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‘The ‘Deadly’ Saris’- The Journey Of Irish Teens Who Joined Hare Krishnas

The chanting of Hare Krishna was a common sight to many in the streets of Dublin. Although the rhythm came through so many people, most of them were disinterested in the Hindu group.

But for Helen and Beryl from their age of 15, the Hare Krishna movement has been part of their life.

The two Lucan teens are now disclosing their journey through a documentary inside the religious community.

Beryl said: “It was like a drug that you just wanted more and more of. Except for there was no drugs in it.”

“Even in Lucan, everyone thought we were a bit mad because we’d just be singing and dancing everywhere we went,” Helen added.

In 1993, the girls began attending the Hare Krishna Temple on Dublin’s Dame Street. The more about them can be witnessed through the upcoming documentary, such as how they became dedicated to their teachings, and how they are adapted with new lifestyle with wearing robes and saris and avoiding meat.

“We’d actually go out wearing sheets because we didn’t have the saris. We’d get a bedsheet and wrap it around us in our local area,” Lucan said.

Beryl later changed her name to Radha Govindha. While asking her mother Sharon about daughter’s transformation she said, “I think in the beginning I didn’t take it seriously. I couldn’t believe a child of mine would want to be involved.”

Nobody has been harmed by the group. They were in the streets just dancing, singing and banging their drums. Their music was very nice but couldn’t imagine that a young teenager would want to get involved in that, she added.  

At the age of 18 they left Dublin to become nuns and live on an island in Fermanagh with the Hare Krishna community. They both married an Indian from Hare Krishna holy site of Vrindavan, in India. However both marriages later ended and Helen and Radha are no longer involved with the Hare Krishnas.

Sharon feels the girls threw their chances of college and careers away. But Helen’s mother Marie is more positive about her daughter’s experiences with the Hares.

The journey of Radha and Helen features in a documentary called ‘The Deadly Saris’ produced by Radha’s brother Nathan Walsh with Ronan Kelly. “Deadly” is the term used by teenagers in Dublin to describe their outfits.

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