt i had tell you what a wonderfull woman you are. Your story was horrifying and honest and the way you have come though it all and still have such a warm heart is just wonderfull. You are a very special lady who desevers only the very best. The people who failed you should be ashamed. Warm wishes to you Darryl

  104. Hello Cathleen, I just cannot find words worthy enough to praise you and to thank you from the depth of my heart for having the courage to write such a moving most inspiring true story, i too like most of your reviewers could not put your book down i read it in a day and then I read it again( as i too had been treated unkindly by nuns in a similar childrens home after my mummy was taken ill and suffered their cruelty” ,on one occation me and six other children tried to run away from the home and when we finnally got discovered by the local police with sixpence and a pack of chewing gum between us they took us back to the nuns who were waiting guns ablazing they took us upstairs gave us each a good beating with a cane mostly on our hands and backs of our legs till we begged for mercy , then made us kneel and pray for our sins ,followed by bed and no dinner or a drink. ) I just want to tell you now having the privilage to have met you how absolutely honoured i am and you are one of the most inspirational caring and loving people i have ever met even though we met vey briefly you ouze love and cincerity you made me feel so happy and that i belong , all my life i have felt wothless and hid behind a huge smile ,all i can think now is what a wonderful angel you are and wish you health love and happiness and I,m sure your son will see the light as you rightly deserve and you,ll be complete again , may god bless and always protect you all my love to you .” by the way thank you for lending me your coat it kept me warm and eased my pain “. may God guide you and may you always have nothing but the very best is what you truely deserve love and kisses Dolores x

  105. 22 Mar ’12 at 10:29 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Maria.
    I have just noticed my posting to you from yesterday has not appeared. I will reply tomorrow

  106. Thank you Kathleen i look forward to you reply. X

  107. Hello kathleen, just wondering if you have recieved my posting to yourself ,i will understand if you didnt find it fitting , would just like to know you got it .

    kind regards


  108. 28 Mar ’12 at 7:20 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    I see my posting has appeared.
    21st March.

  109. 28 Mar ’12 at 7:23 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Dolores.
    As yet I have not read your posting it does not appeare on this page. I look forward to reading it.
    Kathleen. .

  110. Kathleen thank you for writing your story it was a real page turner i was unable to put it down. Its so inspiring that after all you have been though you have gone on to do great things with life & unlike many there is no selfpity. I admire your strength and determination to better yourself. Best wishes Amy

  111. 28 Mar ’12 at 9:34 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Amy.
    Thank you. I am just one of so many.

  112. Kathleen thank you so very much for your reply i finally got it !! It is great to hear that you have plenty of friends that bring happiness & joy to your life cos you most certainly deserve it. And the fact your a magistrate in England im sure your mother would be proud as punch ! I would love one day to have the pleasure to meet you & give you a big hug your an amazing lady. Do you ever hold talks in the west country ? I would love to come to one. I have passed your book on to daughter to read. anyway thanks again for the reply. take care much love Maria X

  113. Hello kathleen , thank you so very much for your reply , i,m so impatient sometimes do forgive me , i,m always rushing . my husband Ian is forever telling me to slow down . take good care kathleen wish you love and happiness and the very best,” for you are the best ” Dolores x

  114. 30 Mar ’12 at 11:49 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Thank you. I am sure you are also a Survivor.

  115. 30 Mar ’12 at 11:55 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Dolores.
    At last it has been published. Thank you for your kind words. I also was taken by you. So glad it kept you warm.
    What wonderful Parents in Law you have. You certainly have a Guardian Angel watching over you to have led you to Joan and Bernard and of course you Soul Mate.
    It was my pleasure meeting you and I hope to see you again. I shall certainly meet up with your Mum and Dad at Batchworth Park.

  116. 2 Apr ’12 at 10:12 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hello Amy.
    I would imagine you are a girl who has done well. Thank you.Have a happy Easter.

  117. 3 Apr ’12 at 1:05 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I do appreciate it.
    Did the Nuns ever feel ashamed I personally doubt it. During the “Commission into Child Abuse” (this can be located on the Internet all 5,000 pages) the Religious were asked why they had not performed their duty in Educating us their reply was, “We prepared them for their future roles in life” which was Domestic Service. They also offered Councelling, I certainly would not go to an abuser for help. I did that for far to many years after leaving Moate and taking gifts.
    My satisfaction is receiving letters from wonderful people like you who having read my Book now know what actually took place under the auspices of the Religious in Ireland.
    Thank you.

  118. 5 Apr ’12 at 10:34 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Maria.
    I go where I am invited usually to W.I.s, Townswomens Guild ,U.3.A. Perhaps one day our paths will cross. For now thank you for your complements and have a happy Easter..

  119. Hi Kathleen Thank you for your reply. I do hope that one day are paths will cross. As ive said before it would be a pleasure to meet you. You are such a inspirational woman. If you are ever in the west country please let me know. Hope you have a lovely Easter. Lots of love Maria x

  120. I have read your book twice. I wish I could say that I found it unbelievable but as an Irish citizen I know that everything you say is completely true. It is an absolute disgrace that so many families were torn apart, the religous orders, the Irish Government and every individual who turned a blind eye to this horrendous abuse should be named and shamed. Let this never happen again. Wishing you peace and happiness Kathleen you have my total admiration.

