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Ireland has been anxiously anticipating Pope Francis' upcoming visit, and this woman has something to say about it.

Helen McNamara recently shared a powerful testimony about her experience with the Catholic Church and titled it an “Open letter to Pope Francis”.

The aggrieved mother shared her journey from womb to womanhood, explaining that she had been born inside a religious institution in the village of Castlepollard in Co. Westmeath.

The woman was a 'nameless' baby when she was adopted by a loving family, who christened her 'Helen'.

Now a mum with a family of her own, she returned to her birthplace to seek answers about her biological mother. “Forty-seven years later, I went to the exact same address in Castlepollard,” Helen wrote.

Now owned by the state, she was led to the chapel nearby where an employee explained: “how things had worked in Castlepollard in the days of the nuns.”

Young women felt compelled to give up their babies to “wealthy Irish women and foreign people” or families simply wanting to provide a safe and loving home.

After hearing the hardship of women in this position, Helen completely understood when her own birth mother, Bridget, confessed that she never told a soul of her existence.

Bridget was too terrified to even consider meeting her grown daughter.

And Helen has some words to say about her mother's experience to not only Pope Francis but to those in attendance of his visit as well.

She dubbed the church’s acts “disgustingly shameful” and called for more than an apology: “I just wonder what good an apology from you is to the thousands of victims of the institution of the Catholic Church.”

Helen calls out Pope Francis for his €30 million, all-expenses-paid visit to Dublin and asks why the church, that she claims makes over €4 billion, cannot fund its own “publicity trip”.

The mum continues by shifting her focus to those who have obtained tickets to see the pope. She asks if the "half a million planning to attend" have forgotten about “the baby trafficking, the systemic demoralisation and shaming of women for doing something as natural as eating and breathing.

“Have they forgotten about the divide the behaviour and teachings of this church caused in our land, and most importantly, have the WOMEN attending this event, have they absolutely no soul at all.”

While Helen may be spot on naming the atrocious acts the Catholic Church has been accused of, not everyone agrees with her attack on the women planning to be present for his visit.

One commenter replied: “I do also believe Francis is a good man. Much has improved but more can be done including helping victims. The law must also step up to the mark in all of this.”

He argued that wanting to see the pope does not mean that people condone the church’s past actions.

Helen concluded her letter with a call to action, demanding that Pope Francis take action instead of merely apologising to the public.

“Why don’t you, Pope Francis, offer to fund counselling to the thousands and thousands of people who have been affected by the churches actions. We don’t need meaningless apologies [..]

“We need for you to help repair the damage done to the victims, and this is best done by counselling which can then hopefully help them to learn to forgive – both themselves and your church.”

Many have called Helen's bold letter a “nail on the absolute head” and “well said”.

Like Bridget, women and mums have been deeply affected by the horrific institutions and conditions for young girls during those times.

A few months ago in June, 230 Magdalene survivors travelled from all over the world for commemoration. The survivors were finally able to share their tragic experiences and start their process of healing as a community.

“We're being heard after all these years,” one woman said.

It is inspiring to see victims of clerical abuse, like those mentioned in Helen’s letter, band together, and start healing old wounds.

The pope’s visit has caused widespread controversy about the Catholic Church’s actions and its interwoven threads throughout the country’s past.

Helen’s words have moved many, contributing to heightened tension nationwide, especially as we wait to see how the public will react to Pope Francis’ arrival.


So, despite our constant jokes and straight up rejection, many men still seem to think it's perfectly ok to send women unsolicited intimate photos.

But as we know, that is not always the case. 

One woman has come up with a rather daring way to combat the problem – send the picture to their mother.

Like many woman, Rebecca McGregor was sick of being sent unwanted snaps from eager men, so much show that her Instagram bio now reads, “Do not ask for/send me nudes”.

And as one man recently found out, she was serious about her request.

