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Hermann Kelly's 'Kathy's Real Story' and Jersey

Richard Webster

"Kathy's Real Story" by Hermann Kelly

HERMANN KELLY'S new book, Kathy's Real Story: A Culture of False Allegations Exposed, has just been published in England. It is a fascinating exposée of one of the many bogus abuse memoirs under which the best-seller shelves of bookshops now groan.

In this case the 'false misery' book which Kelly exposes as a fraud is Kathy O'Beirne's Don't Ever Tell (published as Kathy's Story in Ireland), which has already sold almost half a million copies.

For more about the £24 million a year 'mis-lit' industry and about Herman Kelly's book, read Ed West's article, Mis lit: Is this the end for the misery memoir? in the Telegraph or Catherine Bennett's piece in the Observer, 'Oh no, not another psychopathic nun!'

These articles, which deal with one of the most extraordinary and troubling phenomena in our culture, are both well worth reading in full - and this includes the comments which have been left on Catherine Bennett's Observer piece which include a discussion of our culture's apparent need for 'torture pornography'.

For the main 'story' of Kelly's book, read Fiona Barton's article in the Daily Mail here. For Hermann Kelly's blog click here.

Towards the end of Kelly's book there is a fascinating and revealing section on alleged children's home murders which never in fact took place. The context here is the moral panic which took place over Ireland's industrial homes in 1999 in the wake of Mary Raftery's RTE documentary series States of Fear. But the story of the murders which never happened is directly relevant to Jersey.

For Kelly's account of the phantom murders alone his book is well worth buying.

Richard Webster,
10 May 2008

The Daily Mail story "Lies of Little Miss Misery"is here on this website