  121. Reading your book I felt total empathy with you, your sisters and brothers, and your Mammy. I was institutionalised as my mother was incapable, my 2 brothers in separate other institutions. I was sexually abused in one institution and quite well cared for in 3 others, but it was amazing to have confirmed those feelings of humiliation, trust misplaced, helplessness, inability to form emotional attachments, the constant need to please my abusers,the constant need to reinvent myself to become worthy, lots of small things were just SO FAMILIAR, and although it stirred some nasty memories it reminded me that, like you, I have made something of my life, found the inner strength to become a stable individula, and I TOTALLY ADMIRE you Kathleen for bringing this atrocity to light.
    Keep fighting until they say they are truly sorry for bringing so much unhappiness to so many children in so called care. AND MEAN IT !

  122. 17 Apr ’12 at 5:22 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Alice.
    The Religious in Ireland are responsible for the destruction of so many Irish Families. To this day it goes on. There abusive conduct towards us. I am of the view that sadly, each and every one of us have passed on to our children something negative. Whether it be submissiveness, controlling behaviour, domestic violence etc. All of which we observed from the behaviour of our so called Carers who had no knowledge of love and care and were not equipped with Child care skills. How could the Irish Government, possible have granted them Licence to run these Child Prisons.
    Hitler was evil and a known murderer, even he could not distroy Family Life as the Nuns and Christian Brothers in Ireland did to innocent and vunerable Irish Catholic Children .
    Thank you for your kind comments.

  123. 18 Apr ’12 at 4:10 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear Jean.
    Animals treat their young better than a lot of human beings.
    I am sorry to hear of your cruel start in life it just dosen’t go away does it? Have you managed to rekindle relationships with your brothers? My immediate family is fractured and certainly my extended family also have signs of disfunction behaviour.I am one of six and the only child (now adult) who was reared by my Mother from birth to adulthood had a succesful Marriage. The cast was set when we were young, now all we can do is make the most of what we have. Like you we have survived to tell the tale and hopefully this will save other children who are always the victims.
    Also we must avoid going down the same road again. A difficult one don’t you think’.
    Thank you Jean and be strong.

  124. I have just finished reading your book and congratulate you on what is a moving, poignant account of the terrible ordeals you suffered in your childhood in a manner that is not self-pitying but very courageous. I attended a convent for girls (established and run by Irish nuns since 1878) from 1979 (aged 8) to 1984 in South Africa , at a time in our history when not all South Africans had access to quality education. I was deeply saddened to hear about the abuse you suffered and and was saddened to hear that you were denied the opportunity of obtaining a proper education. What was even more sad is the manner in which your family was torn apart by a socio-political system which deemed it to be in your best interests to be separated from your mother. I pray that Mammy’s soul rests in peace and have no doubt that she did the best she could for you and your siblings in her lifetime. I do hope that you will have the opportunity to reconcile with your other siblings at some point in your lives because there is healing in reconciliation too and Mammy would have wanted her children to have that bond between them. I am pleased that you found fulfilment in having a son of your own and happiness in your personal life, despite the scars that your childhood left you with. In concluding, I am certain that Mammy is smiling down at you from wherever she is and is rightfully proud of your achievements.

  125. 2 May ’12 at 4:31 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Sue.
    Thank you so much for your lovely words. I still find it very moving that you took the time to comment and praising me. I sometimes have to pinch myself.
    I have no doubt my Mammy orchestrated the writing of my Book and assisted me in exposing Ireland and its evil regime.
    Sadly distruction of a Family rarely heals, regardless of the effors made.
    My Son has fallen victim also. Manipulation and learned behaviour. He refuses to see me, yet we have never fallen out.
    My ex left me eight times in the last fifteen years of our marriage, on the 8th occasion, I had finally learned to stand up for myself and not be fearful of his threats I had finally moved on from the little girl who had learned to please and put up with abuse. Life goes on and one learns to carry ones cross quietly. Behind closed doors every one has their issues.
    I take it you are living in the U.K. do you miss your lovely Country South Africa?.

  126. Dear Kathleen

    Thank you for responding personally. I am deeply saddened to hear that your immediate family is no longer the close unit you might once have dreamed of cherishing. Nonetheless, take heart from the fact that you are an extremely courageous woman who has overcome all odds and that through your book, you have reached out to millions of other abuse sufferers. I am living in South Africa and found your book at a local library. I was intrigued because of my own experience in a convent in the early 80s and the fact they those types of institutions no longer exist in this part of the world. I think you would do very well as a motivational speaker here because children in modern-day society experience all types of abuse, neglect and abandonment. I wish you strength and success going forward and encourage you to continue to tell your story because it is both liberating and empowering.

