”Navan was a town with wonderful people, where some terrible things happened,” Dr. Mary Randles tells. She is a retired doctor, who used to have clinic with her late husband, Dr. Patrick Randles. The Randles lived in a small Irish town, where everybody knew everybody, especially the priest.
Problems started when Patrick Randles started to speak up about violence in schools. The schools were ran by the Catholic Church, just as it ran the whole society. The teachers were beating up children for not knowing Irish or for writing with the left hand. Violence did not only occur in schools, it was institutional.
”A whole empire designated to punishing girls,” Mary Randles says, referring to institutions where young and unmarried pregnant women were sent to give birth. They were also run by the Catholic Church. The church organised over 20 000 illegal adoptions, 9000 babies and small children died, and tens of thousands of children faced a destiny yet to be revealed.
Sinéad O’Shea’s documentary describes the power that the Catholic Church had after Ireland gained independence. Generations of people lived in fear and faced violence. Now Norman, Betty and Ethna, residents of Navan, tell their stories of how the church mistreated them.
Director Sinéad O’Shea will be present in the screening of Pray for Our Sinners on Wed, Jan 31.