Tag Archives: Paul Redmond

From top: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone; Pope Francis and Paul Redmond, a message left for the pope in his book The Adoption Machine which Mr Redmond gifted the pope during his recent visit to Ireland

This morning.

Paul Redmond, chair of the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors and author of The Adoption Machine, has resigned from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone’s survivors’ forum.

Mr Redmond has released a statement, saying:

“I am absolutely heart sick at Zappone’s latest, cynical, time wasting farce which is of no benefit to living survivors. CMABS biggest demand since 2014 has been the full inclusion of ALL survivors in the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes.

“However, Zappone has fought this at every opportunity and has now excluded them from the remit of the so-called Survivors Forum as well as excluding any discussion of the long delayed Adoption Bill to open the adoption records.

Attempts to have these issues included in the agenda of the forum have failed and it is clear the civil servants running the forum have their own agenda to limit and frustrate the survivor and adoption communities at every turn.

Zappone has cold heartedly refused to release the funding for memorials promised to the community in January 2015 and has instead frivolously spent our memorial funding on advertising a forum to discuss the memorials over the course of at least a year!

“It’s simply unbelievable. This is beyond hypocrisy and a complete waste of hundreds of thousands of euros of taxpayers money to stall instead of taking action.

“Minister Zappone’s two and half years in office has seen progress for the living survivor community stop dead and it is clear she needs to resign immediately and allow a decent and compassionate person do the job she point blank refuses to do.

My biggest regret is not listening to Derek Leinster of the Bethany Home Survivor’s Group ’98 who boycotted this forum from the beginning declaring it would be of no benefit to our community. He was correct.

“I decided to participate and try and turn it around and transform the forum into a fast tracked series of recommendations to the minister for the urgent issues our community needs addressed but, the forum was perverted and warped from the start by Minister Zappone and her civil servants to ensure the survivor community could make no progress on the substantive issues.

“Zappone is guilty of one of the lowest, dirtiest, most mean spirited political tricks seen in recent years.

“CMABS has engaged an eminent lawyer to bring a formal complaint to the United Nations Committee Against Torture about Zappone’s complete lack of action on survivor issues as well as this disgusting forum designed to sidetrack and divide the survivor community and subvert progress.”

The Collaborative Forum of Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and Related Institutions was set up separately to the ongoing Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

At the time of its establishment, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs said:

“The establishment of the Collaborative Forum is a new approach in the State’s response to the theme of ‘nothing about us without us’ which has emerged from the former residents who have participated in consultations to date.”

In a letter to Ms Zappone announcing his resignation, Mr Redmond wrote:

I am hereby tendering my immediate resignation from the Consultative Forum on the Mother and Baby homes.

I believed at the outset – and stated it publicly – that I believed the forum would be a a talking shop and achieve nothing. Sadly this is the way it has turned out.

In accepting the invitation to the join the forum, I believed that I would be able to achieve something for the survivor community who were treated horrifically in the Mother and Baby homes in what was a form of ‘internment without trial’.

However, I did have very serious misgivings about the way the forum was set up and constituted. Nevertheless, I did go ahead and accept the invitation to join the forum in the hope, as I said above, of achieving something for the living survivors of the homes as well as our fallen crib mates who were effectively neglected to death by uncaring nuns while the State turned a blind eye and handed over the cheques.

Sadly for the survivors I represent, my concerns have been borne out as regards how the forum is being conducted.

In particular, the manner in which the forum is chaired by an ex-Secretary General of a government department [Community, Equality and Gaeltacht affairs] was a source of great concern to me.

Regardless of the calibre of the individual involved (and I accept Gerry Kearney is a very decent and capable person), the chair should have been a genuinely neutral outsider.

In addition I do not think that the chairman, a former senior civil servant, could be independent in a situation where the State is culpable for what happened in the mother and baby homes regardless of his personal integrity.

I also note for the record, that you Minister Zappone, have also politically limited the agenda of the forum from the start and have excluded the three most important issues on which many survivors, as represented by the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS), have campaigned; namely the full inclusion of ALL survivors in the current inquiry into mother and baby homes and, an immediate acknowledgement, apology and redress for an aging survivors community as recommended by the inquiry itself in its interim report in 2017.

CMABS also notes that the urgent issue of illegal adoptees has also been excluded from both the inquiry and, now from the forum.

