Released on 13 August 2015.

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Sins of the Mother

A heartbreaking true story of a woman's struggle to escape her past and the price her family paid

and Jennifer Kelly

4.22 based on 646 ratings & 37 reviews on


Jennifer Kelly was a lonely child. At fifteen she was living with her Dublin-born parents Irene and Matt in Manchester. Irene was a recluse, shutting herself away for days at a time, crying non stop, and Jennifer started to dread going home. She knew nothing of her parents' past - until, one day, Irene had a phone call from Ireland that would change their lives forever.

A commission had been opened to investigate claims of abuse in Catholic-run industrial orphanages and for the first time Irene was forced to confront her terrible memories. Brought up in poverty, and half-starved, she was abused by her mother from an early age. When her mother was hospitalised, Irene was put in an industrial orphanage where she was treated with incredible cruelty, beaten and sexually abused. She became a wild teen, her life going nowhere, until she met Matt, a young man with his own demons. They moved to England but the pain was not so easily left behind. Sins of the Mother is a powerful and inspiring story of a family whose love was tested but never broken, who finally found the strength to heal the past.

In the media

Irene Kelly grew up in poverty, abused and neglected by her mother - but this was still far better than the torment she endured in one of Dublin's industrial orphanages. When Irene fell in love with Matt they escaped to England for a fresh start. Still haunted by inner demons, Irene hid her past from her daughter Jennifer, pushing her away until, one day, a phone call from Ireland changed everything. This original and powerful memoir demonstrates how the abuse of one child can send ripples through the generations, causing hurt and anguish. Told by Irene, Jennifer and Matt, this is an epic and stirring story which shows that it is possible to overcome the worst start in life. A beautiful, heartbreaking love story that will have you reaching for the hankies.
Sunday Mirror