Left bewildered by my primal wounds

I was interested to read your article regarding the Bethany Home and Derek Leinster last month.

I endured a four-year stay as an infant in St Patrick’s Mother and Baby home, on the Navan Rd in Dublin.

There is some evidence that some women were despatched to Magdalene laundries, which may have included my birth mother before she went to England two years after my birth.

With great respect to all the Magdalene laundry women and my birth mum, who may have been there after my birth, I will continue to make claim for myself as an infant from 1958 to 1962 in St Patrick’s.

I have my medical records and other evidence, such as when I got my BCG vaccine injection on 18/12/1958.

Four days later I was anointed and confirmed as being in danger of death. There were also continuous hospital transfers to St Kevin’s hospital (now St James’) over my four-year infant residence, and I showed signs of early developmental struggles and malnutrition.

Later in life I had to cope with alcohol addiction and suicidal ideation but have since had treatment in the excellent old Rutland Centre in Clondalkin (when I was 23) and thankfully I haven’t drank alcohol or taken drugs since, but like the Bethany survivors, I am left bewildered with the primal wounds of my early life.

Coming from such homes, we should be acknowledged by the state and given redress/compensation for the emotional scars that may never heal.

David Kinsella

Dublin 22

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