This is disgraceful behaviour by a minister supposed to represent survivors and adoptees in these difficult times.

Furthermore, the way certain aspects of the forum have transpired is a cause for further concern. For example, chairpersons of sub-committees were not appointed by objective criteria and, my efforts to have certain matters of the utmost importance moved onto the agenda, were dismissed without cause.

There are several other flaws in the fundamental operation of the forum.

CMABS are aware that a formal complaint has already been submitted to the United Nations about this forum and, we have retained the expertise of an eminent lawyer to take our further complaints directly to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

This current political stalling and disingenuous delaying tactics cannot be allowed to continue.

I sincerely hope, as a survivor of a Mother and Baby home, that all survivors will get justice at the end of the day.

However, this forum is certainly a hindrance to that aspiration and of no practical help to the living survivor community.

Meanwhile Minister Zappone, as the forum fiddles, survivors continue dying

I remain, etc.,
Paul Jude Redmond.

Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes (Facebook)

Previously: ‘I Hope This History Informs Your Response’


From top: At the residence of the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Dublin on Saturday; Pope Francis with Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors; abuse survivor Marie Collins and Clodagh with the pope; a note on Mr Redmond’s book The Adoption Machine which was given to Pope Francis; and a baby shoe which was also given to the pontiff

On Saturday.

Representatives of the Coalition of Mother and Baby homes Survivors Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone met with Pope Francis along with six survivors of clerical sex abuse for a private meeting which lasted 90 minutes.

Paul and Clodagh write:

“The meeting was informal and Redmond and Malone went first. The Pope was presented with a copy of Redmond’s book, The Adoption Machine, as well as a blue baby shoe with black mourning ribbon on behalf of the ‘Baby Shoes Remember’ project, to symbolise the innocence of all the babies and children who have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church both in institutions and as victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

“…Another survivor who spoke to the Pope addressed the issue of Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries but the Pope was unfamiliar with these institutions.

“Paul Redmond spent a few minutes giving the Pope a crash course about the role of institutions in Ireland. Ireland, uniquely, retained its large scale institutions while the rest of the world closed them down from around 1900. In Ireland they lasted well into the 1980s and 1990s.

“The Pope was informed that 150,000 women and children went through the various institutions, that at least 6,000 babies were neglected to death in the Mother and Baby homes alone, that 3,000 babies were effectively sold to rich Americans, that hundreds of  babies were used as guinea pigs for vaccine trials by big pharma and, that the nuns “donated” almost 500 bodies of dead babies to medical science to save themselves the cost of undertakers and burials.

“The Pope was clearly shocked by the revelations and lifted his hands to his head in disbelief.

“The Pope drew parallels between what occurred in Ireland and what happened in Argentina and how the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared” were still searching for their grandchildren.”



The Adoption Machine (Paul Redmond)

Previously: “He Condemned It As Caca, Literally Filth As One Sees In A Toilet, His Translator Clarified”

David Quinn, of the Iona Institute; Paul Redmond, of the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors and author of The Adoption Machine (top)

Paul Redmond is chair of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors.

Paul was born in the Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home, before being transferred to St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home in Dublin and then adopted.

He has recently written a book called The Adoption Machine.

In the Irish Catholic, David Quinn, of the Iona Institute, wrote an article in which he refers to Paul’s book, finishing with the line:

“Perhaps one day an Irish person will feel compelled to write a book called The Abortion Machine.”

Further to this…

Paul writes:

I read David Quinn’s article in the Irish Catholic with great interest as he questions a potential ‘omission’ in my book The Adoption Machine: The Dark History of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes and the Inside Story of How Tuam 800 became a Global Scandal and, also in an article I wrote for the Sunday Independent.

Mr Quinn’s article was deeply disingenuous, ignored the main points of the book and instead focused on ‘proving’ that Mother and Baby Homes were not an Irish phenomenon.

That particular point is confirmed by me, several times throughout the book, widely known, and is hardly a revelation. What was unique to Ireland, however, was the sheer size and scale of the Mother and Baby Homes network here, as well as their institutional nature and inhumanely high infant mortality rates.

Indeed, from 1922, Ireland set the global gold standard for the gross mistreatment of single, pregnant women and girls aged 12 to 48 and illegitimate babies, as the vicious mortality rates clearly show.

