Tag Archives: Northern Ireland


Further to the announcement of an Inquiry to examine Mother and Baby Homes in Northern Ireland.

Adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy hosted a panel discussion, organised by Amnesty and Ulster University, examining what an inquiry – co-designed by survivors – should look like.

Contributors included Irish Examiner journalist turned academic Conall Ó Fátharta (@39.27).

Last week: Birth Mothers And A sense Of Agency

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney

This morning.

Further to yesterday’s move by the British government to unilaterally change how the Northern Ireland Protocol is implemented….

…Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said:

“If the UK cannot simply be trusted because they take unilateral action in an unexpected way without negotiation, well then the British government leaves the EU with no option and that is not where we want to be.”

Ireland’s European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said

“It does open a question mark about global Britain if this is how global Britain would negotiate with other partners.”

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said:

“This is not the appropriate behaviour of a respectable country, quite frankly.”

EU negotiating with partner it cannot trust – Coveney (RTÉ)

Ireland says UK not behaving like a ‘respectable country’ (Reuters)


Graffiti appeared in Larne last month describing port staff as “targets”

This morning.

Following yesterday’s decision by Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)  to temporarily suspend physical inspections of products of animal origin at Larne and Belfast amid safety concerns.

A DAERA spokesman said: “The situation will be kept under review and in the meantime full documentary checks will continue to be carried out as usual.”

Speaking this morning, Mr Martin said “It’s a very sinister and ugly development. Obviously, we will be doing everything we possibly can to assist them to defuse the situation.”

NI port safety issue ‘a sinister and ugly development’ – Taoiseach (RTÉ)\\

Top pic via Belfast Live

Breeda Murphy, PRO of the The Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance and adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy on the release of a report looking at Northern Ireland’s Mother and Baby homes, launched last week by, top from left: Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill,  retired senior police officer Judith Gillespie, who led the review and First Minister Arlene Foster…

…and the similarities with Dublin in denying and delaying justice for survivors.

This is the seventh in a series of shows with Eunan and Breeda dealing with Mother and Baby Homes across the island of Ireland and the issues facing birth mothers and adoptees. All are available on our YouTube channel.

Yesterday: The Survivors Of Northern Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes

Pic: BBC


Mayo County Council has become the latest local authority to apologise for its role in the operation of mother-and-baby homes.

Almost a third of all mothers admitted to the mother-and-baby home in Tuam, between 1925 and 1961, were from Co Mayo.

Capitation payments were made by the council to the Bon Secours Sisters, for the women and children sent from the county to the Tuam home, over that 36-year period.

A special meeting of the council is being held virtually this afternoon, following the publication of the final report of the Commission of Investigation last month.

Mayo County Council apologises over mother-and-baby homes (RTÉ)


From top: Tommie Gorman and Vincent Kearney

This morning.

RTÉ have announced the appointment of Vincent Kearney to replace  Roy Keane-bothering veteran Tommie Gorman as Northern Editor for RTÉ News.

Via RTÉ:

Vincent has previously worked as a reporter and producer for daily news and documentaries at the BBC including four years with BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme. Prior to joining RTÉ he was Home Affairs Correspondent for BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Correspondent with The Sunday Times and also worked for the Belfast Telegraph for nine years. Vincent is a native of west Belfast but has spent the last 31 years living with his wife Louise and family in Lurgan, County Armagh.

Meanwhile,paying tribute to Tommie Gorman, RTÉ News boss Jon Williams said:

“For 41 years, from Brussels to Belfast, via Sligo and Saipan, Tommie Gorman has been the beating heart of RTÉ News. He has earned the trust of audiences, north and south – and of all sides in Northern Ireland, telling their story, sharing his insights, and championing RTE’s role as an all-island news organisation.”


This afternoon.

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (above) launched the publication of a Stormont-commissioned report into mother-and-baby homes and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland.

The research carried out by Queen’s University and Ulster University examined whether a public inquiry should be held into the homes.

Ms Foster said:

“First and foremost, we want to offer our personal thanks to those women and their now adult children who came forward to contribute to the research. Your voices were silenced for so many years. That was a significant wrong.”

“This report is an important first step towards a full understanding of what happened to thousands of women and their children in our recent past.”

“It helps is to reflect upon and recognise how poorly they were treated, often in ways that lacked even a basic level of compassion and kindness.”

“…they have been told of the Executive’s decision today to a victim-centred independent investigation into these historical institutions.”

“This will be co-designed with victims and survivors and will give them the opportunity to influence the aim of the investigation, how it should be conducted, how it should be conducted, who should participate in, who should chair it and how long it should take.

“It is with huge regret that we acknowledge the pain of those experiences and the hurt caused to women and girls who did nothing more than be pregnant outside of marriage, some of them criminally against their will.”

“…I also have hope that this will be the beginning of a healing journey for the thousands of people who were harmed by their experience in the institutions, both at the time and through their life time.”

The report’s key findings:

It describes as a “conservative estimate” that over 10,500 women and girls entered the institutions between 1922 and 1990

The majority of them were from NI (86%), with the remainder from the Republic of Ireland and Great BritainAbout a third of those admitted were under the age of 19, with the youngest child to be admitted aged 12

A number were the victims of sexual crime, including rape and incest

Living conditions and care for residents were recorded in little detail but personal testimonies revealed “strenuous physical labour” being expected of them late into their pregnancies

It is “indisputable” that there was “considerable movement” of babies from some of the homes in NI to the Republic of Ireland.

NI mother-and-baby homes: Investigation promised into ‘significant wrongs’ (BBC)


This evening.

Thanks Breeda and Eunan

This morning.

First same-sex couple marry in Northern Ireland (RTÉ)

Pic via Cara McCann

This afternoon

An open letter to Northern Ireland Minister of Health Robin Swann from a group of GPs urging a change of course in the North’s Covid strategy.

Previously: ‘Revise Current Policy And Consider An Alternative Strategy Tailored To Our Nation And Its People’

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney

This morning.

Further to last night’s cabinet decision to order nationwide ban on household visits and move three border counties to Level 4 restrictions amid warning that things won’t return to normal until a vaccine is found.

…via RTÉ:

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said there needs to be collective action in terms of adhering to the new regulations “to turn this around”.

Mr Coveney described the “enormous numbers” in Northern Ireland is very worrying, and said that while there is a lot of cooperation between the two jurisdictions, the Government is anxious to do more and have a collective approach both North and South.

….Minister Coveney said there are a number of things happening, including discussions to trace cases across the border and the use of a Covid app that works in both jurisdictions.

He said the NI Executive gets its scientific advice from a different source to NPHET and there is not always consistency, but both governments are taking action to try and reduce the infections.


Mr Coveney also said he had worries for the GAA ahead of the resumption of inter-county action this weekend.

Collective action needed to ‘turn this around’ – Coveney (RTÉ)


This morning.

Pubs and restaurants in Northern Ireland will close for four weeks, with the exception of takeaways and deliveries, while schools will shut for two weeks in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, First Minister Arlene Foster (top)said.

In a statement at a special sitting of the Assembly this morning, Ms Foster said the situation needs to be urgently addressed as numbers continue to rise and hospitalisations are on the increase.

The closure will affect the entire hospitality sector, with the exception of takeaway and delivery services, and double the length of the mid-term break for schools.

Schools, pubs to shut as NI increases restrictions (RTÉ)