Tag Archives: Peter Mulryan

This afternoon.

At the silent #WalkWithPeter march from the Garden of Remembrance to the civic plaza on O’Connell Street opposite the GPO.

From top – Peter Mulryan (pic 1 and pic 3); Sheila O’Byrne, who spent time in the St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road in Dublin (pic 4); Matilda Kelly, aged 9 ,from Ballinasloe, Co Galway (pic 5) and the boxes carried during the procession laid out outside the GPO (above).

After the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network members and their supporters arrived at the civic plaza, a number of speakers spoke – including Kevin Higgins, who assists the network, Peter Mulryan, and Peter’s daughter Trina Mulryan.

Mr Higgins said the group doesn’t want “any more tea and biscuits” or any more “obfuscation” in relation to identifying the remains found in Tuam.

He said:

“[The Government] has set its face against a full-scale, forensic examination of all of the remains. It has set it’s face against an inquest into the cause of death of each individual child and the reason for that is simple.

“It’s not actually money. They simply do not want the truth to emerge because from those bones will emerge, from those remains, the evidence, even now, of maltreatment, neglect and, in some cases, worse.”

He said it would take a “war of attrition” for the State to carry out inquests into the death of each child buried in Tuam and he called on anyone who hasn’t supported the network’s campaign to consider doing so now.

Peter Mulryan told those present that the network will not stop campaigning until the final child’s remains are taken out of the ground at the Tuam site and identified via DNA analysis.

He finished his address to the crowd, saying: “Give them back to us. Now.”

He said:

More than six years ago, in 2012, Catherine Corless published some research on the ‘Home’ and in spring 2014, four years ago – gave details to Alison O’Reilly of the Daily Mail [Irish Mail on Sunday].

They carried the story on the front page and the world began to ask ‘how could this happen in a staunchly Catholic country at a Home run by Catholic nuns while in receipt of State funds with the oversight of the local authority.

Those of us who are survivors and families – and connected to the ‘Home’ remember where we were when that news broke. We did not know then that it would take more than four years to have the site preserved as a crime scene.

In March of 2017, it was confirmed by Minister Zappone that the tiny human remains discovered dated from the time of the ‘Home’ 1925 to 1961. In other words, the children’s remains like us, were ‘Home Babies’.

Again, we waited patiently for some 18 months for the site to be declared a crime scene – with the appropriate Department of Justice in charge of full and total excavation and recovery of the remains that may include my own sister, Marian Bridget. To date that has not happened.

The children never had a funeral. They were the lost, forgotten babies and children of Tuam until 2014.

The infant mortality rate was five times than that of the population outside. One hundred and twenty six died within the first month of life.

Death certificates were not signed by a medical practitioner but rather a domestic at the home, burials were outside the norm, custom or law. Without coffins. Without a word, a prayer or a gesture of sympathy in a land that is renowned for its funeral services where communities seek comfort in the untimely death of a young person.

Compared to other Mother and Baby Homes, the death rate of babies at the Tuam home was almost double at a time. Some died within the first moments of birth.

Among the eldest record is that of Kathleen Cloran who was nine and a half years when she died in 1932. On one day, April 30th 1926, four deaths were recorded of measles outbreak which took 25 children from age two months to eight years.

Tuam Home was a workhouse for the poor and then it became a Mother and Baby Home. After having her second child, ten years after my birth, my mother Delia, was taken to the Magdalene Laundry. She never got out alive. She too is buried in a mass grave.

Women with child outside marriage were outcasts, their children, like me, regarded as ‘the children of sin’. With no one to speak for any of us, no words of comfort for children as they lay dying, today we walk in respect and reverence to give the children and the six missing mothers, the funeral they never had.

We demand truth, we demand justice and we demand that our Government change the way they have operated.

We do not know where the fragments of remains that were taken from the chamber are now stored, those belong to our families.

It is not good enough that for 18 months we do not know where they are. It is not good enough that the Taoiseach Varadkar delays a meeting with us – and that former Taoiseach Enda Kenny despite living nearby, never visited the site.

