Smyllum Abuse Diabolical – If True…

Smyllum Abuse Diabolical – If True…

A young boy was beaten black and blue after catching two nuns in an embrace, an inquiry has heard. A witness said he was six or seven when one of the nuns went “mental” and lashed out at him in a boiler-room at a care institution in the 1960s.

He told Scotland’s child abuse inquiry the “vicious” assault left him bruised and with blood coming out of his ear and nose. The witness, who cannot be identified, was speaking of his experiences at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which closed in the 1980s. He said he moved to the orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, in the mid-1960s and was never given any love, affection or praise from the nuns and staff.

Physical abuse in the form of slaps and kicks was routine “for trivial stuff”, he told the hearing in Edinburgh.   Read entire report by clicking here


Reading some of the horrendous allegations from former orphans at Smyllum Park is earth-shattering.  If even some of these allegations are true then nobody in their right mind would seek to justify such abuse in any way whatsoever. 

However, it would be mindless to presume guilt, not least because, if such apparently unbridled brutality were the norm at that institution, all sorts of grave questions arise, beginning with what sort of women were choosing to enter the  Religious Life and why? 

Anyone who has taken even a cursory glance at the Rule of any of the great Religious Orders knows that prior to the “reforms” of Vatican II which followed the Council at its close in 1965, they were renowned for their strictness.  Not only the enclosed, contemplative Orders, but the active Orders, such as the Daughters of Charity, were bound by detailed rules throughout their daily lives.  Permissions were required from Superiors for every little thing, and the idea that two Sisters could find a corner to engage in physical or sexual activity in a boiler room or anywhere else, just beggars belief.  That’s not to say it didn’t happen. Obviously, I don’t know, and these allegations do date from the 1960’s when laxity in the Religious Orders as elsewhere, had taken a foothold. 

That still leaves the question of the sort of women choosing Religious Life, and their motivation. Were our Religious Houses jam-packed with evil women who detested children and enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering such as that described by former orphans at Smyllum – or, again, assuming the truth of the allegations, is there another explanation, beyond the obvious diabolical activity at work in the souls of the guilty?   And were there no postulants or novices who left before final vows in disgust to report this scandal to the Bishop, let alone the police?  Surely not every nun was immersed in such evil and brutality.  Those are the first questions that came to my mind on reading about the Smyllum scandal. What are the questions you’d want answered? 

Comments (37)

  • Don Bosco

    It’s a real cause for concern. These allegations are happening too often for it all to be made up, so I think some cruelty went on. However, I think once compensation is involved, then people see an opportunity and jump on the bandwagon. We also need to accept that physical punishment was an acceptable punishment at that time.

    I think the answer as to what kind of women would join a religious order and then commit some crimes is quite simple. In every institution there are always one or two nutters. The vast majority of women would never contemplate behaving in such a way.

    January 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm
    • Lily

      Don Bosco,

      I completely agree about the money. Where there’s compensation on offer, the doubts set in with me, I’m afraid. Do we know if there is compensation in this case?

      January 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      A few years ago it was abuse of Girls in Nazareth House in Aberdeen . Again the Compensation question arose . Lo and behold one day a photo of one of the Girls and her story was in The You Know what that just loves to bash our Faith. Well I knew that Person and worked up in Aberdeen. Not once as a young person did she mention Nuns to me . Strange that isn’t it .

      January 21, 2018 at 12:43 am
  • crofterlady

    Quite simply, I DO NOT believe it! I went to a boarding school run by nuns; I was trained to be a nurse by nuns; I worked with nuns; I did voluntary work in institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries with nuns and I NEVER, EVER, came across wicked nuns. Never. I met nuns with faults like anyone else; impatient ones; grumpy ones; intolerant ones but never, cruel ones. Bearing in mind that corporal punishment was acceptable in those days in all walks of life: schools, playgrounds, and homes perhaps changes the way it is perceived today. Only 2 days ago a Polish doctor was reminiscing about his beloved grandmother who used, on occasion, take a horse whip to him and his equally naughty brother! Changed days indeed.

