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"The Lock Up: 13-year-old Bridget from Falcarragh, raped, starved, beaten..."


Salmon poet Anne Casey writes in The Irish Times about how Irish girls at Australia’s 19th-century Newcastle Industrial School suffered horrific abuse.

Read the article here: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/the-lock-up-13-year-old-bridget-from-falcarragh-raped-starved-beaten-1.3087940


Originally from Co Clare, Anne Casey is a writer living in Australia. Her debut poetry collection will be published by Salmon Poetry in June. The Stitched Up exhibition runs from June 23rd to August 6th at The Lock-Up in Newcastle, Australia with plans to exhibit in Ireland next year. See thelockup.org.au. The following poem by Anne Casey features in the voiceover for the exhibition.

What’s in a name?

Another hand-me-down bestowed
Already tattered and torn
This title to which I was born
Already stained with the same
Indelible shadow of shame
As the smoke-blackened room
That swallowed me
Out of the womb

This cast-off of cast-outs
A caste apart
Enshrouded in doubt
This first ‘gift’ granted
First marker, moniker, brand
Last link to a lost land
First claim, first link in the chain
First tie to a life pre-ordained

What’s in a name
That should hallmark me
Anchored to a counter-weighted history
What if . . . I could file it away
Claw, scratch and scrape
Unknot this monogrammed cape
Cast it back into the street
Would I be at once released

Uncuffed, unbranded, reprieved
Unchristened, unborn preconceived?