  127. 6 Jun ’12 at 11:26 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Sue, lovely to hear from you.
    How good to learn such Institutions no longer exist in South Africa. Religion has a lot to answer for. Hopefully your experience has not restricted your developement, it dosen’t appear to be so.
    I am thrilled to hear my Book is actually in a Library in south Africa. Hopefully it will give inspiration to other young people that they can be what ever they set their minds to be.I have now retired from the Bench and looking to explore other venues. So far I have been quite busy and the Jublee has kept the U.K. busy and happy. I organised the Street Party in my road and it was a rip roaring success. We had a disco from 2pm to 10.30pm, all the children took part and showed great Talent, one young man who is special was Awarded the Best Magician of the Year 5 years ago entertained us most of the afternoon and with such willing and just for the pleasure of giving. There are still a lot of really good people out there.
    Keep well.

  128. Dear Kathleen,

    I was deeply moved after reading your fantastic novel, literature needs more heroines like you! Before reading, I had no idea the types of cruel and humiliating ordeals that Nuns could put people through. Did you ever question your faith and feel resentment towards religion? If so, I wouldn’t blame you. I myself have never been exposed to the type of abuse you were so cruelly put through, but I really do feel as though your book will bring many new cases of abuse to light, and hopefully, many cases will be uncovered thanks to your courage and bravery. I do not think that many will ever be able to comprehend what you were put through, except your sisters. I have nothing else to say except ‘Thank You’, and I hope that you and your family have a wonderful life!

  129. 27 Jun ’12 at 6:40 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear Alan.
    Thank you for taking the time to write and your kind words. Children are very good at adapting to their surroundings and learning to survive.
    I never questioned my faith growing up as that was what I had to do. We were either on our knees praying or scrubbing and polishing the floors. We were constantly being told “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” yet we (14) of us were allowed one bath a fortnight sharing the same water. We were definitely not clean as washing our genitals was seen as the Devils work and that resulted in a flogging and confession.
    I am of no faith and treat people as I wish to be treated. This does not always work however’
    Sadly we are seeing cruelty in the Middle East and Children in India having to work instead of enjoying their childhoods. Some Human beings do not deserve to be called Human.
    Nice to hear from you.
    are held on to . .

  130. Dear Kathleen;
    I have picked up your book again recently. I happened to read a lot of books about the Magdalen Laundries and Industrial Schools (Boys and Girls). Coming from Canada and then living in the UK, I was in shock but could not stop reading. I was hoping you could be involved with the Ryan Report. Those stores are horrific. I still remember listening to Christine Buckley and how the nuns were protected and one of them who had her name read out and that was not allowed. Also another man’s story reduced me to tears. Grown people stuck in that hell hole child hood state is how some seem. How there is no remorse is beyond me. “Sisters of Mercy” and you knowing a couple of them exist now at Moate. It just shocks me. I still get tummy churning when I read about Goldenbridge not to mention the power that was held overy your Mam by NSPCC. The way the church ran Ireland. I have read harrowing stories of young ones being raped, but them being persecuted. I am so sorry for your experience, and that of your family, but what you have achieved is so amazing. Thank you for your writing. Barbara (I know I bounced around but the sentiment is there ;) )

  131. 13 Jul ’12 at 7:06 pm

    George Bouras

    Just thought I’d check out the Nouse site for old time’s sake only to find this article still getting commented on five-and-a-half years on! Surely the most commented-on article in Nouse history having notched up 132.

    Why not give out your email address, Kathleen, and have done with it?

  132. 16 Jul ’12 at 11:18 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Barbara.
    Thank you for your complements. Everyone has a story I was fortunate to have had mine published and being able to expose their criminal behaviour. My satisfaction is in the fact that I was able to vindicate my Mother and also help me to move on with my life. I am also very happy to respond to any person affiliated to this site in answering their questions.. I did put my name forward for the “Commission into Child Abuse” otherwise know as the “Ryan Report” but guess what’ it was by selection only’ and I was not called. there lies a big question mark. Even the Ryan report was a sham as Judge Ryan, was an old boy who had been educated by the Christian Brothers, not may I say as a prisoner or from a poor background. This investigation should have been carried out by an outside body.

  133. 16 Jul ’12 at 11:24 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi George.
    Thank you for your comment on the number of replies. I am very happy with the Members of Nouse contacting me via this web page after all it is a Students Newspaper, where I can answer their questions. Should anyone wish to contact me personally they can do so via my Publishers.

  134. 24 Jul ’12 at 12:23 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    To Diane (17th march 2012.)
    I repled to your personal letter by phone and have since misplaced your no , please feel free to call me re your study.

