Eddie Linden’s obituary

His rejection was at the hands of the Catholic Church, and a deeply patriarchal society

Sir, – In the tribute to poet and editor Eddie Linden on Saturday (Obituaries, December 9th), the writer says: “With this new marriage, a lifelong odyssey of rejection, longing and seeking to belong began. After a spell in a Sisters of Charity orphanage (his birth mother having refused to take him a second time)...”

In truth it was the Catholic Church and the patriarchal system that sundered Eddie from his mother.

She loved him and wanted to keep him but, as an “unmarried mother”, she was forced to give him up.

When Eddie’s (new) stepmother landed him back on his mother’s doorstep aged six, again his mother desperately wanted to take him, but the widowed man she had recently married, who had three children of his own, refused to raise “another man’s son”.


His mum visited him every week when he was in the orphanage.

It was only when he was brought to her funeral six years later that he was told that “Aunt Bessie” wasn’t his aunt. She was his mum.

The terrible “lifelong, odyssey of rejection” was not at the hands of his mother but at the hands of the Catholic Church, and a deeply patriarchal society.

Rest in peace Eddie, and Eddie’s mum. – Yours, etc


Dublin 6.