The Society of Survivors (SOS) has been set up by survivors Terri Harrison and Cllr Francis Timmons. Recently, Senator Francis Black and Mayor Ed O’Brien launched the service which will be located in Bawnogue Youth and Community Centre in Clondalkin. The service is sponsored by KN Circet for the first year in partnership with South Dublin County Partnership and South Dublin County Council.
Senator Frances Black who helped launch the helpline commented ‘’We must listen to survivors, to what they have to say and to the trauma that they lived through. Society of Survivors will be a great service for those who need to be listened to, we should always listen to Survivors’’
Local Clondalkin Councillor Francis Timmons said ‘’As children a lot of survivors firstly thought no one would listen and secondly that no one would believe them. I hope SOS can be a listening service that will listen and support survivors. The recent media coverage concerning files has brought up a lot of issues for a lot of Survivors so this is very timely, our hope is that it will evolve into an outreach service along with the phone line post Covid.”
Cllr Francis Timmons added ‘’Myself and Terri feel this service will be of benefit to all those who are survivors of church and state abuse. Whatever Institution people have survived we share a history of a dark time, there are 57,000 survivors in Ireland each with their own story of survival and many looking for answers. The effect on survivor’s has led to generational effects.”
Terri Harrison co-founder of the helpline ‘’In beginning this journey of reaching out to all those who have suffered so much for so long, I hope our aims and ethos of pure respect for each other will in some way help so many to finally heal. In my own trauma, I know years of silence, grief, hidden, except for a handful of people who gave a non-judgemental audience has hurt me further. How can you explain being abducted? (from the UK) your baby son taken; a pile of clothes left in his empty cot. How could you prove he ever was? “you’ll never be his Mother” voices of the past stay with me to this very day. Why will no one believe us? Through reaching out we can hear each other, support each other even though our society sick as it was back then, has never really looked to heal its own sickness, by ignoring the cure “Truth”. Transparency and above all to ask us all to forgive them, all who have known our truth for years and deny our true healing. For ensuring crimes of humanity were transferred to a political arena, in which I have over the last 27 years gone through Minister after Minister all making promises yet not a single one could bring our history of criminology into a court of law. This speaks volumes of their need to hide, bury, deny and ignore a true gender injustice and above all an inhumane approach to all the mothers their children, their grandchildren, and so it will go on and on.‘’
Terri Harrison concluded “May our Living Bereavement of all our different losses through abuse, finally be acknowledged, and supported with help for all those in our living Library”
For further information email Info@survivors.ie
The helpline will be active from the 30th of November on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 6:30pm – 8:30pm each evening. The helpline numbers are 0858069925 and 0858069926.
Pictured in main image L-R Senator Frances Black, Cllr. Francis Timmons, Mayor Ed O’Brien and Terri Harrison