  135. Dear Kathleen,

    I’ve nearly finished your book, such a gripping and moving account of your life in such a dreadful place. I can’t understand how some of these nuns could have been so cruel. What made them think it was acceptable to beat small children? What was the reason for not providing toilet paper? Did they really expect girls to go through their entire period with just a couple of sanitary towels? Did they simply enjoy making children suffer? I just can’t fathom the twisted mindset of these people who were supposed to be God fearing, kindly, caring people, but hid behind this facade in order to behave like monsters.
    I have seen the film The Magdalene Sisters and your book is very much like this movie where cruelty and harshness were the norm. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  136. 12 Sep ’12 at 5:45 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hi Kay.
    Thank you for taking the time to write.
    They clearly got pleasure from making us suffer, mind you I don’t know how they managed to get a peaceful nights sleep or confess to the Priest, in their weekly confession. I believe they took it as their right. A common phrase was “We will beat the Devil out of you.’
    Meeting our needs , thats another point, we were there to make money for them by way of all domestic duties/farming/laundry knitting/sewing etc not spending it, and giving us our human rights was not on the agenda. During the Inquirie into “Commission into Child Abuse ” when asked why we did not receive an education the reply was “WE PREPARED THEM FOR THEIR ROLE IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD” In their eyes we had no worth. Then this reflects on them. They were sad lonely women.

  137. Dear Kathleen,

    it’s been already couple of month since I read your book, and my emotions have already calmed down but not the feeling of emptyness, sadness, empathy for all the little ones (sorry for maybe not the right words, for I am not the native english speaking) that it has provoked in me. Your book encouraged me to look through the “Commission into child abuse”. It is still difficult to believe that such things were happening in already modern post war Europe… Why we human could be so cruel and cold? I think you are right saying that those nuns, and brothers as well, were just sad lonely people, most probably who were treated in a similar way. This makes me think that the love and care that we put in our children is the main gift and possesion that we can give them to make them strong and loving persons.
    From all of my heart I wish you peace and reconcilation with your loved ones and want to thank you for the book and express my admiration with the way you got away from your past.

  138. 4 Oct ’12 at 1:00 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hello Rasa.
    Thank you for taking the time to express your view on my Book. Your English is very good,I doubt I could speak your language as competendly as you do English.
    So pleased you were able to deal with the report on the “Commission into Child Abuse. Not easy reading I might add but still not the total story however a start. Love given to every child is essential and prepares them for surviving on this planet
    My abusers more than likely were never treated as they treated me and thousands of other vunerable children. I believe abusers are born that way. they find an umbrella (organisation) to shield under,hence their disfunctional characted can ripen and becomen rotten. One rotton apple in a box can overtake all if not removed in time.
    Please don’t let their behaviour upset you to much as they are now exposed. You reading my Book and following up with your comment will damage them as an organisation. In spite of what happened I am still here. thank you again for your compassion.

  139. Dear Kathleen, your book “Childhood Interrupted” was recommended to me by a fellow Survivor and good friend! Only in the last few days, I haven’t had the chance to buy your book yet, but I will, I have a fair idea of your story as I too like you am a Survivor of Ireland’s hell holes! I’m ex Golenbridge and two other industrial schools! I am from the younger generation of Survivors as I’m only in my very early 40s, not a lot has changed in Ireland the Catholic Church the Garda and the Government are still every bit corrupt to as there were in 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s and in to the 2000s and 2012, Survivors there in Ireland are still been treated like muck, our former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s apology ment nothing because they still don’t believe us they are protecting the Church the evil nun’s and Christen Brothers, Ireland has no Government! The Redress Board what a joke, the Ryan report heated up things for a while then it was hush hush, now we are stuck with the statutory trust fund which none of the survivors I know want including myself, the minister for education won’t listen to us! Once again we are denied shut of shut up go away, that’s what we are told! Well Kathleen I look forward to reading your book! Wishing you the very best of every thing! Kindest Regards and Respect. Cathriona (survivor)

  140. 17 Oct ’12 at 10:46 am

    Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Dear Cathriona,
    Thank you for your reply. I am tight for time just now to respond as you deserve. There is a lot to think about and respond to justily, I feel for you and the obvious frustration and hurt you are experiencing.
    Kathleen. (Soul Mate)

  141. 23 Oct ’12 at 10:42 pm

    Shari Shuster

    Kathleen O’Malley in Childhood Interrupted had my utmost sympathy along with her family and all the other families exploited in “industrial schools”, Magdalene laundries, poor houses, or whatever other name given to this slave labor, not only in Ireland but around the world. However, when I read the statement in the last portion of her book, “I was born a Catholic and I’ll die a Catholic” I lost a lot of my sympathy to just utter bewilderment. Although she claims she has distanced herself from “organized religion” of any type, the fact that she still considers herself a Catholic boggles my mind. How can she and others who have experienced first hand the cruelty and ungodly behavior of the church in anyway want to remain a part of it? I just don’t understand that. At first I was simply horrified that such things went on in the name of religion. A Catholic friend said she was aware that it went on but, “…the Catholic Church has never made any secret of it’s dark past…” I don’t know what kind of brainwashing they do and I am very sorry for anyone who has experienced this, including some in my own family. For the church to condone the child molesting, physical and psychological abuse that goes on is too much for me to take in. This was a very thought provoking book but I’m sorry Ms. O’Malley apparently felt if the Catholics weren’t right then there was nothing else right, though from what I know of “organized religion” I guess I can’t blame her totally. In the end when we all stand before God and say, “I just didn’t know what to believe so I believed nothing” I believe He will reply, “Why didn’t you ask me?”