After receiving a nude photograph from someone called Glenn on Snapchat, Rebecca took a screenshot of the conversation, found his mother on Facebook, and sent it to her, along with the message:

“Hey doll, I see you're listed at [sic] Glenn's mother? I think you need to have a chat with your son on how to approach women – see attached xx”

Now, we'll be the first to say that she could have gone about this a different way and perhaps contacting his mother wasn't completely necessary, but you've got to give it to her, the girl's got guts.

Rebecca then uploaded the picture to Facebook (again, not a great move), and the post now has over 4,000 reactions, 1,000 comments and 1,000 shares.

It seems many people assume Rebecca is asking to receive unwanted images because of her career as a lingerie photographer and boudoir model, but as we can see, this couldn't be further from the truth.

She then followed up with two more screenshots showing examples of the types of messages she is sent on a regular basis.

“Don’t complain when they get sent to your fam because you didn’t listen to me,” she wrote. 

“So the only other option I have left is to have your fam speak to you and educate if not re-educate you that when someone says NO it means NO.”

Of course, not everyone was on board with the in which Rebecca chose to teach this man a lesson. 

One user wrote,  "Glenn’s mum didn't deserve this, no one deserves this, and the condescending way you spoke to her was quite frankly disgusting."

And they've got a point to be fair. 

There are many lessons to be learned here:

No.1 – It's never cool to send someone an unwanted picture, especially when they've specifcially said no.

N0.2 – Sending said picture to someone's mother and posting it online to for the world to see, isn't much better. 


Poor Caroline Flack.

Not only is the end of her engagement being strewn across the press with seemingly EVERYONE having a say about it, but now the reason behind the split has been made public.

And it's not good.

While Caroline was reeling from the sudden break up, her new ex-fiance was sitting in a meeting with the producers of Celebs Go Dating. Unbelievable. 

According to The Mirror, just one day after they parted ways, she posted to her Facebook page calling out Andrew for his shady behaviour.

She wrote, ''when you find out your fiancé had been planning a meeting to go on Celebs Go Dating, and has the meeting the day AFTER you break up. In utter shock. Kill me now."

We can actually feel her heartbreak through that post.

It was reported by The Sun that Andrew had met with producers of the dating show in an attempt to enhance his fame.

Wait, is this coming from a guy who shot to fame on the Apprentice and then CBB? It just doesn't add up. *rolls eyes*

A friend of Caroline's told the paper that she ''is livid'' and we don't blame her. 

It also alleged that Andrew is being a complete pr*ck and making the break up “as difficult and painful for Caroline as possible.'' 

If this all wasn't;t bad enough, Flackers literally just told the whole world via her Cosmopolitan mag cover/interview that she had found ''The One'' in Andrew.

She wrote, '''my life was complete before you came into  it – a man doesn't’t complete your life. But I wanted to make room in it for you. I look at you and I think, ‘Yes, Andrew, you’re the one I’ve been waiting for.’''


Social media have voicing their disgust in Andrew, commenting, ''Andrew Brady is a user who will do anything to extend his 5 minutes of fame he just needs to go away. If I ever see him I will clout him.''

Others made it clear that they weren't surprised.

''Anyone with half a brain worked him out on Celeb BB. Complete fantasist, user and fame hungry. A vile human being,'' one user wrote. 

Mostly, though, people just wished Caroline well because, let's face it, heartbreak is tough enough without the intense media scrutiny mixed in.

''Poor old Caroline Flack….however Dr Alex is still single…'' one person tweeted  and another said, ''sorry for Caroline but I’m glad her and Andrew are over! He’s a horrible, immature boy – from watching him on celeb big brother, his behaviour was appalling.''

The former couple announced their engagement in April after a whirlwind two months together.

All we have to say is – Caz, you had a lucky escape! 


Constantly checking your ex's social media? – You're not the only one. 

A new survey, conducted by employment firm Protecting.co.uk, has found that a massive 95 per cent of employees use company time to snoop on ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, with women proving to be the biggest offenders. 

