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Irish orphans ‘painted black for entertainment’

Irish orphans who were shipped to Australia in the 1950s were often painted black for the amusement of other passengers.

An inquiry into the historic institutional abuse in Northern Ireland has heard that children were transported to care homes in Australia without their consent. They often suffered abuse in both countries.

Irish orphans painted black for entertainment

The Guardian reports the story of one orphan who was abused in the Termonbacca care home run by the Catholic Church in Derry.

The man, now in his 70s, gave evidence of what he and other orphans were subjected to during their journey to Australia. He said: “Our faces were painted black to make us look like [Indigenous Australians]”.

It was a humiliating ordeal for the orphans but was considered entertainment for paying passengers.

The abuse he suffered in Derry and Australia left him with lasting mental scars. He said: “I had no idea how to parent my children, or even how to cuddle and love them. I really don’t know what love is.”

The public inquiry is investigating the treatment and possible abuse if children in state or church run homes. It is focusing on 130 orphans and other vulnerable youngsters who were sent to Australia between 1946 and 1956.

The inquiry has already heard from 66 former residents. Another witness said that the abuse got worse when he arrived in Australia and was moved to Bindoon care home. He said: “After Bindoon, Termonbacca turned out to be a holiday camp.”

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  1. Every nation has its shameful past. Hopefully, we’ve moved beyond those horrible things.

  2. Catherine- You must not have read about the Irish uprising! They were slaughtered by the British who had all the military might! The Irish were poor farmers with very little arms. It wasn’t a numbers game.

  3. Catherine Klinski

    Blame the British not Trump. Looking for another skapegoat besides the ones who really did this to you. Why didn’t they group together and fight against it. Just like Americans fought the British and won. You mean to tell me there were more Brits in Ireland than Irish people to get away with this. What are you really looking for? 9million Irish died at the hands of the British. There had to be more than 9 million Brits to do this.

  4. These things should be printed , front page to remind England and the world the horrors committed by the civilized (ha ha) countries of the world. Horrible. Trump will do the same to Mexican, Muslims and fat women if he gets elected and can get by with it! He is as horrible as these people and they got away with it!

  5. If the world only knew what irish suffered at the hands off the British, starved us,murdered us, sold us into slavery, 9 million irish died at the hands off the British, took all our food in the famine to send to England, separated families never to see one another again, burned us out off our houses, took our land, dumped thousands off ships into sea because they wouldn’t have enough to eat for themselves to finish the journey, I could go on and on there’s so much more the world wouldn’t believe what the British did in this land our land, we had to pay to live on our own land,

  6. My grandmother was what they termed a British Home Child. Over 300000 children were shipped to Canada Australia and New Zealand to fill a labour shortage. Child slave. Bernardos was one agency. I hope these children get compensated!! And bastards who did this to them rot in hell. I wrote David Cameron when he gave his big apolgy on behalf of my grandmother and family. “Shove your apology up your arse!”

  7. I am an Australian I am sickened by what these children went thru ,it’s about time the truth is revealed .
    Not only then but what has been going on down the years .

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