The Mirfield Blog

I suspect, some of the children that went through the Verona Father’s Junior Seminary at Mirfield, that are now adults, are thinking, how is it that abuse was allowed to take place at Mirfield – and more importantly why was it allowed to carry on?

I know, and a part of me understands, the feeling that some people think that the ‘Mirfield Memories Blog’ has run its course and it should be wound down.
However, I also know there are some ‘Mirfield Old Boys’ that, for the first time in their lives, have been able to speak about their abusive experiences at Mirfield. They have had the strength and courage to do this because of the blog – other people have written on the blog, and this has had a massive positive effect on them.

Their responses and experience may not have been written on the Mirfield Blog, however, the blog has been a catalyst for them – it has given them the courage and strength to talk and email others about their time at Mirfield.

They no longer feel alone. They do not believe that they were the only one’s abused – they now know that there were others. This knowledge gives them, perhaps for the first time in their lives, some sense of control in dealing with their abuse.

I think, a large number of ‘Mirfield Old Boys’ – the abused and the non abused – are trying to make sense of what took place at Mirfield, and because of that I believe that the Mirfield Blog, at least for the time being has a purpose to serve.
Write on the blog If you have any thoughts or experiences – it can only help.


12 responses to “The Mirfield Blog

  1. Hi Mark, please don’t have this blog wound down. More people than you know read it, and perhaps one day will find the courage to speak out

    • Even though, fewer people are now writing on the blog, it is reassuring to know that it is still being read, and people are finding support and encouragement from it.

  2. Hi Mark,
    I remember you and your brother from Mirfield.
    I have two “snapshots” of you in my head from that time.
    One is of you being teased in the changing rooms at Spenborough baths and the other one is being near you, with a few others(I think you were sitting on your bed) asking why you were upset because you were pulling at your hair.
    As i remember you didnt,say anything and then you were left alone by us.
    Even though i was not taken advantage of in that way like you, and cant,t imagine what it must be like to have lived with those memories for all these years and to have them accompany me for decades,I wish you peace of mind.
    Please excuse my long sentences but I have lived in Berlin since before the wall came down and the German language is renouned for them. and you pick things up you know?

  3. Some people will never come to terms with what happened to them at the hands of priests at the Comboni Father’s seminary at Mirfield, as a result they will never be able to talk about their traumatic experiences there.

    Some people only have good and happy memories of their time at Mirfield – it is unfortunate that those happy times are now blighted by the abuse that happened to others.

    I have some happy memories of Mirfield, and despite what happened there, it would be good to read some happy memories from other people.



  4. After reading the Sunday mail yesterday, I’d like to congratulate all of the victims for having the strength and courage to come forward and I’d also like to offer my sympathy to the ‘good’ Verona fathers who will be ashamed about this…I hope strength in numbers help other victims speak out

  5. I have just seen this blog for the first time tonight and I am absolutely staggered.!
    I thought I had being going insane since 1966! My life has been hell because of the verona fathers sexually abusing me back then. This is the biggest night of my life. I have been through alcoholism, 14 years sober now though, and drug addiction.
    It completely change my physiology, PTSD for 50 years, that’s a lot of adrenaline.
    I am now going to pursue this to the end. Everything makes sense. This could not come at a better time as I have recently got sex abuse counselling lined up this year.

  6. I want firstly to point Chris in the direction to some of my posts for examples of positive memories and to encourage other MOBs to do the same.

    I also want to post a news item – bad news, it seems. Those of you who were at the 2009 re-union will remember a very youthful Aidan Donovan in full voice when we sang in the New Inn at Roberttown. I’ve just learned from a conversation with Eamon Crowe that Aidan is very ill, and is in a hospice.

    Eamon also told me about the media breaking the story, as is the subject of some of the comments posted above. One of the Yorkshire papers has just broken the story.

    I was involved in providing some testimony for one of the legal cases being taken to the courts in London and I am glad that although the mills of justice grind exceedingly slow, something good might come out of this.

    My heart is touched by Anthony Smith’s tale of woe. I truly hope you will find the support you need for the wounds to heal.

    Finally, I want to echo the plea made by Annon regarding this blog. It’s a place where I feel I can go for a bit of peace, like an old garden shed, and remember that I was once a boy, like you all were.

    Love to you all.

    • Aidan, was in the year below me, and, like you Martin, I have fond memories of him during the 2009 re-union. I, also, remember when he was appointed head prefect when he was in year 5 – the younger boys saw him, not only as the cool, sophisticated and snappy dresser, that he was, but also, as a fair and approachable prefect.
      Do you know which hospice he is in?

      It is reassuring to know that people, for various reasons, want to keep the blog open. I know it has been useful in all sorts of ways, more often than not, as a means to help those who were abused at Mirfield to ‘come together’ and use it as a way of finding justice and inner peace.

      Martin, it is comforting and encouraging to know, that the blog is also being, used as a means of remembering the happier times that one may have of their childhood at Mirfield.

      Best wishes to all,


  7. A note to recognize a great victory for the underdogs – the families of those who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough – and to praise Tony Edwards. I was so moved and proud to see one of our number properly acknowledged for his response on the day, and for his steadfast support of the families over the years. You are a decent and brave man, Tony and I know you have suffered. I wish you nothing but love and peace now. You are someone who really made a difference and hope that you can take comfort from that truth.

    Martin Millar (68-72)

  8. I was so busy mentally nit-picking half the school that I didn’t notice I was a pure bastard myself. Who am I to criticise? Apologies to all. Jackie Rooney.

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