  142. 25 Oct ’12 at 5:04 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hello Cathriona,
    Like you I was committed to Goldenbridge prior to Moate. My older sister and I ran away from goldenbridge, Mammy refused to return us due to the unhealthy state we were in. she ingored the Court order so it was a mere matter of time before the Cruelty Man reappeared. (N.S.P.C.C.)There were 5 notorious Girls Industrial schools. Both the above were 2 of the 5. Sadly I am not surprised in what you say. Ireland is caught in a time warp. Personally I could not live there. I feel your pain and frustration and at a loss as to what you can do to go forward. No offence meant in what I am about to suggest. Have you had Councilling? this is the only support the religious have offered and they are footing the bill. Don’t be embarassed about having help after all they are responsible for the damage caused to us. They were a disfunctional group of people. Ireland never listened. “The Commission into Child Abuse” was conducted by a Judge who was educated by the Christian Brothers hardly an open mind. The Redress Board was another sham. The Group Leaders told the survivors a list of untruths and were contracted by the religious to do things their way as they were receiving funding from them. Do contact me again via this page or write to me via my Publishers. The story continues and I am hopeful justice will eventually be done. Remember you are a very worthy person and very special. Walk tall and feel good about YOU. Had I remained in Ireland I know I could not have achieved anything. Now the situation is known by all, the shame and guilt imprinted on our Brain is no longer, so go forward and be proud of who you are.

  143. 25 Oct ’12 at 5:28 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Shari Shuster,
    Thank you for sending your comments. The C.H. did not expose their mal practice, hence we had an enquirie. “Commission into Child Abuse” all 5 thousand pages can be found on the Internet. I remained a catholic for many years. I started questioning in the early sixties and by 1977 when I married I took my Vows in the Church of England. Instutional life especially run by Religious fanatics is or was extremly powerful. for example we had no contact with the outside world so you eventuall become totally indocrinated. The Stockholm syndrome comes to mind. You actually trust and belive your captors. Take the Saville abuse story, very sadly survivors of abuse learn to keep stum. No one listens. The world is now alert to what the Catholic Church, that monster and others like him.
    In Ireland there was only one form of education and that was the Catholic way. I was expressing how it was. Yes’ the nuns taught us in religious instruction that there was no other Creed, anyone outside of that was a lost souland would spend eternity in Hell. (What a fearful memory that was burning in Hells Flames, powerful stuff even for an adult ) When you are a child you believe your captors. I remember them calling Black People “Savages”. The majority were sadists.
    I no longer follow any demoniation and try to treat people as I wish to be treated. I can say that is my faith. When I said I would die a Catholic that was just a cliche. I wish to be remembered as being someone who tried to be a good and honest human being.
    I appreciate your views.

  144. Dear Kathleen,
    Thank you for replying to my message! “Thank You!”

    I was attending Councilling for over 4 years, i found it very hard and in my own opinion, it took me back to places that no body should have to visit once never mind twice, it opened old scare’s and up set me to the point of a melth down! I was treated like dirt at the redress board and i’m sorry to this day that i went near it, it was more abuse on me, Ireland is a (Sham) but the show must go on, i am lucky to be happily Married for the past 17 years with two classic Daughters who i’m so proud of, the Irish State & Church Destroyed my Childhood and a good part of my teenage & adult years but they did not and will not take; “me been a better person than the lot of them put together”! they are the one’s sick/twisted in the head/bad/evil etc….

    An other issue i am facing is the; Irish Justice System! i have been wronged badly by the Courts/Gardai/DPP/Garda Ombusman Commission/and the Irish Government as one big happy Corrupt Family!

    If you would like to hear more about me and my story, you can if you wish email me at [email protected], i don’t mind giving out my email on line, i’m street wise and no longer take guff of people! i’m honest and not liked in the Justice Area for been out spoken! Best wishes Kathleen take care and your book is on top of my Christmass list!
    Cathriona (survivor)

  145. 11 Nov ’12 at 8:24 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Cathriona.
    Your e mail has been returned , perhaps you could drop me a line, to my Publisher and I will reply.

  146. 22 Dec ’12 at 1:03 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Dear All.
    Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.
    Kathleen O’Malley

  147. A very moving book. – I was aware of the appalling treatment children in Ireland received from the religious orders as I used to work with a man who was bought up by the Christian brothers. He was a damaged man. At least Kathleen you can be proud that you are a survivor. The Catholic Church should hold their heads in shame but I don’t suppose they will!

  148. 15 Mar ’13 at 1:32 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Dear Mary.
    Thank you for your kind words.