Mr Quinn also ignores the indisputable evidence that the Irish Catholic version of Mother and Baby Homes was uniquely penal as opposed to the generally small and homely versions in Britain and other countries around the English-speaking world.

At present, Ireland seems to have had the largest Mother and Baby Homes in the world by a considerable margin. No doubt Mr Quinn has also searched for comparable infant mortality rates in other countries but he will not find them.

The Irish Catholic model was also distinctive in that the cold-blooded mortality rates that characterise them are several times higher than other Mother and Baby Homes worldwide.

St Patrick’s, Sean Ross Abbey and Bessboro are already confirmed as three Irish Mother and Baby Homes where mortality rates ran up to 50% and higher in various years from 1925 to 1947 and, up to a proven high of 82% in Bessboro.

Mr Quinn claims that the reason the mortality rates in the homes plummeted from 1945 to the early 1950s is not due to the several factors I highlighted in The Adoption Machine but, rather, due to the increased use of antibiotics and vaccinations.

I am fascinated by this assertion as I have never come across it during my many years of research into the subject.

The main issue with Quinn’s assertions is his implied claim that the illegitimate babies were actually included in the widespread use of these miracle drugs. Considering that the Mother and Baby Homes never employed doctors or nurses at the time, it seems odd to say the least. However, I presume Quinn can provide the evidence for his new claim or he would not have made it.

Mr Quinn further contradicts the Commission of Investigation’s public notice of March 3, 2017 that states:

“Test trenches were dug revealing two large structures. One structure appears to be a large sewage containment system or septic tank that had been decommissioned and filled with rubble and debris and then covered with top soil. The second structure is a long structure which is divided into 20 chambers. The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water.”

Quinn is suddenly claiming that “we now know this [that the babies and children are buried in a septic tank] is not the case”.

I assume Mr Quinn has met his legal obligations and handed his new evidence that the experts have got it wrong, over to the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes.

Mr Quinn further asserts that the money received from American couples who adopted the Irish babies was actually by the nuns on the babies still in their care, is also at odds with all known evidence.

The nuns pocketed the cash as ‘donations’ to their orders and did not spend it on the babies and children in their care.

As a concerned survivor, I have already contacted the Inquiry’s solicitor and informed them of Mr Quinn’s numerous pieces of new evidence.

Mr Quinn notes that the Catholic Church in Britain has apologised over adoption practices in the past but, fails to mention that the Catholic Church in Ireland has done no such thing despite requests from survivors for an acknowledgement and apology going back to 2012.

Quinn’s entire reason for writing this article seems to be part of his campaign for a ‘no’ vote in the forthcoming referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Quinn clearly believes that hellhole, institutional, Catholic Mother and Baby Homes are a superior option to abortion.

I will not dignify his belief with a response except to note the pain he has caused to the survivor community by conflating our issues with a matter that is completely separate from us. There is no hierarchy of pain or morality.

If David Quinn would care to publicly debate his bizarre and unproven new claims, I will meet him anywhere and anytime. I look forward to asking him to cite his sources and produce his accredited evidence.

If he cannot produce the proof that the babies are not buried in a septic tank and, that the living babies received vaccines and antibiotics from the late 1940s and, that ‘donations’ were spent on medicines for the babies, perhaps he might have the good grace and Christianity to apologise to the survivor community he has needlessly hurt.

Mother and baby homes: a hidden history (David Quinn, The Irish Catholic)

Previously: ‘They Exclude And Stall While We Die’



Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation. Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

From top: Mother and Baby Home survivors outside the commission of investigation’s offices in Baggot Street, Dublin 2 yesterday;  Paul Redmond (left) talking to RTÉ News; The inquiry commission, from left: Professor Mary E. Daly, Judge Yvonne Murphy, Dr William Duncan

The Government has selected 14 institutions to be examined as part of the current inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes which is due to completed by February, 2018.

The Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS) say this will exclude up to two-thirds of victims.

Paul Redmond, of CMABS, writes:

Since the beginning of this year several well known survivors and campaigners including friends of mine, have passed away.

Comrades like Victor Stephenson and Helen Donegan who never saw justice in this life.

Our survivor community is elderly and the active community online are a tiny percentage of our overall numbers which are about 70,000 to 80,000.

So for every crib mate we see passing away, we know hundreds more are dying.

