Ms Kearney worked as a teacher in Goldenbridge for over 30 years. When she was asked about the atmosphere in Goldenbridge. She responded: Not a happy place, I was glad to get out of it. When you have the children sulking, shouting at each other across the room and shouting at you and calling you all kinds of names it’s very hard to put up with it. It wasn’t a happy atmosphere, no. There were some lovely children in it, that never gave you a bit of trouble, you felt like hugging them but you didn’t, you couldn’t, because the bold ones would take it out of them, "teacher’s pet".
Ms Kearney, who worked as a lay teacher, confirmed that, after finishing her own schooling, she completed a course in domestic economy before commencing her first teaching position in the mid-1930s in Goldenbridge. She shared a classroom with a senior teacher, Ms Dempsey. Neither was formally qualified to teach at that time. Ms Kearney stated that she was very glad to get the job in Goldenbridge: I was always afraid of doing or saying anything wrong, that I would be sacked, that was my one fear.
Both teachers used a leather to discipline the children, although Ms Kearney discontinued its use once she discovered how painful it was by mistakenly hitting herself with it.
Once she became a permanent teacher, Ms Kearney stated that she was no longer fearful of losing her job. At that stage, she no longer lived in the School and was unaware of day-to-day living conditions. She said that she, therefore, had no reason to complain.
Ms Kearney stated that she had been of a sunny disposition before starting in Goldenbridge, but that this changed as the years went by. Ms Kearney found her job more difficult after the arrival of Sr Bianca and Sr Alida. She noticed a deterioration in the attitude of the children, who became sullen and defiant. In her view, Goldenbridge was not a happy place, but she did the best she could in the circumstances.