This documentary, Behind the Walls, is about Irish mental hospitals/insane asylums in the 1950s and 60s. At one point, there were 25 total mental hospitals throughout Ireland, all being very crowded. Ireland also had the most mental hospitals in comparison to the population than any other country. Experts now believe that this was not because Ireland had a high amount of mentally ill, but because Ireland was influenced and concerned about them. People would go in and never come out, like one woman referred to as Hannah. Hannah had experienced some of the bombing during World War II and was traumatized by it. Her mother lied about where they were going, and Hannah was forced to be locked up in the Dublin mental hospital. Patients were often forgotten about by their family and by society. The patients, referred to as lunatics, were treated terribly, "like wild animals". Reports were made that the hospitals were overcrowded, had unsanitary conditions, uncomfortable, and carried diseases. Historians revealed a list of people admitted, and reason for insanity. A few listed were disappointed ambition, fright, and even "husband in California".
The Menninger Clinic is one of the best impatient psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Some things they treat are severe mood, personality, anxiety, and addictive disorders. They have programs for adults and adolescents, inpatient and outpatient programs. The Menninger Mission is Excellence, Teamwork, Hope, Integrity, and Caring. Patients deal with issues ranging from depression to substance abuse to eating disorders to thought disorders. They only hire the top doctors, nurses, and psychologists. On their website, The Menninger Clinic has a virtual tour of their inpatient facilities. The grounds are beautiful, they provide roomy bedrooms, and everything is spacious. They even picture a big cafeteria with chefs and a saltwater pool with lounge chairs!
Ireland is known to be a very beautiful country, with rolling green hills and cliffs. In the west, Gaelic is spoken, but English is spoken for pretty much the rest of the country. The weather is usually mild, but it rains often. This is a peaceful country, and a tourist favorite. It is very diverse- there are cities, like Dublin that have many attractions, but also rolling country sides, toward the western coast of the country that live simpler lives.
In the 16th century, King Henry VII of England separated from the Catholic Church, creating a new church- the Church of England. The revolt formed Protestantism. Ireland was controlled by England since the 12th century, so King Henry VII forced Protestantism into Ireland. As he forced Protestantism to Ireland, the beginning of the four century long Catholic rebellion started. In the 17th century, more and more Protestants came to Ireland (specifically, Ulster) and they violently drove Catholics away, taking over their farm land and resorting the Catholics to lower jobs with little pay. In 1949, Ireland separated into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The majority of Northern Ireland was Protestant and the majority of Ireland was Catholic. Although there was a separation, there was clearly still a struggle between the two conflicting religions. Each minority feared and distrusted the majority of the region. “The resulting prejudice against one another led to segregation in all areas of society through time. No longer was Catholic versus Protestant a strictly religious conflict, but one that included economic, educational, and social discrimination. (Religious)".
Roseanne, from The Secret Scripture, was in a mental hospital for around fifty years. She was forced to go in when she was about fifty years old, and is nearing death as 100 years old. She doesn't remember specifically how she got there, or many things before living there. She randomly recalls various childhood events, but not exactly the whole picture. This picture is concerning; it scares me that people were kept in a locked place like this, when they just needed help. The look on all their faces is saddening, and it makes me wonder what happened to them.
This Countries and Their Cultures article, “Ireland” talks about many aspects of the Irish culture, but specifically, the religious aspect. Ireland guarantees freedom of religion, and there is no official Irish religion. The Republic of Ireland is almost completely (92%) Catholic. The rest of the population is The Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish, and other. The Catholic Church has four ecclesiastical provinces, while the Church of Ireland has 12 dioceses. 95% of the 312,00 Presbyterians live in Northern Ireland. Throughout Ireland, there are many Catholic holy places because Catholicism is the primary religion. An important one is in County Mayo where there was a reported apparition of Mary. There is a pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick associated with Saint Patrick. There are also many other holy places throughout the country, although they are not as specific.
In 1974, the Sellers family is transplanted from London to Sheffield in northern England. On the day they move in, the Glover household a...
Maggie James's insight:
I really am interested in reading this book. The Northern Clemency sounds like there's a lot of drama in it, which I love. I am interested to see what the main character does to deal with his father leaving him, while silmultaneously being new to an area.
As a young woman, Roseanne McNulty was one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland. Now, as her hundredth year...
Maggie James's insight:
The Secret Scripture is a book set in Sligo, Ireland, at various points in the 20th century. The main character, Roseanne, is 100 years old and in a mental hospital. The hospital needs to shut down and Dr. Grene (the primary psychiatrist) has to decide which patients are able to return to society and which aren’t. She reflects on her life experiences as a young girl and on her family, as he reflects on his life too. However, she is forgetful and doesn’t even remember when she got to the mental hospital, so the reader has to question the validity of her stories. The book just switches back and forth between narrators and time. The book's timeline ranges from her around the age of 15, and present times- when Roseanne is 100. She experiences life in 20th century Ireland- which includes political, social, and economical changes. Also, the Irish civil war happens and World War II (which surprisingly isn't brought up much). Roseanne is a Presbyterian- not a Catholic nor a Protestant. She experiences the hardships of being part of the minority.
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