  149. Hi kathleen
    I was so moved by your story its incredible to believe that you are such a strong lady. And have overcome so much and are still dealing with so much.
    I wanted to ask some advice. Its kind of not to do with your book. But you just inspired me to be so much stronger than I am right now.
    I’m 21 and my farther left when I was about 1 but he not only left me he left his whole family mum sister ect.. they blame my mum and me and my mum blame him. I love them all but I cant talk to them of the hurt this causes I don’t understand why he didn’t just leave me and still have a relationship with his family. I’ve tried to find him but never get any were.
    Not just that but ma mum was married before him and had my 2 older siblings. He divorced her. Then me with my dad he left. Then she married again and had my younger sibling. And is now going through another divorce due to him cheating. She’s in a really bad way and he wont move out until the house is sold she’s in complete depression and it kills me to see her that way. She doesn’t really have any 1 to talk to but me.
    My step dad adopted me when I was 4 and I had a family. He was always my dad but now doesn’t even talk to me and I have never been involved with any of the divorce stuff or said anything to him about it. So its like I never existed to him and it hert because I thought he loved me like I was his own.
    I just have this lack of trust for all men like I’m not good enough for anything or any one I’m so paranoid all the time that my partner will leave me and he’s my world. I was in a bad way when I met him and he changed my whole world. I’m such a better person with him.
    As to the advice I need
    To find my real dad as I know you are looking for your sister (you never mentioned about keeping in touch with Sarah Louise. Sorry to be nosey)
    To help my mum get through this
    And my lack of trust in men and my self
    I have never told any one all my problems because I think people have there own to deal with but all these have been eating away at me and I think I’m on the verge of a break down am 21 and I should be enjoying myself but yet I feel like I’m 50
    Please help me your wiser than me and I think if you can get through so much heart acke I must be able to some how.
    Hope you do finaly have a relationship with your son and you have your happliy ever after because I think we all wish we were in a simple fairytale and after the bad stuff we should end happily.
    To a couragouse and a very inspirational women who’s book is helping me be a stronger person
    Thank you so much for your story

  150. 29 Mar ’13 at 4:14 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley.

    Hi Chantel.
    Firstly I am not qualified to give advice. Thank you for taking the time to write and your complements.
    You have asked for my opinion so here goes. I am so sad for you. Children sould not be dragged into adult relationships. It is a cruel thing to do. You are not responsible for your Mum I understand you love her and want to be there for her, being supportive caring etc, however you are not the Parent here.
    You sound tired and weary. May I suggest you go to see your Doctor tell him exactly what is going on how you are feeling, I am sure he will help you.
    I think it is time you started looking after yourself and having some quality time.
    Enjoy your relationship with your boy friend, You have got to look in the mirror, admire and be proud of what you see “YOU” I dare say you give your fair share in your relationship so start being proud of Chantel. He wouldn’t be with you otherwise. Love YOURSELf. It is amazing how everything looks brighter when we walk tall and smile.
    Everyone has problems, behind closed doors
    We all like to belong. Your Dad left when you were one perhaps he is best left in the past for now. Get yourself back on track before you take on what could be another burden.
    We sometimes have romantic ideas, but what we have never had we won’t miss.
    I am in touch with Sarah Louise she lives in Spain.
    I have learnt to be self sufficient, my girl Friends are very important to me and they have helped me through my sad times. You can learn to trust again. Trust yourself also.
    I hope this has helped you just a little.
    Have a fun Easter.

  151. 30 Mar ’13 at 5:57 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Chantel.
    Please keep in touch should you need to chat.

  152. 6 May ’13 at 7:12 pm

    Marlene Kostka

    Dearest Kathleen, I have read your book twice, having linked to it from memoirs written by ladies who were former Mary Magdelines. I. too, was taught by nuns in the K-2 grade years. Although we were never beaten, the verbal and emotional abuse in a private, expensive Catholic dayschool was too much for me to bear. Had I been a mate of yours at Moate, I am afraid I would have died. I am sorry for your divorce after 30 yrs….Steve evidently never realized the strength and love of the woman he shared lofe with. It is an honor to know ou, as through reading another’s words, there is no stronger friendship. Marlene

  153. 7 May ’13 at 10:16 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Marlene.
    What a lovely name. Thank yo

  154. 7 May ’13 at 10:18 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I am experiencing difficulty replying to Marele please assist.Kathleen.

  155. 7 May ’13 at 11:20 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Hi Marlene
    One more go. Life continues to test one

  156. 7 May ’13 at 11:21 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Nouse please assist. Kathleen.

  157. 8 May ’13 at 5:34 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I hope that this time I can reply. no it s that Gremlin again.

  158. 9 May ’13 at 4:34 pm

    Marlene Kostka

    Dearest KAthleen,
    With today’s media, what a privilege to be able to “Talk”to a celebrity writer. I was trying to remember what details I could recall from my childhood….my father was an alcoholic, but a happy, generous one. He was never violent and always bought us prersents when he had been at the tavern. I loved him unconditionally, but now as a married woman I realize why my mom was at fault with him. Some of your critics say your work is more fiction than fact; they do not realize the experiences you shared were MORE than real to you. I am certain, however, that to maintain the chronology of a memoir, it is necessary to fill in some blamk spaces with happenings or hazy recollections….that is necessary to keep the writing balanced. As far as severe grammatical mistakes editorially, that reader must understand “American English” is not the same as what is spoken in Ireland, then or now. I have several masters’ degrees in AMerican as well as British Literature: your script is nearly perfect. I love speaking with you. Is it possible to write another? You are so loved. Marlene

  159. 9 May ’13 at 9:51 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    so much has happen since publishing my Book. My ex Husband divorced me after 28 years having left home 8 time in the last 15 years. Sadly my Son took sides and estranged himself from me for 7 years. He turned up on my door step 5 weeks ago. Thrilled and overjoyed was I, He invited me to his Wedding . I attended only to be further rejected I was not at the top table nor did he or his Bride acknowledge through out the day. My question remains “Why did he bother to disturb my emotions all over again. Life can be very cruel. Kathleen.