It is not good enough that the Coroner has not replied to us and that the Attorney General continues to ignore our requests to do their job.

We thank those who walk with us today. We are united in a shared grief. We are united in one voice, all survivors of Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland, all family members attached to other groups. We walk for our siblings, for our aunt or uncle, for our cousins, for our family.

We walk for our communities. And we walk in a funeral procession to show Government that if they do not act according to the law of the land, according to human rights protocols that we will continue until the last remaining child in the ground at Tuam is taken out of there.

All 796 children are equal – they are Irish citizens. It is past time that we change the record. Our babies, our children, our families. Give them back to us. Now.

Peter’s daughter Trina said:

My name is Trina Mulryan.

My father is Peter Mulryan who, like many others here today, started the first years of his life treated worse than an animal in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Also like many other survivors of the home, he was then fostered out to an even worse place where he spent his childhood and teenage years.

My Grandmother is Bridget Mulryan who had her child, my father, taken from her while in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and who was incarcerated 10 years later after becoming pregnant again.

Her second pregnancy out of wedlock was such a “crime” that she was incarcerated for the 35 remaining years of her life in a Magdalen Laundry in Galway City to work as a slave in the horrible conditions we are all too well aware of.

Bridget’s second child, my Aunt Marian Bridget, supposedly died 10 months after birth while in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Her death cert was signed by another incarcerated mother who was used by the nuns to sign such documents.

The death was not certified by a doctor. The nuns not wanting their signature on the documents makes it very possible the documents were falsified so that the nuns could sell the babies which is human trafficking. We know this happened elsewhere at the time.

My Aunt Marian Bridget is suspected, according to Catherine Corless’s research, to be currently lying in a sewage tank in Tuam. We do not, however, know this for sure. Because of the strong possibility she was trafficked out of the country, sold by the nuns, – she may very well be alive today.

We, as a nation, rightfully still search for Northern Ireland’s disappeared who went missing not long after the time of the last Tuam baby was dumped in the sewage tank but it has nearly been five years since the story of the Tuam Babies broke in the national and international news and the local coroner has still not sealed the site for investigation.

The Attorney General has also not assigned a different coroner to investigate the site due to the local Coroner’s failure to act. Instead the Tuam Babies “issue” was given to Katherine Zappone to deal with despite her office not having the legal powers to direct a full investigation of the site. You can probably see why the families of the Tuam Babies might see this as a delaying tactic.

My father is now 74 years old. He has been through cancer in the last few years. He wants to know what happened to his sister before he dies. There are also others here today who also need to know about their family members.

My father has been forced to go to the High Court many times and has spent thousands of euro in legal fees to try and get information from the Statutory Agency Tusla. After many journeys from Ballinasloe to the High Court over a number of years, an agreement was registered with the High Court whereby Tusla would provide the records they have on his sister before October 2017.

Tusla did not uphold their side of the agreement and gave neither records nor assistance. My father has to now go back to the grueling process of the legal system because Tusla, the Statutory Agency, lied. What way is this to treat an elderly man just trying to find out what happened to his sister? Has his life not been hard enough as it is?

We welcomed Leo Vardkar’s speech to the Pope where he spoke of the importance of actions instead of words in relation to the wrongs of the state and the church in our dark history.

Unfortunately though, my father has only had words from the State in relation to his sister.

Katherine Zappone told us in Tuam a few months ago of the legal difficulties she has to overcome to do a full forensic excavation and DNA testing of the Tuam Babies but the law is already in place to do this its just she does not have the legal power to direct it to happen.

I ask the government to take action now and direct the Attorney General (through the Minister for Justice if necessary) to appoint a coroner to investigate the site fully as such a coroner already has the legal power to investigate the site.

I understand of course maybe the government just want to delay this the same way as the Catholic Church have delayed and continues to delay using the tactic of “words” without any action but I hope this is not the case.

Earlier…

Peter Mulryan, of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network (third right), at a march through Tuam, Co Galway during the papal visit

Today.

