Nun admits beating children at orphanages in Scotland

(Wikimedia Commons/Robert Brown)The Nazareth House in Merseyside, North West England is featured in this image.

A nun has recently told a child abuse inquiry that she had beaten children who were deemed naughty when she had worked in orphanages in Scotland.

In a testimony before the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, the 77-year-old woman revealed that orphans at the Nazareth House in Aberdeen were often mistreated when she worked there.

The nun, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had admitted that she lost her temper "on some occasions." However, she said that she and the orphans were afraid of another nun.

She told the inquiry that the children who were deemed naughty would "get a smack. Probably on the legs or the bottom."

Colin MacAulay, senior counsel to the inquiry, brought up an accusation that the nun had punched a girl on the head and hit her with a hairbrush.

After the nun acknowledged the act, MacAulay went on to ask, "Do you accept then that you did seize hold of her by her hair and drag her around the corridor?" She replied, "Yes."

She also replied in the affirmative when asked if she had pushed a girl to the ground from a swing.

The nun, who also worked at the Nazareth House in Lasswade, Midlothian, also admitted to force-feeding a child. The inquiry was reportedly told that she forced an orphan to eat dolly mixtures after some sweets had disappeared.

"I always had dolly mixtures for the little ones. I went to get them and they were missing," the nun said, as reported by Premier.

"I just had a few, there wasn't enough. I said 'you might as well take the rest' and put them into her mouth," the nun continued.

She noted that the children at the orphanage in Aberdeen were often hit with a hairbrush by another nun, who was also responsible for punishing children for wetting their bed. She claimed that she had no part in humiliating the orphans who did.

"The children used to say they put the sheets on them but I never saw that. If it was one of sister's punishments, I never intervened. It was nasty, I thought it wasn't nice," she recounted, according to Premier.

Another nun, identified as Sister Bridget Cunningham, also claimed that she had not witnessed any humiliation or beatings for bedwetting.

The 76-year-old, who worked at the Nazareth House in Aberdeen between 1963 and 1964, told the inquiry that the children at the orphanage were not "the type that would want you to be hugging (them)." "They were quite aloof and they had their own problems," she added, as reported by BBC.

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