Yvonne Locke - Abstracts

Yvonne grew up in Limerick. At Christmas time her mother used to bring a young girl from St. George's orphanage to their home to have dinner and to spend a day with their family. Here Yvonne recalls her childhood memories of coming to collect Rose from the Good Shepherd convent and what she remembers of Rose's story.

So the memories I have, they are not very vivid now but they are little girl memories - there is no detail really. It would have been the mid-1960s, and I remember coming in the car with my father and we would drive in the driveway. It was completely different - It wasn't modernised the way it is now…There were steps, big steps up, and there was a big brown door. And I remember the big door opening and a nun, one of the Good Shepherd nuns, would come and open the door and then this little girl would be brought to us - Rose was her name, I don't remember her second name.

I remember one of my brothers asking her why she was in the orphanage because she had a mother and father. So she was actually in the orphanage even though she had a family of her own which was very strange.

And she mentioned she tried to run away one time but they caught her and sent her back. She ran away because she hated it here. She was very unhappy. She was a dark haired little girl, a pretty little thing and very bubbly - You know surprising that someone like her was locked up in here.

And she couldn't get over when we were home here the way your mother would put out a plate of biscuits out of the USA tin and lemonade and the eyes nearly popped out of her head. She was like 'oh my God, do ye get this?' just so excited to get treats. We had a little present for her and she was so excited. She might have been about 10 years of age maybe. I remember she was a little bit bigger than I was. Obviously old enough to try and run away.

She didn't talk about the place much. All she said was she hated it in the convent and they weren't allowed to do anything and she just wanted to get out of there and she couldn't wait until she was old enough to get out. That's really all I remember.

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