PB July-August 2023 July-August 2023 33
T
his is the real story of my brother
Christopher Smith.
Christy was born in Bessborough
Mother and Baby Home, Cork.
When he was six, a priest in the
town of New Market, County Cork gave orders for
my brother to be put into an Industrial School as
our mother, Eileen, had got pregnant with me. He
was raped before being put out to work for a local
farmer. My mother was eventually put in what
was then known as an asylum, a mental home. I
too was placed in an Industrial School. I didn’t
know Christy existed until I was 27 when
someone I was working with in a factory in Dublin
told me. Looking back, it was already far too late.
When my brother was 19 and had become
homeless the Garda had him too placed in a
mental home, after they found him on the
streets; and after three years I tracked him down
in a basement there. Christy had never had
another visitor. You can imagine the responsibility
on me. It never went away.
By Mary Smith
far advanced in both eyes. As I could not get him
into a hospital, I contacted Minister Micheál
Martin and my own TD, Eoin Ryan TD. With the
results, I had both of my brothers cataracts
removed.
Later, I found my brother was going to the toilet
a lot and told the sta. When I asked for my
brother to be admitted to hospital because he
was complaining with pains in his stomach this
was refused. There must have been an
explanation but if there was I never understood
it.
I asked them to call for an ambulance for my
brother which was refused. So I went to the
Medical Council and made a complaint for
medical malpractice but they found nothing. It
was around this time my brother collapsed.
I was so desperate, I started contacting a lot
of politicians, going to the papers and radio to
help to save my brother’s life as it seemed to me
he was being neglected.
My brother was then out in Cork University
Hospital. After he returned to St Stephen’s, my
brother was isolated and my visits were
Lest
we
forget
Church and State ruined
many lives, with their
prejudices and institutions,
including those of people
who survive
POLITICS
Christy had not been certified and at all times
it was maintained that his presence was
voluntarily which I found meaningless. He was
drugged out for diabetes, his mental problems
and later for kidney failure. In those first years
visiting him, I was often told to leave the hospital
for making a commotion and to leave “that man”,
being my brother, alone. I then showed them
both birth certificates of both me and my brother.
Three months later my brother was transferred
to St Stephen’s Hospital, Glanmire, Co. Cork.
I tried so hard to have my brother released but
they refused to allow him to be released
irrespective of the attempts I made. My brother
was drugged to the eyeballs and begged me to
have him released from there..
I frequently travelled from Dublin to Cork to
visit him. He was all I had in the world.
I attended Carthage Conlon, solicitor of 21
Parliament Street, Dublin 2, who arranged for my
brother to be made a ward of court.
On one of my visits I noticed Christy was going
blind. I asked the sta for an optician to examine
him. It was confirmed my brother had cataracts
The rel story of my lost brother, Christy,
nd me