  160. 10 May ’13 at 12:00 am

    Marlene Kostka

    Kathleen, you need to garner that well of courage once more and ask Richard why you were treated so shabbily on his wedding day. Perhaps it was not his decision in the first place to have invited you, but needless to say, he does owe you an explnanation. As a business woman, I am no fool when it comes to people, usually relatives, who might feel you have made fortunes from the publishing of your memoirs and the lectures you present. Beware of them, as you are not a fool and have never been.

    As I am not a psychoterapist, it is difficult so say as to why Richard sided w/ Steve. The MS may have a great deal to do w/ it or something as primal as a reversed Oedipal complex. Being denied lave and motherhood in the institution may have formulated the way you in later life chose to demonstrate or share that love: Steve and Richard are too close to the homeplate to even think about that objectively. Life is not cruel, KAthleen, but certain people are. Put your son in his place once you have learned from him and him only as to the machinations behind his invitation. I am sure you presented a generous wedding gift. Keep moving on; I know my friends now are better to me than family members. Know that I understand and still hold you in very high esteem. Fondly, Marlene

  161. 10 May ’13 at 10:49 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    You speak as though you know me, have we met?. I do believe my son was under orders to behave as he did. However his behaviour demonstrates a very weak character. I doubt he will have the guts to to make contact again. I perso

  162. 10 May ’13 at 10:52 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    cont. He has behaved extremely badly and now the bll is in his court. One friend has suggested I don’t let THEM take im from me ? I wonder who THE are. Interesting.

  163. 10 May ’13 at 10:54 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    sorry for above but there is definitely a gremlin around as I am allowed to enter my dialogue but it is not visible as I type. so there are mistakes.

  164. 10 May ’13 at 11:32 pm

    Marlene Kostka

    Kath….just email me directly at [email protected] and we won’t worry about NOUSE breaking down. No, we have never personally met, but you are one of the most incredibale and intelligent people I have ever “met,” although only via the printed word. I would love to be your friend. I have tgraveled to England at least 15 times with children from my school as we would take 2 weeks at Easter break to visit Ireland and/or England. You still have so much more to teach me. Love, Marlene

  165. 7 Jun ’13 at 10:56 am

    Sylvia Buxton

    I have recently read all of Martha Longs biographies and now I have just read yours. I was born and lived in England and was a teenager in the 50’s where I was living in Pinner and having a ball. It is unfathonable to me that your lives in Ireland were so horrific and I have been deeply moved by your outpouring. In my thirties my husband and myself legally adopted one of our daughters whose birth mother came from Ireland for which we have been eternally grateful. We have lived in Australia for the past 30 odd years, so you can see that we have a few things in common – 50’s, Ireland, England, Pinner and Australia. I wish you all the very best and thank you for a heartwarming read. Sylvia

  166. 8 Jun ’13 at 10:15 am

    Kathleen O'Malley

    thank you for your comment. Perhaps you could contacy me via my Publisher. Kathleen.

  167. 8 Jun ’13 at 10:16 am

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I am struggling to write a complete reply on Nouse website.

  168. 8 Jun ’13 at 10:18 am

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I will give it one more try. did you ever find out anything about the birth Mother of your wonderful child. Perhaps she had been abused by the Religious and couldn’t face letting a child odf hers being trated in the way she had been.

