The Story by Eamonn Corr:
hello,I was the victim of extreme, police incompetence, in Ireland, sadly, not one was dismissed are brought to account, for this…..
My name is Eamonn. My mum and dad met on a march, I think, for a united Ireland. It was ’79. They were both 29. My mother already had a boyfriend and a daughter, my sister, Jessica. She was ten when I was born, which was the 31st of October, 1980. My father is London-Irish. These days he is also an alcoholic. On my father’s side my Nan is from Kilkenny and my Grandad was from Clonmel, Tipperary. My Nan’s dad, my great-grandfather, was in the South Kilkenny Brigade of the I.R.A. and idolised Padraig Pearse. My grandfather, Albie Corr, fought in the Spanish Civil War against Franco and against Hitler in the Second World War.
On my mother’s side, my Grandad, Neil Kelly, was an Irish immigrant in Glasgow. He married Mary-Ann, my Gran, and they had six kids, all girls, in the order of Maria, Sarah, Ita, Elizabeth, Loreto and Sadie. My mother is Elizabeth.
My mother moved in to the garden flat in St. Johns Wood, the flat my father was born in and lives in to this day. My first twenty months on earth were spent in England. Sadie used to come around and help my Mum while my father finished his degree. I obviously remember none of this. Then we moved to the beautiful suburb of Sundays Well in the beautiful city of Cork, my real home. Before this they married in Marylebone Registry Office. There’s photos. I’m there. Don’t remember though. My first memories are of my mum and dad fighting. One of them was holding the other’s hand on the gearstick and my mother was crying. I think she was driving. They always argued. Twenty years later I found a letter from my mum to my dad from around this time. It was nice. Don’t get the wrong idea, though – he doesn’t know it’s there and if he did he’d probably wipe his arse with it.
I used to go up to the third floor of the house to Jessica in tears asking her if I could watch TV with her because they were fighting again. I’d curl up with her. I was her pet for a while. I loved her. She went to Ashton, a Prods’ school. Her dad is a Scottish Orangeman. She was conceived in a threesome and he married the other woman later. Jessica had issues. She was told. I wasn’t told by my father until I was about 21. Fair play to him for not telling me before that. There’s some things you just shouldn’t know about your mother. I wish he hadn’t told me at all. I remember my mother taking Jessica into the hall and giving her a beating. I remember that at least twice.
When I was five or so, I saw my father beating my mum. She came into my room in the middle of the night to sleep with me. My dad came in in the morning.
‘I’m taking him to school’.
‘No. I’ll take him’.
‘Fuck off, bitch’.
There was a bookcase above the bed. It wasn’t on purpose but in the struggle the bookcase fell on her. He then brought me to the bathroom. She quickly followed. She was thrown down twelve steps for her trouble. She called out to me. ‘Eamonn, Eamonn’.
I joined the Model School in Angelsea Street in ’85, I suppose. An Modh school. The oldest Irish-speaking school in Cork. The school struggled for numbers. For some years it was three years to one teacher. When I did leave I was impossibly behind at my new school.
I became a tug-of-love child. My father would invite me canooing and my mother invited me to the beach for the same day. I wanted to go canooing with all my heart but I chose the beach. We went on a windy day. No-one there, not even Jessica. I amused myself for the most part of the day. I looked up at her, disappointment with the day in my eyes. She was wearing sunglasses. She just gave a soft smile. I was glad she was happy. I couldn’t see then that it was done more out of spite for him than love for me. I’d learn.
My dad got me a puppy, a tiny little thing. Then, around ’86 my dad brought a friend around with him called Dan Shaughnessy. He used to stand up in front of the fireplace to warm his fat arse. One day, after my dad had left, my mother was bed-ridden with depression and who comes in the door but Dan. Many times after, she told of how he instantly cured her by taking her to a wonderful special place and told her of fairies and whatnot. The first couple of times I met him he was overly friendly and very funny to my six year-old brain. My mother and father’s marriage was well and truly over by now.
Dan was coming around to our house a lot more. There was a court case to decide who got custody of me. My grandparents came to the court, her parents. Before the case was called for court, I was mimicking my father’s walk, he was pacing further up. Every time he took a pull of his roll-up, I’d take a sip of my pop. My mother told me to stop. The fat judge put me and Jessica in his chambers. We played with two-pences and pennies. He strolled in gravely after a long time and said, ‘Who do you want to live with, Eamonn, your mummy or your daddy?’ Memories of the beach flashed through my mind. My dad was given custody on weekends or something like that and my mother got the house in Sundays Well.