    January 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm
    • Lily


      Hurrah! I completely concur. I’ve been to school with nuns and visited friends who entered convents and then left before vows, and I never detected anything like the kind of allegations being made here. I can’t see how a nun could go from being like a ray of sunshine in the visitors’ parlour to being the devil in disguise with small, vulnerable children.

      January 20, 2018 at 8:47 pm
  • crofterlady

    A priest friend has a housekeeper who was an orphan raised by nuns. When the so called “scandals” in Ireland surfaced she was contacted by a journalist to tell her she had £5000 awaiting her for the asking. She said she was never ill treated by the nuns but she accepted the freebie anyway. I know of 2 other such cases. Shameful. These nuns gave their lives to mopping up others’ “mistakes” and this is the thanks they get!

    January 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      That’s a not a scandal that’s horrific. £ 5,000 just for the asking because she was raised by Nuns . The question i have to ask myself though is if someone called me Right Now and said there was £5,000 waiting for me just for the asking would I refuse it . I would like to say Yes I Would Refuse It . But there are 2 types of Honesty . One is you find plenty of money and your Bank Accounts Healthy. The other is you find someone’s wages and your Bank Accounts empty . I have been on one of these and I found someone’s wages when I was Skint and I mean Skint . I handed the wages in to the Authority where they came from . I have to say under duress had I not had a conscience on that day I was keeping them . Sorry for going off Topic again Ed . Back to the Cruel Nuns . I worked beside this guy who walked in one day and threw the Magnelene Laundry book at me ” Read that he said it’s all in there about you Fenian ” well al let you guess the last word in his sentence. I read a bit of it came back to him in a few days and said ” No surprises there the same thing happened all over the UK well at least in Scotland anyhow ” and how’s that he said ” Well said I basically there called Lunatic Asylums but young Girls both Protestant as well as Catholics who fell pregnant when it brought shame on the Family. Were put or sent away to have their Babies. Lots of these Girls became institutionalised and stayed in them the rest of their life’s ” . He lifted his book and walked away . And yes it did happen in other institutions but of course as long as their not Catholic it doesn’t matter . I can assure you I saw as such with my own eyes . Of course I cannot prove it but any investigative Journalist worth half their salt if it just wasn’t the Catholics they wanted to put the boot into could find this out easily. After all as the song goes . The Records Show They Took The Blows and if they can find records of Cruelty in Smyllum they can surely find records of other institutions also . Also what ad really like to find out for myself is . What happened to the Children that these unfortunate Girls had because they certainly weren’t or couldn’t keep them . Were they sent to orphanages such as Smyllum maybe yes maybe no . Last but not least. My primary school football team played the boys in the orphanage at Smyllum in the 50s when of course times were hard . After the game the Nuns gave us Dinner. Up until that day in my young life it was the best Meal I ever had . I think the whole Story is Fake News .

      January 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm
      • editor


        A first class investigative journalist called Hermann Kelly exposed the lies about the Magdalene Laundries in his book, Kathy’s Real Story, about the girl who claimed the nuns were abusive. She was proven to be an out and out liar, and publicly revealed as such by her own family. You can check out the book on Amazon

        Crofterlady (see above) used to work in the Laundries and has testified on here more than once that she observed no such abuse.

        January 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm
      • Vianney


        You may be interested to know that Hermann Kelly used to attend the Edinburgh chapel, and it was there that he met his wife who was also a member of the congregation.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:16 pm
      • editor


        I didn’t know that – very interesting indeed.

