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About the book
  • Published: 30 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9781473503984
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

Fear of the Collar

The True Story of the Boy They Couldn't Break




A shocking and frank account of the abuse and cruelty faced by one Irish boy under the protection of the Christian Brothers.

Sent to an Industrial School in Dublin at the age of seven, Patrick Touher was forced into a tough regime of education and training, prayer and punishment, strict discipline and fearful nights. No allowances were made for emotion, sentiment or boyhood worries, and anyone who disturbed the routine was severely punished. Artane demanded absolute obedience, absolute submission; Patrick's was an education in cruelty and fear.

Patrick Touher spent eight long years in Artane Industrial School. Run by the Christian Brothers, the school has become synonymous with the widespread abuse of children in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s which is currently the subject of an official inquiry.

This is the inside story of a childhood lived in the most horrific of circumstances. A moving and powerful true account, Fear of the Collar bears testament to the courage and determination of the children that society forgot.

  • Pub date: 30 September 2014
  • ISBN: 9781473503984
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the Author

Patrick Touher

An orphan, Patrick Touher spent his early years in a foster family before being sent to Artane Industrial School in Dublin at the age of seven. Living there from 1950 to 1958, he was trained as a baker confectioner and went into this trade on leaving at sixteen. He spent the 1960s and 70s travelling, and in 1972 he married his late wife Pauline and they had three children together.

Also by Patrick Touher

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Praise for Fear of the Collar

“Touher's story powerfully discloses the pain of being without secure moorings in life ... his account of the regime of the Irish Christian Brothers is an important one”

Irish Times

“It is a book of survival, of hardship, but also of friendships and solidarity despite the oppressive regime all the Artane Boys suffered in a society not willing or able to see its own faults”

Fingal Independent

“A story ... which must be neither hidden nor forgotten”

Leinster Leader

“Gripping in its honest and no-holds-barred account of one boy's sometimes tortuous trek through the grey underworld of Dublin's industrial school life during the 1950s”

Northside People


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