Deirdre Finnerty Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage.


Code 9781529340389

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For over seventy years, Bessborough House, a grand country mansion on the outskirts of Cork city, operated as one of Ireland's biggest mother and baby institutions. Women and girls who walked up its stone steps were warned never to reveal their true identities and gave birth to babies they would not be allowed to keep.

In Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage, a trio of remarkable women confined there in the 60s, 70s and 80s, tell their truths. Their vivid accounts take us right inside the walls of the secretive institution and give us a deep insight into how their experiences impacted their lives afterwards.
The result is a stark portrait of a system that split families apart -- and a moving account of love, loss and reconnection.

An astonishing and moving account of the untold stories of Irish women and their decades-long search for justice.

About the Author

Deirdre Finnerty is an award-winning journalist for the BBC, specialising in international news. She started her career in the BBC World Service, and has worked in the BBC's Brussels, Washington and Westminster bureaux. 

Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage is her first book and the project won the Society of Authors Antonia Fraser Award in 2020. Originally from County Mayo, she now lives and works in London.

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'I read Bessborough in one sitting, veering from fury to devastation within a matter of pages. A vitally important book.'

 - Louise O'Neill

'A vivid and powerful account og indomitable women breaking the silence around an ongoing legacy of shame, incarceration and forced separation. These testimonies must be heard.'

 - Caelainn Hogan

'The story of three happy-go-lucky young girls who fell in love and happened to become pregnant before they stood at the altar. This, from the eyes of a sex-obsessed Church, was a most heinous crime. Deirdre Finnerty skilfully brings us on their journeys, from the first stages of their pregnancies, to the desperation they faced, having no choice but to part with their babies. This book should be included in the school curriculum.'

 - Catherine Corless


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