We, the Sisters of Nazareth, aim to share the love of God through our ministries of care and education and our openness to respond to the needs of the times. Sisters of Nazareth have been supporting and caring for those in need at all stages of life. We do this by living our core values of love, compassion, patience, respect, justice and hospitality.
Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by numbers rather than their names, and many were allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, said Christine Smith QC, senior counsel for the inquiry.
Outlining the nature of the allegations, Smith told the inquiry that as well as making children eat vomit when they were ill, nuns used sticks, straps and kettle flexes to beat their young charges. The nuns removed Christmas presents from some children as punishments, Smith said.
She said those who had given testimony also accused the nuns of locking them in cupboards and threatening to transfer them to an adult mental hospital at Muckamore Abbey. in Co Antrim, if they did not conform.
Rather than sending the children to school, the Sisters of Nazareth sent them out to work on farms or in the home’s laundry, Smith said. She said allegations also included sexual abuse by older children, visiting priests, employees and in one instance a nun.
It could be just an anomaly, it could be all just rumour, and it could be all down to the Sisters not reading their own Mission Statement; but somehow, I tend to believe the poor bastards who were placed in those ‘sanctuaries of love, compassion, patience, respect, justice and hospitality’