Dan was beginning to do weird things. When I was in the bath he’d come in and pretend to pour bleach in the tub. He really enjoyed me being scared. My mum came in and hit him with a toy sword. The incident didn’t really concern me but when I mentioned it to my Dad it concerned him that Dan had access to me bathing. He took me to see a social worker called Colm Doherty. I related four or five bizarre things to him. I went home to my mother and Dan that night to the words ‘We’re gonna get you’. They got the day’s events out of me. Over the next six years I was never let to forget those words. The puppy my dad had got me was put down for ‘biting a baby’.
Whenever there was a court case for custody, I was sent to hide at my sister’s flat or with Dan’s wife and kids. If the outcome was in my mum’s favour I’d get a bag of sweets. My mother was gonna win. If she lost, she’d appeal and appeal and at the end of the day she simply wouldn’t hand me back. My dad was beginning to fade from memory. They were replacing him with ‘Martin’. One day on the South Mall, me and my mother were looking in the window of a shop and my dad, ever the lad, strolled up behind us smiling and licking an ice-cream. I pulled my mother’s hand to leave, but it was too late. My father was chased down the richest street in Europe being called every name under the sun: ‘wife-beater, child-abuser, pervert, bastard, monster’. Young people were laughing at her. The ice-cream was gone. Gardai came and kept them at street length from one another. I was so ashamed.
I was taken to see a psychologist in Cork. I found his report years later. He called me a lonely unhappy child who blinked a lot. For some reason he stated that I had not been ‘sexualised’.
One weekend my dad came to collect me, we were walking down the front steps to my dad’s old banger.
‘Don’t forget to have him back at so-and-so o’clock’.
‘Fuck off, whore’.
‘so-and-so o’clock’, antagonising.
I’d never heard language like it before. Could we not just get in the car and go? My dad started the ignition, thank God. Suddenly I felt the car thud and then I heard my mum crying. My dad had jammed her left leg between his car and another.
Neighbours started coming out to look. I was screaming at my dad and pulling his hair from the back seat. He was panicking. I don’t think it was intentional. The man who was renting the third floor flat my dad had built at our house came downstairs and without looking at anyone walked over to the shop. I knew he was going to phone the Gardai. The lady who owned McGregor’s shop, my best friend Iain’s auntie, came over to the car and smiled at me. I don’t remember leaving my mother like that. I don’t remember doing it, but I did. Maybe she’d got free.
The time my Mum was thrown down those stairs by my dad, I had been put into the car in my pyjamas and we drove to Cobh. My dad told me to make sure nobody was following. I think he’d been given a friend’s house for a week or so. We’d probably go fishing and all sorts. A couple of days later I was in the Cork Examiner paper under a ‘kidnapped’ headline. My old man was inconsolable as he realised what the repercussions in the courts would be. His friend Jim Lane drove us back to hand me over as it were.
‘Just say to her “I’m sorry and I’ll call on the weekend to take Eamonn to the funfair” ‘.
‘but she’ll only…’
‘Just say it, Martin. What else can you do? What else can you do? Y’allright Eamonn, boy?’
We got to the front door. My dad rang the bell. My mum answered.
‘Eamonn!’ she gasped with happiness.
‘I’m sorry, I’ll call o’.
She slammed the door in his face. Jessica was happy I was back. I was happy to be back in my own bed. I felt loved.
In the Model School we learned all about Jesus and the twelve disciples. Any boy that said they wanted to be a priest was encouraged. I left Neenam Mora (Higher Infants) in ‘ 86 and made my First Holy Communion in 1987.
The school was massive and falling apart with leaking roofs in many areas. My mum had wars with the headmaster. She even taught Music after school for a bit. The other kids liked me a lot. I was the class comedian, but I could fight as well. As regards Maths, English and Irish, I have no idea as to whether or not I was a good student because the only thing those old Irish ladies taught us about was God. I loved Jesus so I suppose that made me a good pupil.
My mum would pressurise me to tell her where my dad’s new flat was. I claimed not to know for ages. My mother gave me the silent treatment for nearly 24 hours so I eventually showed her. 63 Grattan Hill.
