Bridget’s Baby #800deadbabies

These stories deserve to be told. I had the pleasure this year of meeting Patrician Burke Brogan author of Eclipsed. The first to focus on the torture of women in Ireland permitted with the full knowledge of the state, justice and church.

140 characters is usually enough

From the comments on my blog about the Tuam babies:

I had a beautiful Baby Boy, born in Bessborough in 1960 died at 6 weeks, my self lucky to have survived with the same infection, was told a dirty needle. I hadn’t known where my Son was buried until 15 years ago, when I had plucked up enough courage to confront the nuns at Bessborough.

I now know that.

Although I was a so called inmate in Bessborough at the time of his burial, I was not allowed to be at his burial. It breaks my heart not knowing if he was dressed in a gown or even if he was laid in a Coffin.

Having read these horror stories nothing would surprise me. To this day, 54 years after, still trying to come to terms with the horror of it all.

May God forgive them.



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My mums jewellery box.

BroochesAs a little girl I would spend hours trawling through my mum’s jewellery box. My Mum loves her jewellery.  Everything from pearls to cameos, from sparkling gems to simple marcasite. My sisters and I would spend forever dressing up in her stunning hats and beautiful evening coats and gowns before adding some exotic jewels to our eclectic outfits. 

But of all the jewels in her collection it was her unique brooch collection that fascinated me most as a child.  Each brooch was lovingly wrapped in tissue paper and placed in individual jewellery boxes. 

Each brooch had a story.  Each a precious memory of a special trip, a friend, a moment in time.

So now I collect brooches, some new, some old, some loved, some a little worse for wear. They remind me of a special event, a trip at home or abroad or just simply because it’s pretty, I cannot resist.

Now my girls love to peep through my brooch collection.  We even make up little stories about the history of the brooches, the lives of their past owners.


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Last hurdle on road to masters

Sorry I have not posted in awhile but I am have been overwhelmed in the last few weeks with work, family and study.  I have now completed my placement with Education Matters.  You can read some of my posts on the Education Matters website.  I have also been asked to stay on for the remainder of the summer and continue to manage their social media activity and I am delighted to help out on this front.

I am now at the final stage of the masters in journalism programme at NUI Galway – my dissertation.  I have decided to stick with the education theme for my dissertation so I will be examining the discourse around education in the Irish print media.  Last week I had the real pleasure of interviewing Louise Holden education correspondent with the Irish Times and Katherine Donnelly, education editor with the Irish Independent.  Both were so helpful and I cannot thank them enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak to me.

The deadline for the dissertation is August 15th so with 15,000 words to get down I will be doing some serious writing over the next few weeks.

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My Favourite Teacher

My favourite teacher, without doubt, was my English teacher, Ms. Imelda Lennon. Ms. Lennon was my English teacher for my full five years at the Convent of Mercy, Longford. She was simply amazing. She  introduced me to Shakespeare, to Bronte, Shelly and Keats, to Kavanagh and Frost. She instilled in all her students a love and respect for the written and spoken word and managed to make Shakespeare interesting to a group of teenage girls.  No easy task.

She is the epitomy of a teacher who had a true vocation to teach.  She was able to transform and even transcend the boring stayed English Leaving Certificate curriculum into something exciting and meaningful.

She also set me on my path (a path with a few twists and turns) when she asked me to become the student reporter for the local newspaper the Longford Leader.  A job I simply loved.  It took me a few years to arrive back on this path but I am now almost finished my masters in journalism. 

Imelda Lennon gave me the gift of literature and poetry, a gift worth more than any paper certificate.

Because, Education Matters.

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Do you have a favourite teacher?

This post appears on Education Matters.

Do you have a favourite teacher?

“We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far. Our brains are wired to be creative, and the only thing stopping you from expressing the creativity that is your birthright is your belief that there are creative people and uncreative people and that you fall in that second category.”
Dr. Shelley CarsonYour Creative Brain

This past Sunday, at the IFTA’s Brendan Gleeson, when accepting an award for Best Actor for his role in Calvary (currently showing in Irish cinemas), he dedicated the award to Brother Pat Grogan, his former teacher at the Christian Brother primary school in Marino, Dublin.

Brother Grogan was ‘brave enough to allow creativity to appear normal’ and ‘was an incredible mentor for that time, to a whole bunch of us’.

On Sunday April 6th, 2014, he had a chat with Miriam O’Callaghan and he elaborated a little more on this experience – it’s only 15 minutes long and worth tuning in to on your lunch break.

Brendan Gleeson

A few weeks ago, Dame Helen Mirren, when accepting a fellowship at the annual BAFTA awards also paid homage to a former teacher of hers, Mrs. Alice Welding:

“My journey to this place, right here, right now, began with a great teacher, Alice Welding. She revealed to me the power of literature. She recognised my need to live in that world of imagination, that world of poetry. She alone was the one who encouraged me to become an actor.”

You can watch her speech (4 mins) right here.

Helen Mirren

And while we are all talk about actors and teachers this morning, we cannot miss the opportunity to share an image of the ultra-creative Michael Fassbender, seen here hugging his former national school teacher, from Fossa, Co. Kerry at a taping of The Late Late Show. We have set our DVR’s for Friday night.

Fassbender and teacher

Do you have a favourite teacher? We would love to hear stories about teachers who have inspired you to follow your dreams. Please leave us a comment in the box below or over on our Facebook page or even on Twitter.

And why are we asking this of you?

Because, Education Matters.



The Education Matters blog will be managed  by two students from the NUIG MA in Journalism program as part of the Masters work placement program.

Caroline Duggan, mum of four and small business owner is passionate about education and enterprise, and is looking forward to a long and fruitful career in this field. She can be found blogging over here at Cast a wide eye and is also on Twitter .

Mona Wise, mum of four, has a fondness for writing about all things food and family related. She has just finished a five year stint as a mature student and has lots of stories to tell. She can be found blogging at Wise Words and is also on Twitter.

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Starting my masters placement at Education Matters

This week I finished the first part of my masters in journalism programme at NUIG. This means all the exams are done.  All the lectures are done. My radio documentary is done.  My portfolio is done and submitted. The next stage of the programme is my work placement which starts in Education Matters on Tuesday.  Education Matters is a annual directory which is published by the Education Department at NUIG. 

My placement will involve developing and writing a blog for Education Matters, doing some design and layout work for the publication and writing a number of education inspired pieces for the directory.  I am really looking forward to the placements as I will be doing it with my college bud Mona Wise.  So you can follow Mona and I for the next few weeks at  the Education Matters feed on twitter and once the blog is up and running I will post the address.  If you have an interest in education we look forward to getting your input and feedback on some really hot topics because #educationmatters!

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Spring has arrived in Galway

At last, after a long, wet, winter spring has arrived on the west coast of Ireland. The day dawned bright and warm and you just really felt like getting out and about.  Hope this is the beginning of a nice Spring and an even nicer Summer.

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