        January 21, 2018 at 11:17 pm
      • Vianney


        When the film The Magdalene Sisters came out one of my colleagues, a non Catholic, went to see it. The next day someone was asking her about it and added ” those nuns were really cruel, weren’t they.” My colleague said *not really, it was the times they lived in” and added that all organisations at that time, whether it was Catholic, Church of Scotland, Salvation Army or Quarrier’s treated children strictly and ruled with a rod of iron. If a child misbehaved it was punished, often by the belt or a ruler. Unfortunately, some of those who were brought up in such homes and received punishment regarded it as abuse and see pound signs before their eyes.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:09 pm
      • Vianney


        When the film The Magdalene Sisters came out one of my colleagues, a non Catholic, went to see it. The next day someone was asking her about it and added ” those nuns were really cruel, weren’t they.” My colleague said *it was the times they lived in” and added that all organisations at that time, whether it was Catholic, Church of Scotland, Salvation Army or Quarrier’s treated children strictly and ruled with a rod of iron. If a child misbehaved it was punished, often by the belt or a ruler. Unfortunately, some of those who were brought up in such homes and received punishment regarded it as abuse and see pound signs before their eyes.

        January 21, 2018 at 5:12 pm
  • Fidelis

    “And were there no postulants or novices who left before final vows in disgust to report this scandal to the Bishop, let alone the police?”

    Exactly what I’m thinking. At that time, there were lots of people going to try their vocations and then returning home. I’ve no doubt that if the Sisters of Charity were as cruel as being alleged at the Smyllum orphanage, somebody would have noticed and talked about it after leaving. Yet, these allegations seem to come out of the blue and hit the tabloids before any of us heard as much as a whisper.

    I’m of the same mind as Crofterlady – I can’t believe it, especially if there’s money involved.

    The children in these institutions were there because they had issues of some kind – they weren’t all orphans as in no parents, but taken from parents who could not cope or had abused them, at least that’s my understanding. So, there is a chance of false memory or perhaps some less than truthful claims. I just cannot believe that the amount of abuse described by the Daily Record, was the norm. It just wouldn’t make sense. No girl would give up her freedom and possibility of marriage and a family, just to give vent to some evil streak that wanted to abuse children.

    January 20, 2018 at 9:49 pm
  • Charles McEwan

    When I was at primary school, (not a Catholic school) the belt was used on a daily basis. On one occasion, I remember the Primary 7 teacher, who was clearly in a bad mood, saying Douglas Mc???, you haven’t had the belt for a while – come out here. So Douglas came out and was strapped twice. We just accepted these things as the status quo in Scottish schools because we had it pretty much every day from primary 3 onwards. I can’t remember if it was used in Primary 1 and 2.

    January 20, 2018 at 10:01 pm
  • editor

    As others have said here, physical punishment was the norm in Scottish schools in the 60’s. I received the belt – would you believe it – for talking in class. Unbelievable 😀

    Anyway, I thought I would share my own experiences of nuns in the Swinging Sixties, when I was a schoolgirl at an all-girls convent school in the city of Glasgow. I loved it.

    I’d hated primary, with a vengeance. That’s where I got the belt for talking, cheek of them. But secondary? The convent school? Never saw ANYONE get the belt. There was once a near miss. Or should that be “Mrs”… Let me explain…

    One day, our classroom door opened and the Head Teacher, an Irish Sister of Mercy, Sister Aquinas, walked in accompanied by the Gym teacher (as PE teachers were called in those days), a laywoman whom we’ll call Mrs X, just in case she’s identifiable from this report. No point in causing her unnecessary embarrassment or suffering now; if she’s still alive she will be ancient, and if she’s gone, no point upsetting her family.

    Well, Mrs X stood alongside Sister Aquinas, and Mrs X had the tawse (leather belt) lying across her left shoulder, right hand at the ready to aim it at our young hands.

    It transpired that some girls had been playing around in the toilets, throwing water and caused a huge mess. Sister explained that she wanted them to own up because they needed to clean the mess. Mrs X announced that if the culprits did not own up, the whole class would be belted. If I’d thought the culprits were only going to be put to cleaning and not belted, I’d have owned up just to minimise the risk of being strapped 😀

    Anyway, time wore on and nobody confessed. Sister pleaded for the culprits to do the right thing and own up. Mrs X pleaded with Sister to let her belt the entire class. In the end, the pair left the room as they had entered it – none the wiser as to the identities of the guilty parties, but with Sister not giving the go ahead to wholesale punishment of the rest of us. I thought, who couldn’t love the Sisters of Mercy, well-named? Laywoman, Mrs X, was a whole different kettle of fish.

