Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage
Deirdre Finnerty is an award-winning journalist for the BBC, specialising in international news. She started her career in the BBC World Service, and has worked in the BBC’s Brussels, Washington and Westminster bureaux. Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage is her first book and the project won the Society of Authors Antonia Fraser Award in 2020. Originally from County Mayo, she now lives and works in London.
‘I read Bessborough in one sitting, veering from fury to devastation within a matter of pages. A vitally important book.’ Louise O’Neill
For over seventy years, Bessborough House, a grand country mansion on the outskirts of Cork city, operated as one of Ireland’s biggest mother and baby institutions. Women and girls who walked up its stone steps were warned never to reveal their true identities and gave birth to babies they would not be allowed to keep.
In Bessborough: Three Women. Three Decades. Three Stories of Courage, a trio of remarkable women confined there in the 60s, 70s and 80s, tell their truths. Their vivid accounts take us right inside the walls of the secretive institution and give us a deep insight into how their experiences impacted their lives afterwards.
The result is a stark portrait of a system that split families apart — and a moving account of love, loss and reconnection.
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