Founded On Fear by Peter Tyrrell
A tormented childhood in Letterfrack industrial school with the Christian Brothers left an enduring mark on Peter Tyrrell. Ignored by the authorities and distressed by his memories, he later burned himself to death on Hampstead Heath in London. His story of horrific abuse is told with childlike simplicity, penned in a series of letters to Senator Owen Sheehy Skeffington. Bringing to life, with touching sincerity, a shocking reality where beatings of children as young as five were commonplace, this startling account may have gone unpublished if not for its chance discovery amongst Skeffington’s papers. At last, Peter Tyrrell has been given a voice.
Tyrrell never recovered from the abuse that he suffered, yet was determined that his story should be heard. His memoir makes for harrowing yet extraordinarily compelling reading. It is impossible not to be touched. (via Goodreads)
My views: This is one of those books I just had to read since it had so many elements I am interested in – Ireland, Catholic education and the rights of children (or in this case, the lack of them). I was prepared not to be shocked, but one can never be unmoved by the suffering of a child and the cruelty of adults – especially those who are supposed to be ‘men of God’. That a young boy attempted to express this all – and was finally heard, albeit too late, is deeply touching.
We’re taking part in the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.