At 2pm.

At the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

Members and supporters of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network will gather to remember the 796 children who resided in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway.

The State issued 796 death certificates for these children but burial records exist only for two, while there are also no burial records for six single mothers who are recorded as having died at the home.

The network, led by survivor Peter Mulryan, will hold a bagpiper-led funeral cortege to honour the children and mothers who were never accorded the same – and they ask that anyone who wishes to take part bring a white shoe box with them to represent a small coffin.

The network originally notified An Garda Siochana, in writing on Tuesday, that they planned to walk from the Garden of Remembrance, down to O’Connell, Street, over O’Connell Bridge, down D’Olier Street, around College Green, up Nassau Street and up Kildare Street to Leinster House.

However, a garda from Store Street Garda Station told the network on Thursday that they could not walk this route.

Instead the network was offered an alternative route which would see the group turn left up Eden Quay – at the top of O’Connell Street – down Custom House Quay before eventually going up Westland Row and ending up at Merrion Square.

However, this route adds about two miles onto the march and those taking part – many in their 70s – would find this difficult.

Kevin Higgins, who assists the network, contacted Department of Justice on Thursday and pointed out the age and infirmity of some of the survivors of the Tuam home and suggested that a short period of traffic management by An Garda Siochana would allow the survivors and their supporters to take the shorter, desired route.

Mr Higgins also pointed out to the Department of Justice that it is responsible for the coroners’ service but that neither the local coroner in Tuam, Galway, or the Attorney General has convened an inquest into the death of a single child at the Tuam home.

He also reminded the department that Dublin city centre was effectively closed down to accommodate Pope Francis in August.

Mr Higgins was told by the department, on Thursday, that the matter would be referred to the appropriate Garda Division and that the department would revert to him.

And then…

At close of business yesterday, at 5pm, Mr Higgins received an email from the Department of Justice saying it had nothing to do with the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and he could not interfere.

As a result, the network has decided to walk from the Garden of Remembrance to the civic plaza in front of the GPO on O’Connell Street where a number of speakers will address supporters.

Funeral Cortege For The Children Of Tuam (Tuam Home Survivors Network)

Previously: Walk With Peter

Our Worst Fears

UPDATE:

Pics: Rollingnews and Tuam Home Survivors’ Network

Tomorrow Saturday, at 1.30pm.

At the IFI in Dublin’s Temple Bar.

As part of the IFI’s Documentary Festival’s Irish Shorts Programme

Mother and Baby, about the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and survivor Peter Mulryan (above), by Mia Mullarkey will be screened.

In addition, The Reek, by Jamie Goldrick; Johnny  by Hugh Rogers; For When I Die by Paul Power; Inhale by Sean Mullan; The Last Miner by Luke Brabazon; Pigeons of Discontent by Paddy Cahill; and Hey Ronnie Reagan by Maurice O’Brien will be screened during the 84-minute slot.

We have two tickets for this screening to the first Broadsheet reader to correctly answer this question.

Which religious order ran the Tuam Mother and Baby home?

IFI Documentary festival

Peter Mulryan, of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network (third right), at a march through Tuam, Co Galway during the papal visit

Peter Mulryan, of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network, writes:

The Children of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home still lie in a disused septic tank at the site of the former ‘home’. Of the 796 Death Certificates issued by the State, burial records are known for just two of those children.

In late 2016, a partial excavation by the Commission of Investigation, confirmed the existence of large quantities of infant remains, in 17 out of 20 chambers of a disused sewerage system. These are the mortal remains of the Children of Tuam.

Since then, neither the local Coroner or the Attorney General has exercised their powers or performed their duties to convene an Inquest into the deaths of a single child.

On Saturday 6th October, we ask the good people of Ireland to join us in a simple dignified funeral cortege to honour the Children of Tuam; children never accorded the dignity of funeral rites by Church or State.

I shall be walking to honour a sister, whom I have never known. Please join us by carrying a simple white shoe-box, bearing the name of a child of Tuam, to represent the coffins they were never granted and the six single mothers who died at the Tuam Home and also have no burial records. Give them that simple act of dignity in less than one hour of your own lifetime.