Thousands of us will die from the time the Tuam 800 broke in May 2014, until a future Taoiseach stands in the Dáil and apologises and then announces yet another delay of several months while yet another Judge ‘investigates’ the issue of redress.

Since the foundation of our State, about 90,000 single women and girls have lost their babies and children to forced separation and forced adoption.

About 35 to 40,000 of them were in one of the 14 named Mother and Baby homes being investigated by the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes.

The rest were in a variety of places including the 27 County Homes (old Victorian Workhouses) and they will be more or less included in this Inquiry although not even close to satisfactorily.

The list of who and where is not being investigated is probably tops 400 or 500. It includes public Maternity hospitals such as Holles Street and the Rotunda who treated single girls very differently from ‘respectable’ married women.

Single mums were denied painkilling drugs to punish them for the ‘sin’ of pregnancy outside of marriage: their babies were spirited out of the hospitals and dumped into ‘Holding Centres’ such as Temple Hill in Blackrock in south county Dublin where several thousand were held over its life time. The Holding Centers themselves are also excluded.

Mums and babies born in one of the 250 – 300 private Nursing Homes dotted around the country will also be excluded. While many Nursing Homes didn’t accept pregnant women, a sizeable proportion of them did and some were veritable dens of criminals selling and trafficking babies, forging birth and baptism certs and getting rich on the proceeds of crime.

Nevertheless the victims there are also excluded.

My friend Theresa Hiney founded ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland’ in 2008 and is still fighting for truth and justice.

Theresa is personally shut out of the Inquiry and my heart breaks for her and the thousands of illegally adopted people in Ireland often unaware they are even adopted and unwittingly risking their lives and the lives of their children by passing on false medical histories to the Doctors and hospitals.

All the 1000s of survivors shut out in the cold have been denied the basic civil right of ‘Legal Remedy’.

The Gardaí can’t touch their cases as they are statute barred and the same time limit applies to civil cases. Innocent babies bought and sold like livestock in the past are now being re-victimised by their own state and this Inquiry, who are denying an elderly and dying survivor community their very last chance for Legal Remedy and Justice in this life.

The Government’s current position is that they cannot interfere with the Inquiry and it’s the duty of the Inquiry to request it’s terms of reference be expanded ‘in the public interest’.

Meanwhile the Inquiry keeps survivor groups at arm’s length, listens carefully, stalls, refuses to give straight answers and to all of us clearly has no intention of recommending to the Minister for Children that it’s remit should be expanded.

CMABS has offered the Inquiry a low cost and speedy method to include all survivors but this has been ignored.

In Northern Ireland an equivalent Inquiry is underway. Sir Anthony Harte has fought to expand it’s remit and has succeeded; he has urged the Government to consider immediate interim redress payments to survivors. The HIA inquiry is making the south of Ireland look ridiculous, penny pinching and mean spirited.

The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) is an umbrella group consisting of: Adoption Rights Now; The Bethany Home Survivors: Beyond Adoption Ireland: Adopted Illegally Ireland: The Castlepollard Mother & Baby home group, and in equal partnership with: Survivors And Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA), and backed by The Adoption Coalition Worldwide.

Our motto is: “No one gets left behind and we mean it”.

They are by far the largest representative voice for our community and they held a protest yesterday with survivors coming from across the country. We lodged a formal complaint to the Inquiry

CMABS is also seeking a pro bono legal team to challenge the continued exclusion and discrimination against an elderly survivor community who are dying by the hundreds and thousands every year.

How many more of us will join our crib mates in cold graves while this Inquiry drags on and the Government hides behind it?

CMABS demands not only full inclusion but an immediate Acknowledgment, Apology and Redress from this Government while there is still time.

It seems Government policy in the centenary year of the 1916 Uprising is to stall while we die  so this Government can “fumble in a greasy till and add the halfpence to the pence”.

Paul Redmond was born in Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home in 1964.  At 13 days old, Paul and his natural mother were transferred to Saint Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road in Dublin. His mother was immediately discharged and he was sent to the wards. He was adopted four days later.  He writes, researches and campaigns extensively about Castlepollard Mother and Baby home and general issues related to forced adoption and the mistreatment of single mothers and their babies.

Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (Facebook)

Yesterday: Running Out The Clock

Pics: John Ayers, Fennel Photography