Termonbacca resident praises care he received at the home
‘Everyone needs to belong somewhere and the sisters filled that gap’
A former resident of Termonbacca boys’ home in Derry has given a positive account of his time there, praising the Sisters of Nazareth who ran the institution.
Giving evidence to the Historical Abuse Inquiry, he had stayed at the home as of the 1950s and said food, lodgings and the system of care were basic, but good.
He admitted some older boys did hit younger residents, and nuns did sometimes give those who misbehaved a “warm ear”. But he insisted this was how things were at that time.
Food was simple but acceptable, and a little Jeyes Fluid was added to baths. But in no way was it an awful experience, he said, adding it was as good as possible given the fact so few nuns were caring for more than 70 boys.
He denied boys who wet the bed were ritually humiliated by nuns or anyone else.
Work on the Termonbacca farm, the cleaning regime at the weekend and other chores were all reasonable and acceptable, he added.
The witness also said boys were not sent to Australia unless this was agreed to by their families.
Asked by junior counsel to the inquiry, Joseph Aiken, whether it was a positive experience, the witness said it was.
He said he missed the home after he left. “I will always be grateful to the Nazareth Order, I’ll be honest with you,” he told the inquiry.
“I’ve no malice against anyone. Everyone needs to belong somewhere, and the sisters filled that gap.”
He said it was “an honour” to give testimony to the inquiry and said he found it sad that some boys had to tell the inquiry of negative experiences.
“You have to get on in life,” he said.