‘The Taoiseach Reflected The Need To Respond Now With Action, Rather Than Words’


Last night.

Representatives of Mother and Baby Home groups met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in government buildings ahead of a final decision on the excavatation of remains at the site of the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

Breeda Murphy, Secretary of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Group, writes:

‘T[uam survivor ‘Peter Mulryan’s daughter Trina attended the meeting with An Taoiseach and his adviser; also Anna Corrigan represented the Tuam Babies Family Group while Catherine Corless was also in attendance. Minister Zappone was not present but her General secretary, Fergal Lynch and an adviser, Patricia Ryan were there.

As I understand it from Trina, each of the three representatives made their case for full excavation – Trina provided our statement while Anna Corrigan also gave a documentary submission and Catherine Corless spoke.

All stated their viewpoints which supported one another – full excavation, exhumation, retrieval of DNA and safe storage facility to enable matching into the future while also appropriately with dignity and respect dealing with the remains of the little children.

An Taoiseach stated that Minister Zappone will bring this to Cabinet today (closed meeting) where the Attorney General will also be in attendance.

As we know the AG has been involved for some time so again, in preparation of the Cabinet meeting it is suggested the AG will put forward a viewpoint. Again closed meeting and unlikely that we will receive further information on it. There is no indication of when a final decision will be made.

The meeting lasted two hours or more – and within that time frame the Taoiseach was questioned at length – very few questions answered but many were asked.

On a positive note towards the end Taoiseach Varadkar reflected the need to respond now – with action, rather than words.’

More as we get it.

Tuam Home Survivors’ Network

Decision imminent on whether remains of hundreds of children feared buried at Tuam baby home to be exhumed (Independent.ie)

Yesterday: ‘The Only Acceptable Outcome Is The Immediate Convening Of An Inquest Into The Deaths Of All The Children’


At noon today, Catherine Corless told Galway Bay FM:

“I feel it was worthwhile because I suppose it was good to get the Taoiseach to sit down and just listen before the announcement is made today before the minister brings the memo to Cabinet.

It was chance for us, for a last plea for the Government to do the right thing.

“We did get the message across to him that we do realise that all this can be done for Tuam, right up to DNA testing, if the Government have a will.”

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23 thoughts on “‘The Taoiseach Reflected The Need To Respond Now With Action, Rather Than Words’

  1. rotide

    “the Irish holocaust”

    You absolute moron. Shut up.

    Edit: I’m sorry that’s a personal insult , let me rephrase.

    This is the most ignorant thing I’ve seen on broadsheet for a long time and that’s saying something. Please educate yourself on the basic facts of both situations before insulting everyones intelligence with such hyperbolic and historically inaccurate fcking crap

    1. kellMA

      Ah Jesus Rotide, will you calm down. Ok so no child, as far as we know, was intentionally murdered in the same fashion as millions of Jews were marched to their death in a gas chamber. I probably wouldn’t go so far as to use the word “holocaust” myself to describe it, but to be honest, that is not really all that important, in my view. These children were grossly neglected, making a long healthy life almost an impossibility and the manner in which they were disposed of says a lot about how their little lives’ worth was viewed. It is terribly sad.

      1. rotide

        Yes, it is obviously very sad but words have meanings and you can’t just co-opt those meanings to suit you.

  2. Vanessa off the Telly

    action, rather than words
    I’ll take that as progress
    well done all

    and its not easy getting a two hour sit down with the Taoiseach
    so it definitely means something

  3. Cian

    What exactly do they want?
    To open the grave, take all the bones out (I presume that the bodies are fully decomposed and skeletons will have fallen apart by now).
    That is 796 x 206 bones (164,000 bones); DNA test each bone so we can match up full bodies…
    Take the 796 re-assembled bodies, and DNA test them so we can work out who they are.
    Have an inquest to work out the cause of each death (based on deaths 70+ years ago – skeletal remains – hmm not an easy task)
    Release the bones to the next of kin? Or are they looking to re-bury the 796 bodies (together) in a public cemetery?

