Christine Buckley gave hope and living voice to the many who suffered in silence in Ireland’s Residential Institutions and throughout their lives. She will be greatly missed but her strong voice will be heard forever. Rest in Peace.
Then they put me into a car zoom zoom, beep beep over O’Connell Bridge, past the Ha’penny Bridge, along Capel Street Bridge. All alone all along the Liffey I cried like the canal to the gates of Goldenbridge. At Goldenbridge, the nuns said that they were my sisters now. ‘Now, now, stop that crying or we’ll give you something to cry about. Christ didn’t cry. Christ wasn’t a whinger.’ I cried, I screamed for me ma, yelled for me da. Then all the kids there started to cry like me. We screamed through the clatters in the face, the lashes across the back of our legs, the smashing of our heads against the doors.
‘Mary is our mother now and God is our Father. Repeat, Mary is our mother now and God is our Father. ‘Tis the Divil that has you all crying. ‘Tis the Divil so that we’ll be getting out of here, only the Divil. James, that’s a lovely boy’s name. Stop that crying now. Silence is golden, boys and girls. Silence is golden. St James, a lovely saint.’
I rocked back, I rocked forward. I rocked in silence for a day, for a week maybe two. I cried until I was dry. I bit my lip; I bit my nails; I pissed the bed; I rubbed my eyes; I bit the boy beside me, I bit the girl beside me. They both bit me back. The nuns and the priest battered us all. Screamed at us that we were bold and evil and that they were going to put us into the washing machine to wash our souls of sin, souls of sin, souls of sin. I rocked back and forth till one day somebody came and picked me up into their arms and took me back home, to my ma, to my da and all the family and another new baby. Silence is golden, golden, in Goldenbridge. Ssssssh. (James X)