Chilling, passionate and unflinching, this is the story of how one boy survived the terrors of Ireland’s notorious institutions and made a real life for himself.
‘Which of us do you prefer?’
As a baby, Michael Clemenger was handed over to the unloving care of a religious-run children’s home. Aged eight, he was transferred to St Joseph’s Industrial School in Tralee, Co. Kerry.
Chosen as their ‘favourite’ by two Christian Brothers, Michael endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of both men. Brother Price would strike at night, while Brother Roberts took his pleasure in a weekly bathtime ritual. And even their ‘protection’ did not save the boy from merciless beatings at the hands of other sadistic Brothers in the notorious institution.
Despite the unbelievable trauma of his early life, Michael emerged unbroken, determined to make something of himself, and also to find the mother he had never known.
A story of remarkable spirit and courage, set against a background of the prejudices and neglect of Irish society in the 1960s.
'a gripping memoir'
'a gripping account that gives disturbing insight into the hypocrisy of a sordid side of Irish life'
'Michael Clemenger’s story is of survival in depraved and horrific circumstances'
'though a harrowing read, the book is ultimately uplifting'
'despite its grim subject matter, Holy Terrors is an uplifting read'