Irish women in London reveal their deepest secrets in eye-opening new book
Life & Style

Irish women in London reveal their deepest secrets in eye-opening new book

IRISH women have revealed their deepest secrets for a new book, Cailiní Secret, a group art project by Irish women in London to promote positive mental health. 

The book and Cailiní Secret project, both inspired by the American secret blog PostSecret, invited Irish women in the capital to share their secret anonymously and confess anything, from regret, betrayal, desire or a childhood memory.

The only rule for the secret was that it had to be true.

Over eight weeks the Cailiní Secret team distributed 2,000 blank postcards to Irish women, and according to the group, "the ensuing events were beautiful and humbling.

"Slowly at first, secret by secret, the postcards were returned to us. On each one a personal confession was scribbled; a hidden truth, concealed until this moment."

Advertisement

The book, which is available here, contains 76 secrets and aims to promote positive mental health amongst Irish women.

"The project grew out of research in Camden that found that Irish women were less likely to access mental health services than other groups, or at least not until they reached crisis point," a spokeswoman for the team said.

"This rang true with us Irish women involved in the project - we recognised through our own experience that desire not to make a fuss or 'bother' other people with our problems.

"So we wanted to develop a resource for Irish women in London, to help them realise that they weren't alone in their feelings, and that there should be no shame in seeking help - and Cailiní Secret is what we came up with!"

The project and book were made in collaboration with Camden Mental Health and Wellbeing Club and Camden CCG. You can find out more about Cailiní Secret here. 

Check out some of the secrets from the Cailiní Secret book below... 

"I'm a 70 year old woman but in my heart I am still a girl. Have suffered abuse all my life but that is done with now. I now have everything, health, love of my children and grandchildren. I love been [sic] a woman, all I know now is love." 

Advertisement

secret-1 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I feel really unhinged from the world. I think I need to go home!" 

secrets4 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"Sometimes I think I am too proud to tell my family if I am not ok. This is happening right now. It's the Irish in me." 

Advertisement
secrets13 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I ran away from the nuns when I was 16. Me and a friend stowed away on a boat to London. We were caught. It turns out the boat was headed to Russia. Luckily they turned back and left us in Scotland." 

secrets10 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I know he's not the one. I said yes anyway. I don't want to be alone." 

secrets5 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)
Advertisement

"My mother, at 86 years, told me I had a half sister illegally adopted. She wanted to say sorry. She was in Ireland in a Home. Mum died three months later. I found her! She was adopted to the USA. I went there. I went to her front door. She never let me in. I had to give gifts to neighbours. Since then, I dream about doors." 

secrets9 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"When I was 13 years old, I was raped."

secrets14 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I wish I had told my husband I loved him, too late now he is dead four months now. I wish he was here with me now but it's too late!" 

Advertisement

secrets11 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I have always wanted to be a famous singer since I was 5 or 6 years old. I'm now over 70."

secrets6 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"35 years ago I lost my son. But I hope to be reunited in the near future." 

Advertisement
secrets15 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I want to be a mother but I'm worried it won't happen." 

secrets3 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"I have never had sex... Sober."

secrets16 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)
Advertisement

"I was in a convent in Good Shepherd Limerick. I'll never forget the time I was locked in a furnace, my hair was cut. I always tried to run away to be with my mum in Cork." 

secrets7 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"At 16 I was sexually assaulted."

secrets2 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"When I was 8 years old, I found out that my mother was actually my aunt. (I hated her for lying to me.)

Advertisement

secrets8 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)

"We have been dating for years. My parents still don't know I'm gay." 

secrets12 (Picture: Cailiní Secret)