    Then there was Sister Camillus who was a very gentle Irish nun. The school rule required all pupils to leave the building during break-times, to go into the yard, in all weathers. It was well known, however, that if someone engaged Sister Camillus in conversation about her vocation, what made her want to be a nun, had she never wanted to marry etc. she would talk away and you could avoid the rain. So, we did that, over and over. Before we knew it, break was at an end, we were dry as bones and… poor Sister had missed her cup of tea!

    Imagine my surprise, then, some years later when my father (RIP) handed me a book he’d been reading which contained a chapter about my old convent school. He asked for my opinion. Well. “stunned”, was my opinion. Some malcontent had written very unkindly about Sister Camillus, alleging that she had hit her with her rosary beads (in those days, the nuns has large rosaries hanging from a belt) and goodness knows what else. Abuse, with bells on. I was flabbergasted and without knowing the author, or anything about her, I was convinced that she was lying. I’d been at the school for years and witnessed nothing but goodness in the Sisters. Some months after reading that chapter, I thought I recognised Sister Camillus in a city centre church and approached her as a former pupil. She was every bit as pleasant as I remembered her, and I mentioned this book, offering to testify to the contrary if the Sisters decided to challenge the author in court. Sister dismissed the idea saying that the girl had been badly behaved at school and had been called in, with her father, and this was her revenge. A not uncommon scenario to anyone who has spent any length of time in a school environment.

    My final memory of life at that convent school was a Sister who had a reputation for being strict . One of the girls in our French class was disruptive during lessons and the lay teacher was replaced with this tall, reputedly strict Sister. Trouble was, Shirley, the disrupter, had known Sister before she entered the Order and when Sister tried to call her to behave, work etc, Shirley would use her Christian name and act the innocent, to undermine Sister’s authority and continue with her disruption. Still, there was no strapping, no humiliation, so, giving up all hope that the staff – including the Sisters – would deal with the pest, a group of us cornered Shirley and said we’d seriously like to present for our French O Level so would she stop acting the idiot. Can’t remember the outcome. O yes, I don’t have a French O Level to my name, to this day 😀

    In summary, my own experience of life in a convent school environment was 100% positive. I cannot recall a single incidence of any pupil being humiliated verbally or physically. Far from it. If anything, the Sisters of Mercy stretched “mercy” to its limit.

    However, fast-forward a good number of years, and I heard through the grapevine that a Sister visiting the Glasgow convent (from England – a friend of mine) pointed out that the editor of Catholic Truth had been educated by the Mercy nuns in Glasgow, to which one of the Community replied: “Well, we didn’t teach her that stuff!” (words to that effect – that’s as close as I can remember it).

    Overall, my own experience of nuns has been very positive indeed and I find it just too difficult to believe the reports about Smyllum wholesale. Raises too many questions, as outlined in the blog introduction.

    January 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    ED –I read your above comments with more than great interest and I have and will be careful of what I write . First of all to your comment about the whole class been belted . We had much the same experience by a School Teacher who was not only Non Catholic but he was a snake in the grass whom very few liked including his Fellow Teachers . Anyhow this Guy who taught Metal Work Etc and was hopeless at it as I know for I went into Engineering myself and looking back he would never have made a Tradesman never mind a so called Teacher of trades . Before he entered class someone Wrote Exactly what they thought of him on the Blackboard. He never seen it at first when he entered the room and we were all laughing. He asked why we were laughing then turned round and seen the naughty message on Blackboard and I kid you not the steam was coming out of his ears . Anyhow he says he’ll give everyone 6 of the Belt if the perpetrator doesn’t own up . He didn’t and we didn’t shop him so this Teacher gave the whole class 6 of The Tawse of which I can assure you was the only thing that the Idiot was good at . Next day though to his surprise a few of the Fathers of the ones in the class belted were down to offer him a Square Go
    ( my Father wasn’t one I never told of the incident ) . Unfortunately for him he wasn’t as brave with the men as he had been with us boys he left Our School that same day and I never seen him again in my life. All throughout my schooling of all the Teachers I had and some were as hard as nails but FAIR he was the only one whom I wouldn’t have given the time of day . And many whom I met after leaving school I still ( even though I may have been belted by them but deservedly so )
    had great respect for . So of all the Teachers I had although they were not Nuns but were Adults of that Generation I only recall one Bad Egg . Also am sure that most of us on here were as upset at Teachers when the Belt was removed from School. For ones thing is for sure the Snowflakes going about now at school when they say that there is real trouble in class especially with Phones would NEVER have crossed 99% of The Teachers who taught me .

