Evelyn: Changing The Law In Ireland - THE REST of the STORY

THE REST of the STORY (Illustration) Civil Rights Film Geography History Trials Tragedies and Triumphs Law and Politics

Desmond Doyle, later in life.  Online, courtesy Evelyn Doyle.  PD


Now that her book is an international bestseller, and her life is the subject of a major motion picture, Evelyn Doyle has a platform to talk about her father's incredible fight for his children. She has also participated in press conferences regarding the film's release and has posed with the young actress, Sophie Vavasseur, who portrays her on screen.

Evelyn, who currently lives in Scotland, has a son and grandson. Her father is no longer alive. He once employed Brendan Behan as a painter, before Behan became a famous writer.

After Des sent him home (because Behan was drunk), the future author brought a gun to work. His plan was to shoot Doyle. Never able to get past his alcoholism, Behan died in 1964. He was only forty-one. TJ Conolly, on the other hand, enjoyed a long life. Born in 1902, he lived until 1992.

Tea and Green Ribbons ends as Evelyn is released from the High Park convent. Her book on the rest of the story, Nothing Green, was released in August, 2003.

Controversy over Irish industrial schools continues, including the St. Mary High Park Convent School where Evelyn Doyle lived for nearly two years. "The Industrial School Act" dates back to 1857 and was originally envisioned as a place where destitute children could avoid the workhouses. As Jane Barnes notes on page 147 of her book, Irish Industrial Schools (1868-1908):

...industrial schools represented an advance in the care of destitute, orphaned and neglected children. Before their establishment no state provision was available to this class of children other than the dubious sanctuary of the workhouse.

But industrial schools, although places of sanctuary for some children, became homes of horror for others. A "Bill to Redress the Wrongs Committed at the Industrial Schools" is just a part of Ireland's national effort to help impacted people heal.  A commission was also appointed (in 2000) to study what happened.

In May of 2009, the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse issued its report.  Finding many serious problems, including abuse, the five-volume study nonetheless outraged people who were harmed at the schools.  Criminal charges will not be filed against anyone, and no claims for damages will be allowed. 

It was, said the victims, as though the whole inquiry into the abuse of justice had been "white-washed." 

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jan 17, 2016

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