  169. Dear Kathleen, I have just finished reading your book after spending the whole day yesterday reading it. I could not make myself put it down. It absolutely sickens and disgusts me what had happened to you and all the people who had similar horrifying experiences. I cannot even describe to you how much sorrow I feel for you and how angry I am for the way you were treated. I am from Croatia/Serbia and I came to Ireland in 2001, I live in kerry and to be quite honest I am disgusted with the schooling system here. I dont know would you agree with what im saying but I hate going to school. I know it is nowhere near as strict as it used to be but its still not as modern as it should be. I am a very modern person and for my mom to have to come in to the school and collect every single time I need to leave early instead of just writing a note is just the first thing that pisses me off. The way that there is no respect between teachers and students as it “apparently is” , e.g. How they just pick on certain students, abuse their shitty “authority”, come into the classroom and take all their mid-life crisis’s on us; not believing us when we say a teacher is treating us unfairly and saying that they cant do anything because they weren’t in the fucking classroom but I bet if it was the other way around we would be suspended and given student behaviour forms! Even my mom hates it and it too sickens her that so many women fought for their rights here like you and fought their way to being treated fairly and you would think that those stupid teachers would switch on their brains and think ” well my mom and her mom went through this and this and it was horrible so i won’t give this student a hard time for no apparent reason because thats what my ancestors fought for”? Nope they wouldn’t. Maybe it isn’t so bad for some girls because they have a relatively strict home and are used to it, but I was raised in a modern family and was given time to become independent, free, have a voice (which they dont wanna hear because its apparently “defiant”) and to fight for what I believe in which they also take as being defiant. There is no voice for us students because they don’t care and so many people dont see anything wrong with it. I am almost 17 and cannot bare another year at school because every little thing they do that pisses me off just keeps piling and piling untill i finally explode. I go to an all girls school and wish i hadn’t. I had to because it was the only one that accepted me. What I do not like is that they dont state what they are like before you come into the school, similar as before but not as extreme. They dont tell you that they are a very religious school and how it really works and if my mother knew what it was really like at the start I wouldn’t have been in a miles radius of it.I did not choose to come to Ireland and my family came here to have a better life and feel happy but thats not the case. Ihave a million things more to say but i’ll just end up going right back to counselling and in a depressive state again but I just want you to know Kathleen that I’m sending you positive energy and I hope I didn’t make it seem as if I were taking my anger out on you. I will never forget your book and you’ll be in my thoughts forever. I would love to get a chance to meet you and I would love it if my nan could see you too because she didnt have an easy life either and hopefully one day i’ll get to write a book about her. Thank you for sharing your story with us and know that you’ll be forever in everyones thoughts.

  170. 9 Jun ’13 at 9:49 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I am so sorry to hear you are not enjoying your chhool life. It si so important that Teachers encourage their Pupils to learn. Try to learn as much as possible as it is for your future. Sadly it is not for the Teacher to like the student but that the Student learns to cope with what ever is thrown at them. this is not meant to critise you but life is not easy. You stand tall and prove to the world that you are capable of dealing with this current situation. I would not choose to live in Ireland and can say it will never happen. the Church appears to forget its dreadful history of abuse. You have your whole life ahead of you . Try to grab it with both hands and enjoy each day by learning one new thing.

  171. 9 Jun ’13 at 9:51 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    Sorry for the errors above unfortunately this site does not allow me to edit what I write it appears there is a Gremlin in my computer. (joke).

  172. 10 Jun ’13 at 9:45 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I have been thinking about you a lot. Your education is your Passport to a great future so stick with it . It will be worth it in the end.

  173. Thank you Kathleen, i will try. I’m like a little girl now screaming with delight in my head because you wrote back! Haha :) It really is such a shame and to me i think all religions should be banned because it just separates people.

  174. On page 140 there was a particular line that just broke my heart. It was when you believed that it was your fault for letting the scumbag do dirty things to you. That line will forever stay in my mind and soul. I hope I’m not making you sad by mentioning it because i probably wouldn’t want to hear it.

  175. 19 Jun ’13 at 5:52 pm

    Kathleen O'Malley

    I don’t allow myself to dwell on the past its History now and by just getting the Story out there gives me satisfaction. both Child sexual abusers and Reigious abusers hopefully will not have the power and control they once had. (we hope) We can never get back what has been taken from one but we can make a difference by exposing it. Hope you are settling down to your studies?

  176. 21 Feb ’14 at 9:15 pm

    kathleen O'Malley

    How are you getting on?.

  177. Kathleen,
    As a long time atheist you have confirmed my non-beliefs. I am bursting to write to the Pope, cardinals, priests, the Irish Government or anyone else to express my anger. A plague on all their houses. It will do no good of course but I will feel better for having my say.

  178. 5 May ’14 at 3:12 pm

    Sandra Bowyer

    Hi Kathleen its Sandra we meet recently on holiday and I just wanted to say it was such a pleasure to meet you I have been looking for a way to contact you and came across this site .Going to buy your book at the weekend when I get paid !!!

    • HiSANDRA

    • 12 May ’14 at 10:24 pm

      Kathleen o'malley

      Hi Sandra ,thank you for making contact, hope uhada good journey home, have you read my book yet.? I look forward to hearing from you,

      • 14 May ’14 at 4:11 pm

        kathleen o'malley

        Hi David.
        Thank you for your comment. I understand your sentiments.

        some times it is good just to get it out. As far as the Irish Government or the Vatican are concerned they certainly pay not a bit of attention.
        I have recently been to Alcatraz and was once again quite shocked. The hardened criminals who resided there such as Al Capone were allowed one Family visit per month. We were innocent children and allowed one visit per year . Let’s hear your view.
        Kathleen O’Malley. Childhood Interrupted’

  179. Please write to my me via my Publisher Kate.xx

    • Hi Sandra.
      Thank you for your very kind words.
      There is another Book just waiting. So much has happened over the past no of years also heart breaking. the saga with the Irish government and the religious in Ireland is as was uncaring.
      All in the name of Catholic Ireland.
      Children survive they are to little to fight back and therefore accept what life throws at them. They either get through it or become like their abusers.
      I watched the programme on The Street Children of Pakistane it was harrowing. This was filmed recently heart breaking. Some Human beings are shameful one wonders where did it all begin?
      Kathleen (O’Malley.)”

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