    January 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm
  • gabriel syme

    The media have been working overtime to try to create a story about Smyllum Park. The lust to generate a scandal by any means is palpable.

    The manner in which the enquiry relating to that institution has been handled is a complete disgrace. A responsible and impartial media would wait until the enquiry publishes its findings and report on those.

    Instead we have an almost-daily reporting of accusations, (not facts), which I presume have not been subject to investigation / other substantiation. One could turn up and say literally anything and it would be in the papers the next day to titillate certain sections of Scottish Society.

    This type of lurid gossip is especially disappointing given in Scotland we have already seen false accusations against nuns thrown out of court. This story (see link) from recent years where a crooked cop and cabal of money grabbers conspired to tell lies to try to frame a couple of elderly nuns.

    The liars always go too far however, such as the claim in the link about a claimed victim being “locked in a toilet for a week”. A week? Really? Some of the Smyllum Park claims have the same element of absurdity to them.

    Compare the sensationalised reporting about Smyllum Park to media silence concerning, for example, sex crimes committed by muslim men in the north of England.

    Regardless if these accusations are ultimately proven or not, the claims are now imprinted in the minds of people – which is exactly the point of this media behaviour. And so what does the truth really matter?

    Strange that society seems to have forgotten that, till fairly recently, corporal punishment (belt) and public humiliation (dunce cap) were standard forms of punishment in every Scottish school and other institutions. This was the norm for up to and including my own parents generation.

    One could almost be led to believe it was only ever Catholic priests and religious who subjected children to corporal punishment. And only then if they could take time away from their sordid physical affairs with each other, of course.

    Fortunately, some former Smyllum residents have spoken out to defend the nuns:

    “Truth has been crucified along with the Daughters of Charity and staff who worked at Smyllum Park,” adding, “Most of what has been said is not true.”

    I suspect their evidence is more reliable – you don’t get any compensation for defending someone’s character- though of course the enquiry must be thorough in any case.

    January 21, 2018 at 10:22 pm
  • Alex F

    “Were our Religious Houses jam-packed with evil women who detested children and enjoyed inflicting pain and suffering such as that described by former orphans at Smyllum…”

    I don’t believe that for a second. In Ireland, the Magdalene Sisters have come under particular criticism. However, we have to recognise that they helped a lot of women who were in trouble in a very conservative society that did not accept women having children outside of marriage. In Scotland, which was just as conservative in its own way but Protestant, unmarried mothers would normally have been incarcerated in mental hospitals.

    As others have said here, corporal punishment was commonplace in all schools and institutions of this sort. That’s not to say that I agree with it, I don’t. However, it’s typical of the way things are are presented today, that the Church is exposed to particular opprobrium.

    Again, it’s clear that there is a case to answer to in term of abuse and it should be investigated. But the religious institutions are not alone in this regard. Similar abuse happened in secular institutions but they don’t seem to get the same exposure.

    January 21, 2018 at 11:26 pm
  • Athanasius

    I contacted STV some months ago about their reporting of the Smyllum investigation, accusing them of anti-Catholic bias. They interviewed a couple of disgruntled people claiming to have witnessed the murder of a child, the details of which were just too fantastic to believe of religious sisters. At any rate, the police had carried out several investigations and found no case to answer, yet they kept on insinuating the worst. Of course I received the usual response to my complaint, denying any bias on the part of STV News. That response was just as ridicuolous as the story tellers they were putting in front of their cameras. It’s in the interest of Britain’s media to sully the Catholic Church, goes a long way in undermining the Church’s moral teaching!

