Maureen Harte s earliest memory is of watching the woman she believed to be her mother walk away and abandon her to the care of the nuns at one of Ireland s notorious industrial schools. She was just three years old. She would remain in the orphanage until the age of sixteen, subjected to cruelty and neglect, and starved of love and affection. One of her closest friends was taken away to an asylum after her spirit was broken by repeated beatings and Maureen herself faced a constant battle against despair. It was an environment from which none would emerge unscathed. Throughout these tormented years, Maureen dreamt only of escape, and when she was contacted again by her mammy she believed all her dreams were about to come true. Life in the outside world brought its own challenges, however, and Maureen was thrown into turmoil when she discovered that the truth about her past was more murky than she had ever realised. Annie s Girl stands apart as a poignant testimony to the resilience of the human heart. This touching and evocative memoir is the incredible story of an illegitimate industrial school survivor s profound struggle to overcome a shame-filled past and solve the
Maureen Coppinger emigrated to Canada in 1955, where she married and raised three sons. She worked as a school secretary for 25 years before retiring in 1994 and now spends her leisure time as a volunteer for the Galway Association.