Of the 3,000 respondents, an overwhelming majority admitted to having used sites like Facebook and Twitter to glance into the lives of past partners. 

We humans are nosey by nature, and it seems that even getting into a new relationship doesn't stop the urge to have a good ole' gawk at your ex's holiday photos. 

Most offenders are just 'curious' about how their ex-partners are getting on, though some did admit to longing for a second chance. 

The worst offenders were found to spend up to four hours per month nostalgically scrolling, while the average person spent one and a half hours per month. 

We're definitely not doing ourselves any favours, but hey – we'll learn yet. 


With less then two weeks to go until Ireland votes on whether or not to repeal the Eight Amendment, a new Facebook feature has revealed that a number of pages related to the campaign are being managed from outside Ireland. 

It seems the 'page history' feature was accidently launched on Friday and has since been removed by the social network site. 

While active, it allowed users to view a number of details about a page, including the location it was managed from, and revealed that accounts promoting both 'Yes' and 'No' votes in the forthcoming referendum had originated in countries such as the UK, USA and Hungary. 

It comes just one week after Facebook launched a features which allowed everyone to see what type of ads are being run by a page at a given time. 

The pages found to be managed from outside Ireland are as follows:

Yes side

Rosa – Socialist Feminist Movement – Managed in Ireland and the USA.

TFMR Ireland – Managed in Ireland and the UK.

No side

Save the 8th – Managed in Hungary, the UK and two other countries.

Cherish All Children Equally – Managed in Ireland and the UK.

Family and Life – Managed in Ireland, the UK and the US.

Protect the 8th – Managed by Ireland, the UK and the US.


Travelling home to vote is an essential aspect for young people to use their voice in the upcoming referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.

One UK University is offering students a cash contribution to help them afford to fly home to vote in the referendum. 

The University of Sussex Postgraduate Education Officer on the Student's Union took to Facebook to ask students to apply for the grant. 

'Are you an Irish student eligible to vote and want to go home for Repeal the 8th?'

'In line with the NUS bursary, the Students Union are able to offer up to £100 per student for up to 15 students towards their flights and travel costs.'

All students need to do is show evidence that they are eligible to vote. 

They also need to send scans of receipts of their travel to the Campaigns and Democracy Administrator at the university. 

Know anyone who could benefit from this? 


How many times have you pressed send on a risque message only to immediately regret your cringe-worthy moment of madness? 

Perhaps you're fond of the classic drunken 3am text to you ex?

Or worse again, sending a message to someone who was absolutely NOT the intended recipient? 

Well, it looks like those post-text fears will soon be a thing of the past, as Facebook has confirmed the introduction of an 'un-send' feature. 

Yep. You'll now be able to delete a message after its been sent, saving you countless hours of dread, fear, and embarrassment. 

It's thought the changes will be rolled out in the next few months. 

The move comes after the revelation that messages from founder Mark Zuckerberg were being secretly deleted from people's inboxes. 

"We will now be making a broader delete message feature available," a Facebook spokesperson told the TechCrunch website.

 "This may take some time. And until this feature is ready, we will no longer be deleting any executives’ messages.

"We should have done this sooner — and we’re sorry that we did not.”



Thousands of people are reporting that both Instagram and Facebook are currently experiencing technical difficulties. 

The outage hit users in the US and Western Europe, including the UK, Spain, France and Germany. 

43pc of Facebook users who reported problems to Down Detector, a website which tracks web page crashes, said that they were experiencing a complete outage. 

41pc on Instagram users had a similar experience, being unable to log in to the social media app. 

Some also reported that Netflix was also down, including users in the UK and Ireland.

45pc of those reporting issue said that they could not connect to the streaming service.

With the three main pillars of modern society out of order, what on earth did people do? Well, they mostly turned to Twitter for solace, of course. 

Thousands have took to the social media site, which has not reported any issues this evening, to vent their frustrations.

Luckily, the issues seem to slowly be rectifying themselves. 