    They did the same in Ireland, but for a different reason. When the Lisburn Treaty was first proposed to the Republic the people voted no to it in referendum. They did this because of the Church’s moral teaching against abortion and homosexuality, which the EU insisted upon as necessary for the ratification of the Treaty. I believe they had two referendum events on this and the Irish Catholics twice rejected Lisburn.

    The next thing we know there’s a big break out of sexual and physical abuse claims in the Republic, historical of course, with compensation being offered to all who came forward with a story. My understanding is that they even put posters up in shop windows detailing amounts of money people could get if they were abused by a priest or religious. One Traditional priest was told by a man that he had made a false accusation and was awarded a sum of money in compensation, so it shows how money played its part. This is unprecedented in legal history, the lure of compensation for testimony. Under normal circumstances claims like this would be thrown out as unsafe given that they are historical, i.e., many decades old and therefore hard to prove without shadow of doubt, and because the person making the accusation stands to gain from a guilty verdict.

    So many claims came forward and so much biased media attention was given them that many Catholics, believing the anti-Church rhetoric in the media, saw the Church as utterly hypocritical, lost faith in the clergy and voted in Lisburn on the third attempt.

    Part of the big lie was the Magdalene Sisters story based on Cathy’s account of her experiences there as a young girl. Turns out she was never there, she made the entire story up. Didn’t stop the media and publishers perpetuating the lie, though.

    While I accept that there have been some instances in the past of clerical sexual abuse by priests and religious, as well as excessive corporal punishment meted out to children of that era by certain religious brothers and nuns, there is no way the abuse is anywhere near the levels these people claim. In fact, given the numbers of priests in the world and the number of homes being run by religious at that time, the number of victims is probably miniscule in comparison with the percentage of youngsters helped by the Church. But as long as compensation is on offer we will never get to the truth, or true justice. There’s something about money on offer that brings the worst out in people, no justice system should ever include payout potential when seeking to prosecute crimes past or present, if only because of the obvious corrupting influence money can have on people’s memories.

    The entire business was constructed to disgrace the Catholic Church and undermine her moral voice!

    January 22, 2018 at 12:37 am
    • RONDO

      I knew Sister AGI(pseudonym) very well. I was in her care for three years at Smyllum Park childrens home(1960-1962). Sister AGI was the most kindest and caring person you could ever meet and she was incapable of inflicting any kind of physical abuse on any child in her care.She is the Sister who is being accused by a former resident of Smyllum Park(check Scottish child abuse inquiry).David(pseudonym) (6 years old at the time) said Sister AGI had kicked Sammy Carr’s head and body because he was naughty which he said subsequently killed Sammy.A qualified expert for the inquiry has dismissed this allegation reporting Sammy had been probably been infected by a dead rat Sammy had been playing with and this led to his death. These kind of untruths are riddled through all the testimonies of former residents of Smyllum Park aimed towards the Daughters of Charity and the staff of Smyllum when I was there as a child(1957-1964). I had a great and happy childhood in Smyllum. The Scottish press and media are sensationalising these stories from former residents of Smyllum Park children’s home. They have not done their homework properly by accepting these testimonies as the gospel truth and the verdict is guilty.Compensation is the name of the game,not the truth.What a world we are living in.God help us all!

      February 11, 2018 at 8:10 am
  • westminsterfly

    Physical punishment was also the norm in the South in schools even into the ’70’s. I have never forgotten an incident in my primary school. Some kids had been caught stealing things from the school and the headmaster (who is now long since dead) held a ‘kangaroo court’ in front of the whole school, including the teachers, probably to ‘teach us all a lesson’. During the ‘trial’, he repeatedly physically assaulted the three boys who were caught stealing, in front of the whole school. One of them had his ear pulled and repeatedly hit until it actually bled. I can even remember that boy’s name, many years later, I was so shocked. I also remember looking at the row of teachers and can see them all sitting there now, looking very grave, so deeply etched is this event in my memory . I have no doubt that if the headmaster did that today, he would be jailed. But it was just accepted in those times.

