Posts Tagged ‘mena bean ui chribin’

Mena pictured outside her post office. (c) Irish Times May 24, 1985

Update : Mena died this week (6 August 2012). Here is a link to The Irish Times obituary.

Mena Cribben (aka Mena Bean Ui Chribin), aged 84 and mother of six, has been the postmistress of Santry Avenue Post Office for over fifty years. During this time, she has also been one of the most vocal spokespersons for the Ultra-Conservative Catholic strand of Irish politics having been active with the Irish Family League, Family Rights Group, Mna na hEireann, Irish Housewives Union and Ograchas Naoimh Papain.

Perhaps most infamously known for her role in the 2009 Roscommon family incest case, namely that she provided advice and (more than likely) funding for a legal action to stop the State from taking six neglected children into care, Cribben has been active in reactionary politics since the 1960s.

In the late 1960s, she began to write letters to The Irish Independent and The Irish Press and even managed to get published some of her own opinion pieces. Like this one on Marriage:

‘Marriage – an open letter’ by Mary Cribben. Irish Press. Aug 11, 1969.

American television network NBC produced and broadcast a special report, entitled ‘Land Of Saints And Scholars‘, on corporal punishment in Ireland’s schools in September 1969. It featured Mena Cribben and her husband Gus who ran a private after-school programme to help students with their homework. Mena and Cribben admitted giving an “odd smack of a cane” to their several female ‘students’ and spoke in favour of capital punishment. The programme, which was subsequently broadcast on RTE, sparked massive controversy.

Gus himself was a prolific letter writer, mainly on topics of Corporal Punishment and Catholicism, from 1965 right up the late 1970s. He was also the organisers of the annual mass held on a penal-day mass-rock in Wicklow.

Irish Press. Feb 28, 1972.

Mena was heavily involved in the campaign against contraception in the early 1970s. In November 1970, Irish Press journalist Mary Kenny brought together Mena Cribben and liberal campaigner and midwife Monica McEnroy for a debate on the subject.

Irish Press. Nov 03 1970

Cribben was quoted as saying:

One can’t plan a family. God alone decides when a child is made (and) the individual … has not the right to murder and that is what the definition of contraception really is

She also admitted that she would withhold any contraceptives that came through her post office.


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