Paddy Doyle's mother died from cancer in 1955. His father committed suicide shortly afterwards. Paddy was sentenced in an Irish district court to be detained in an industrial school for eleven years. He was four years old.
This award-winning bestseller is a moving and terrifying testament of the institutionalised Ireland of only thirty-five years ago, seen through the bewildered eyes of a child. During his detention, Paddy was viciously assaulted and sexually abused by the nuns charged to care for him, and within three years his experiences began to result in physical manifestations of trauma. He was taken one night to hospital and left there, never to see his custodians again. This period of his life, during which he was a constant witness to death, culminated in brain surgery at the age of ten - by which time he had become permanently disabled.
This is the remarkable true story of a survivor, told with an extraordinary lack of bitterness. In Paddy Doyle's own words: 'It is about a society's abdication of responsibility to a child. The fact that I was that child, and that the book is about my life, is largely irrelevant. The probability is that there were, and still are, thousands of "me"s.'show more