Sunday 24 September 2017

Woman felt 'isolated' growing up after snubs by local schools

Marie McCabe with her father Gay McCabe. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Marie McCabe with her father Gay McCabe. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Chai Brady

A woman who was in State care for 14 years has spoken about the "isolation" she felt when she was turned away from her local schools.

Marie McCabe (21) was adopted by her foster father the day before she turned 18, and lives with him in Knocklyon, Dublin.

Ms McCabe was moved to five different places when she was younger until finally finding more permanent residence with her foster family.

"If you've only just settled into your area and you don't have the option of going to the local school, it basically means your school friends - which is what you need as a teen - won't be close to you," she said.

Alone

"In your summer months, you're spending three months pretty much on your own."

She said that her secondary school was brilliant, but found it difficult to make friends especially because no one lived in her area.

"Your school days are meant to be the best days of your life, everyone says it, but that's the social aspect, it's the friends you make," she said.

"If you're a foster child you can be moved at any stage - it's always hanging over you."

Ms McCabe attended clubs when she was younger but said it was difficult to see friends that weren't in her school as she grew up.

She said this made it very hard for her to integrate.

Irish Independent

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