    January 22, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      Westminster Fly,

      That is totally shocking. Goodness knows how anyone claiming to be a Catholic can behave in such a way and then walk up to receive Holy Communion at Mass. It’s mind blowing.

      January 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm
      • editor


        If my memory serves me correctly, I believe Westminster Fly is an adult convert. He is unlikely, therefore, to have attended a Catholic school. Hopefully, he will confirm or deny this himself, in due course.

        January 22, 2018 at 11:26 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Yes, that’s correct. I converted to Catholicism when I was 24. The school in question was a C of E Primary school. And oddly enough, although I remember the local vicar taking assembly on occasions – just to talk to us – I never recall being taken to the local C of E church for any kind of service. Strange that, isn’t it?

        January 23, 2018 at 8:52 am
  • John Kearney

    It sounds like the Magdalen Laundry case again. You remember how many women who had worked in this Dublin establishment suddenly came forward and accused the nuns there of such mistreatment. At the inquiry more women came forward who had worked in the laundry came forward to contradict the allegations. And were the ‘victims’ not furious when compensation was refused. I am afraid ‘do-the-boys halls ‘ went out with Charles Dickens and the convent wold have been regular checked by the local authority.

    January 22, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      I couldn’t agree more with you. As soon as The Compensayshun starts to be paid out the accusers come out of the Woodwork. A Case of which the Scottish Media just loved was levelled at our own Parish Priest who was accused of Sexual Abuse. Personally I never believed it . Priest was removed couple of months later case dropped Priests life ruined. I am a single man who lives alone . Apart from my Grandchildren I DO NOT TALK to other children AT ALL . I wouldn’t go to their help outside unless it was completely necessary. There is noway ( not for a Kings Ransom) would l let a child inside my house unless he or she was accompanied by their parent . What a nice Society we live in .

      January 22, 2018 at 8:01 pm
      • editor


        You identify one of the very sad “unintended consequences” which has arisen from these alleged abuse cases, and from the presumed guilt of anyone accused. You are not alone in keeping distance from a non-family child – indeed, very sadly, I once met a priest who said that he doesn’t even embrace his own nieces and nephews. Very sad indeed.

        January 22, 2018 at 8:21 pm
      • Faith of Our Fathers

        Ed I don’t know but I suppose you going through Post with a fine toothed comb picked up on my earlier comment about playing the boys from Smyllum at Football. As I said it was in the 50s but up until that moment and I repeat it was the best meal I ever had had in my young life . In fact I don’t remember the Football Match that day but I do remember the meal that the Nuns served up to us . I cannot believe that so many women would go into a Religious Order and be as cruel as these accusations.

        January 22, 2018 at 11:42 pm
      • editor


        Sorry, I didn’t pick up your comment about playing football with the boys from Smyllum. I take nobody whispered “help! I’m being abused, get me out of here!”

        I’m glad you enjoyed the meal – nuns are famous for their cooking and hospitality towards visitors.

        January 22, 2018 at 11:48 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers

    Well at once we agree eh ED . No all kidding aside we as Catholics are ripe for the Beating. I personally know Persons who have accused Priests al say no more except. Every so called bad thing the Priest had supposedly done in his life was brought up . As for the Accusers who had done Prison time for theft and dishonesty. Nothing Absolutely Nothing.

    January 22, 2018 at 11:35 pm
  • Fidelis

    In the news today the superior of the Daughters of Charity broke down apologising for any allegations that are true, saying such behaviour from staff or sisters went against the core values of the Order. She also said that the allegations contradict the many reports from former inmates who said Smyllum was a happy place. It will be very interesting to see the outcome of this enquiry.

    January 24, 2018 at 2:02 pm
    • RONDO

      I was a former resident of Smyllum Park childrens home.The truth has been crucified along with the Daughters of Charity and their staff when I was in care 1957-1964.Read my testimony in the Scottish child abuse inquiry under RONDO pseudonym.I have repudiated several former witness testimonies (for the most part as a pack of lies) regarding their allegations aimed at the Daughters of Charity and their staff.Smyllum Park was a big adventure playground in the Scottish countryside where I had a happy healthy childhood the seven years I spent there.In my time there I knew a few of the former residents very well and am sad and ashamed of the lies they are telling to the Scottish abuse inquiry.