    I’d be interested to know what they hope the coroner or inquest will achieve. I’m not a doctor, but I’d be surprised if the skeletal remains will tell us anything (unless some of the babies were killed violently).

    1. Vanessa off the Telly

      I see your point
      It is a mammoth task to undertake
      But it is not unknown
      Ground Zero for example

      Excavation and exhumation will a least allow for a count of the skulls
      that is the only way to agree the 796 is accurate
      there is no other way around that one
      and it is the very least that should be permitted to happen

      reassembling the bodies,
      confirming cause of death
      building a DNA profile
      all that can happen later

      but at least support exhumation and a verifiable count ffs

      1. Cian

        Thanks Vanessa. One final question before I agree:

        What happens after your headcount.

        As I see it there are three possible outcomes:
        1. their are 796 bodies…. now what? what has counting them achieved.
        2. there are loads of missing bodies… now what? Where are the bodies? are they in some other part of the ground? are they false deaths and the children were trafficked to USA? who knows? do we dig up the whole ground?
        3. there are loads of extra bodies – this is a biggie for me. If this happens then there is a definitely a case for a either re-checking the paperwork; or a criminal investigation.

        I genuinely doubt that #3 will happen. The nuns had no problem reporting 100s of deaths – so why would they baulk at others.

        1. Vanessa off the Telly

          No. 3
          That’s a straight up Criminal Investigation since there is now the possibility it was used by others to dispose of human remains

          No. 1 confirms the paperwork, or accounts if you like, of the Bons own records; an outcome they should be actively seeking to achieve,regardless, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t fund that in much the same way they pay External Auditors to verify their financial accounts

          No. 2 will require further information from the Bons, they’re claiming more babies died, and therefore weren’t available for adoption or for fostering out or for indentured labour. Furthermore, they claimed grants from the Local Authority to fund the burials. So they will need to prove those deaths are accurate. Both for removing the risk that they make false claims to the local authority and that they did not put children into illegal adoption arrangements. This might seen cruel and callous, and that is not my intention as I have met Peter Mulryan and his family, and some of the other survivors; but it would be like an external auditor supervising a stock take and testing the obsolete and damaged stock records for accuracy; Revenue do that all the time to make sure stock/ assets were in fact not available for sale for legitimate reasons, and appropriately destroyed/ scrapped, rather than sold on the black market for cash.

          Hope that helps

          1. Cian

            Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

            One last thing you mention “they claimed grants from the Local Authority to fund the burials”. This is a ‘fact’ that I first saw yesterday. Do you have a source for this?

          2. Vanessa off the Telly

            As far as I remember
            And if my memory is accurate then so is the fact
            It is from the Tuam Survivors Group and the man for that confirmation is Kevin Higgins

    2. postmanpat

      Sounds expensive , I don’t want to pay for it. The church wont pay for it , so if this goes ahead, I guess we all have to pay for it. Can we all just agree all these kids died of wanton neglect and the odd helping of a pillow over the head, when they just wouldn’t die of said neglect like they were supposed too, because they were costing the Pope too much money?? As you say, the bones might , after long and very expensive testing confirm that this kid had this or that decease or whatever ? It wont prove foul play , which everyone believes happened, (because it did) but the Vatican legal eagles would make short work of such arguments. Not like charges would ever be brought against them anyway, . Bones left in shit for 70 years? Its horrible , but this should all be let go. Hold the church reasonable and let people make there own decisions to practice there silly religion and services. which they will do anyway. Do “they” want a state funeral ? An nice big Mass said by yet another pervert priest or bishop? where is this going? 800 little coffins, filled with piss smelling bones? marched down the streets. and buried someplace else. Talk about upsetting living parents who have lost kids since. The leader of this country should waste anymore of his time with this, there are far more important things that need his attention. like the falling apart of Europe and rise of fascism again. Which ironically the Catholic church had a hand in also last century, what with allying themselves with Franco and Hitler.

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