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June 20 , 2011

Freedom of Angels

Childhood in Goldenbridge Orphanage


I entered Goldenbridge orphanage in my Communion outfit. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing there.' At age seven, Bernadette Fahy was delivered with her three brothers to Goldenbridge Orphanage. She was to stay there until she was sixteen. Goldenbridge has come to represent some of the worst aspects of childrearing practices in Ireland of the 1950s and 1960s. Seen as the offspring of people who had strayed from social respectability and religious standards, these children were made to pay for the 'sins' of their parents. Bernadette tells of the pain, fear, hunger, hard labour and isolation experienced in the orphanage. Can a person recover from such a childhood? How does the spirit ever take flight – and gain the 'freedom of angels'? This is Bernadette Fahy's concern. Now trained and working as a counsellor, she has had to dig deeply into her past to understand the patterns laid down by her upbringing. She has had to rebuild her life, and now she helps others to do the same. This book is a story of triumph over the harshest of circumstances.

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