      February 10, 2018 at 10:51 pm
      • Lily


        that’s very interesting indeed to read, that you had a very good experience at Smyllum. I hope your testimony is available publicly, e.g. on the Inquiry website, if there is one? If not, and they are suppressing positive testimony in favour of Smyllum, that would be unconscionable.

        February 10, 2018 at 11:49 pm
      • RONDO

        Patrick’s witness statement is also available to read on the Scottish child abuse inquiry,click home page,click evidence then click witness statements.You can also click full transcripts.Patrick’s statement is dated 12th January 2018 the same day as mine.His experience of Smyllum Park is very similar to mine.The newspapers and media are having a field day writing and sensationalising these untruths from former residents of Smyllum Park.This is lazy journalism but it sells newspaers.My heart breaks to see the Daughters of Charity and former staff who are still alive having to read and listen to all these lies knowing that they had dedicated themselves to the care and well-being of the children in their care at Smyllum Park childrens home.I am angry that these former residents are trying to destroy my great and happy memories of my childhood in Smyllum.

        February 11, 2018 at 6:01 am
  • Clotide

    Heartbreaking to see these nuns being put through the mill for the so-called abuse which is supposed to have taken place many years ago.
    I went to a primary school where the sister of mercy nuns taught us our faith and gave us a sound education in the three r’s and the humanities. They A and B classes were big (with over 40 children) so they had to be strict but were fai(apart from the head teacher who came into the classroom with the exercise books over one arm and cane over the other. Woe betide you if you had any spelling mistakes. needless to say I was an excellent speller! I enjoyed my time at primary but hated secondary as we were taught mostly by lay women but the school was an FCJ convent. We were never caned but the stuffy teachers(mostly) were distant and snobby.

    Nowadays it seems it is not abusive to fill our little children’s heads with all sorts of ideas about sex and genderism. I thinks this kind of abuse is far worse than the strict regime we experienced.

    January 24, 2018 at 9:30 pm
    • Athanasius


      Well said. I agree completely, especially with the last sentence. The school sex educationalists are child abusers (of minds and hearts), God forgive them.

      The legal system once incorporated a statute of limitation for the prosecution of crimes, a limit in years beyond which they would not pursue a case due to the strong possibility of miscarriages of justice. That was done with in order to ensure the public humiliation of the Catholic Church with multitudes of claims from decades ago that can never be safely proven after so long a time. And just to add spice to the plot they introduced the compensation carrot to ensure numberless accusations. There is no morality or justice left in the British legal system.

      January 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm
  • editor

    Latest on Smyllum…


    “More nuns have been reported to prosecutors amid a widening police investigation into claims of abuse at a notorious orphanage.

    The Mail revealed yesterday that police probing Smyllum Park in Lanark had arrested 12 people, including nuns.

    A further four have now been reported to the Crown Office, some of them nuns, with ages ranging between 71 and 93.

    Police Scotland also disclosed that the 12 who have been arrested and charged consisted of 11 women and one man, aged between 62 and 85.

    Yesterday a force spokesman said: ‘A further four individuals will be reported today. Inquiries are continuing.’ Claims of historic abuse at the home have come under scrutiny at the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).” Click here to read rest of this Daily Mail report.

    This APPEARS to be a case of applying contemporary standards of discipline to the past – physical punishment was normal in schools and family homes until relatively recent times, so it doesn’t seem fair to criminalise some people now, for what was the norm then.

    Of course, one would expect Religious to have more insights into acceptable and charitable standards of human behaviour well above the norm, to put it mildly, but speaking in general terms, I do question this whole investigation. Not least because I had an email when we first launched this thread, from someone who had been an inmate and said he (and others) had contacted the authorities to give a very different experience of life at Smyllum but they were ignored.

    Makes one wonder…

    August 24, 2018 at 9:17 pm

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