One day just after school my Mum and Dan drove me to what I now recognise as Ballincollig Weirs. They pointed at all the happy families and smiling children. They said I wouldn’t be one of them because they were gonna turn the old third floor flat into a prison for me because they knew Martin had done certain things to me and they were sure as hell gonna find out what it was. We drove back along the Lee Road in silence. What they had said made no sense whatsoever. Fuck them. It’ll blow over.
Once my Mum and me, Dan and his four kids, Ciara, Tommy, Dermott and Orla, were taken to see Forty Coats at the Everyman Theater. When it finished and we got outside I could see Dan hold up two fingers and then one middle finger at a figure down the road. I looked and it was my Dad. A fight ensued and Dan duly took a hammering. Something he later claimed to have done on purpose. We all went down to the Bridewell Garda station like a pack of knackers with Dan dripping blood as he put in a rat’s charge.
Jessica let us back in at home. She didn’t notice the bruises. My dad was continuing his own demise as regards custody. I hadn’t seen him for three or four months.
One day, I was playing with Iain. We were on our tricycles. Jessica was calling me over from the other side of the road. She had her bag and was crying. She was leaving.
‘Be good for Mum’.
I went to tell my mum. She was crying.
I begged her to do something but she didn’t. I peddled furiously after Jessica and caught her before the shaky bridge.
‘She said to come back’.
But it was no good. My sister was going and I was alone with those two perverts.
I made my First Communion in May. I looked very sad in the photos. It had started by then, at first getting lots of biscuits and sweets. Like most kids, I had a sweet tooth. Then she began to beat me saying that my father had sexually abused me and that I had better tell them. Slowly but surely, a devil’s story was woven too depraved to recall in much detail. I got the clear impression they wanted me to say there were others as well so I said there were other men as well.
Once, when they were trying to get this story out of me, Dan tried and succeeded in getting my permission to hit me. He said, ‘the only reason you won’t remember, is because you’ve been programmed not to. I can help you. You must let me.’ He took me into the bathroom and I nodded my consent as streams of tears came down my face. I was very confused and believed him. He then started slapping me across my face.
One day they made me snap and I turned around and said that no such things had happened and I wouldn’t say it again. I was expecting a beating. That day I had lost one of my baby teeth. My mum turned around to me and said,
‘Well, if he didn’t abuse you and you’re telling the truth, then the tooth fairy will come. But if you’re lying, then he won’t’.
As I knew I was telling the truth this sounded more than fair to me and I agreed happily. That night as I got ready for bed I was content. My dog, Bran, was dragging her chain around chasing a bee. It was still daylight. Tomorrow the last couple of months of madness would be over.
My mother woke me early for school. I immediately checked under the pillow. There was no money there. My heart smashed to the ground. She was right. I had been sexually abused by Martin.
The story was perfected with more biscuits and sweets over the next couple of weeks. I now had four abusers in all for the story: my dad, my uncle Jimmy, and two others. I had to come up with faces for these two. The Fine Young Cannibals were in the charts with ‘She drives me crazy’ and I described one of my abusers with the looks of the lead singer. The other I said had grey hair and a red nose. I drew on real memories so as not to forget. I had seen my dad with a man who looked like that. They took me out in the car to look for them.
‘Is that him?’
‘Is that him?’
‘Is that him?’
That summer I was running out the door to play at Iain’s. She called me back.
‘Eamonn, did Martin have a name for his games?’
‘Like Jockey or Horsey?’
‘OK, have fun’.
Dan got rid of the third floor flat my dad had built. In place of it, and foregoing the thirty quid rent, they set up a publishing firm. The ‘firm’ consisted of my mum manically typing her way through mountains of his backdated ‘poems’ and ‘books’ and ‘songs’. Never paid. Ever. The conversion of the flat to an office had transpired because my mum had got in a fight with the woman who was in the flat and the offices Dan had rented on Cork’s Patrick Street now had to be vacated. He had a workforce of two young women, plus my mother. One of the young ones used to come and collect me from school. More often than not she’d have a Kinder surprise for me. One day my Kinder surprise gift wasn’t there. The next day she was in the offices with her mum arguing with Dan about getting paid. I felt bad for her. I hope she got something out of the cunt.
Dan didn’t have any male friends. His acquaintances were all strange messed-up women like my mum,. He doesn’t drink, he has teeth sticking out all over the shop. Fat. He talked and talked and talked. I found out later that this is what a lot of psychopaths do, sucking your brain out, as it were. And his personal hygiene left a lot to be desired.
With many thanks to: Niall Ó Maitiú – Forbiddenlaw policing the police.