Police in Denmark have charged 1,004 people for sharing multiple videos of underage teenagers engaging in sexual inter course.

The teens in the video are 15 years of age. 

The videos were shared to Facebook, after which the social media site tipped off authorities. 

Around 800 males and 200 females have been charged, ages between 15 and 20.

Danish authorities claim that the sharing of the film could fall under the distribution of child pornography.

The clips were mostly shared via the Facebook messenger app.

Some are reported to have shared the clips hundreds of times. 

'It's a very big and complex matter that has taken a long time to investigate,' said police inspector Lau Thygesen from North Zealand Police in a press statement to Mashable.

'Not least because of the large number of charged.'

'We have taken the case very seriously as it has major implications for those involved when such material is spread. And it must be stopped.'

This is the biggest case of it's kind to have occurred in Denmark. 

The country is taking a strong stance against the sharing of illegal footage, including revenge pornography. 



It might read like the script of a straight-to-DVD release, but credit where credit's due, it worked.

After luring those on their wanted list with the promise of a Christmas hamper in recent days, South Yorkshire Police are this week celebrating dozens of successful arrests.

Taking to Facebook to inform the public of Operation Holly, the force explained: "A covert operation to put wanted people before the courts has been heralded a success after 21 arrests were made in two days, on the back of a Christmas hamper offer."

"Operation Holly saw South Yorkshire Police officers send a card to a list of the region’s wanted, advising them that they had been specially selected to receive a free hamper and all they needed to do was book a delivery slot," the post reads.

"When the knock came, the recipients were arrested and duly delivered before the courts."

No seriously, this actually happened.

"Some of those arrested were wanted in relation to serious charges, including supplying an illegal article into prison, dangerous driving, drink driving, assault and fraud", said temporary Detective Chief Inspector Lee Berry.

He continued: "It’s encouraging that our innovative approach has yielded positive results and we will continue to explore new avenues for apprehending those wanted, which impacts upon the victims of crime. "

"Sending officers to addresses where wanted people no longer reside is also a drain on valuable police resources."

Standing ovation is needed here.


As if breaks ups weren't hard enough, the age of the internet has made in near impossible to completely extinguish our past flames.

Between checking their 'last active' time on What'sApp and examining their body language in that new Facebook picture, social media can be one of the biggest burdens in the lives of the newly single.

Wouldn't it be great if there we could just block it all out for a while?

Well, the good folk over at Facebook have heard our post-breakup cries for help and have developed a feature that will do just that.

Introducing 'Take A Break' – a new option that allows users to block out all reminders of their ex-partner immediately after a relationship ends.

In a statement, the social media giant said: "Millions of people break up on Facebook each week, changing their relationship status from 'in a relationship' to 'single'."

"Research on peoples' experiences after break-ups suggests that offline and online contact, including seeing an ex-partner's activities, can make emotional recovery more difficult."

It will broken down into three sub-options: See less of someone; Limit someone's ability to see your posts and post you're tagged in; Edit who can see past posts.

What's more, a new 'snooze' option will allow users to hide a person, page or group for 30 days, meaning you can take a step back without actually having to awkwardly unfriend someone.




We're all weak with feels here at SHEmazing HQ after footage of a very festive proposal in the Irish capital started doing the rounds on Facebook last night.

Barry Clarke enlisted the help of good ol' Santa in order to propose to his partner Suzanne Kellett, who was under the assumption she and Barry were simply bringing their son Cameron to Arnotts on a festive day out.

According to Barry's post, which has been liked and shares extensively since yesterday, the Dublin department store played an absolute blinder in helping him to organise the surprise.

"Santa had a very special gift for a special lady today in Arnotts," Barry wrote on Facebook last night. "She didn't have a clue! Anyhow, she said Yes!"

"Thanks to Claire and the staff in Arnotts for arranging and keeping this a secret. Thanks to Santa for playing a stormer and thanks to Cameron for lying on the floor for the whole thing!"

And yep, we're just melting.