Funeral Cortege For The Children Of Tuam (Tuam Home Survivors Network)

Previously: Walk With Peter

‘A Dishonest Exercise’

Thanks Kevin

Survivor of the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam Peter Mulryan on  TV4 documentary Fínne which was broadcast last night

Peter Mulryan is 74.

He lived in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway for four and a half years before he was adopted out.

He spoke about his experience both at the home and his adopted home for the first time in 70 years when he spoke on The People’s Debate with Vincent Browne in June 2015.

Last night, he was the subject of a TG4 documentary Fínne, presented by RTÉ’s Orla O’Donnell.

In it, Peter recounted the abuse he suffered in his adoptive home, his search for his birth mother, finding her in a magdalene laundry and being prevented, by the laundry’s nuns, from taking her out to her own home.

He also recalled falling in love, getting married, having his own children – and seeing his mother smile for the first time while holding one of his children.

Fínne can be watched back here.

Peter’s first request for information from the State about his family is recorded as having been made in 1963.

Fifty-five years later, he’s trying to find out if a sister of his died at the home or was trafficked out of Ireland as a child.

Meanwhile…

This Saturday.

The IF Documentary Festival in Temple Bar, Dublin will feature a screening of the documentary Mother & Baby by Alice McDowell and Mia Mullarkey of Iska Films which will also feature Peter.

Tuam Home Survivors Network

Thanks Kevin

From top: The site of the mass grave at Tuam; Peter Mulryan; Attorney General Seamus Woulfe; Mr Mulryan’s letter

A letter sent on Monday by Peter Mulryan, chairperson of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network. to the Attorney General  Seamus Woulfe concerning the remains at the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

The Attorney General has the power to order a coroner to hold inquests into the deaths of any remains exhumed at the site.

Peter’s infant sister Marian Bridget Mulryan is believed to be among the 796 children recorded as having died at the Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway between 1925 and 1961.

Previously: Tuam: Medical Certs, Death Certs And Dr Thomas Bodkin Costello

Thanks Kevin Higgins

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 02.09.05 Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 02.14.07

From top: Former residents of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, Peter Mulryan, and PJ Haverty

Last night TV3’s The People’s Debate With Vincent Browne took place in the Galway East constituency.

During the show, historian Catherine Corless introduced two former residents of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, Peter Mulryan and PJ Haverty.

Ms Corless said Peter has a sister buried at the home but explained that he doesn’t know where she’s specifically buried.

Both men then spoke.

Peter Mulryan said:

“In the mid-Forties I was born in Tuam, in the home there and my mother was separated from me, just after a year of being there. I was taken out of there after four and a half years in that area which was absolutely shocking. Every child there went through that system, came out with pot bellies and why?

If you starve an animal or a dog, what way do they look? That’s the way we looked. It’s frightening to think we went through the same system and I inquired why this happened. I looked for information from Galway County Council, I looked for information from the church, I’m now asking the State to get heavily involved in this, as Catherine is after saying there, I also have a sister laid somewhere around, I don’t know where. I’m making inquiries, nobody can tell me where that angel lies tonight, nobody. And I will find out, no matter how long it’s going to take, what was done to my sister, laid somewhere and no record.

We have a birth record and we have a death certificate but no one will tell me where she is laying tonight. And this is one of the questions I’m asking of the church and the council and the State: to get me answers because I must find, I must find out where. Because I don’t want her lying in what I was told where she may be but we will find out sooner or later…”

“I was four and a half years there, I was adopted out in not nice conditions whatsoever. [My earliest memories were] isolated. I’m not worried about work but the way I was treated, every day I got up: beaten. I dreaded summers for the simple reason here, I never spoke about this before.

Many would get beaten with a rod or a stick, I was treated with nettles. Nettles put inside my trousers. I hated seeing summers coming because I knew this was going to happen again. I was put into a bag one day, I was told I was going to be put into the bog hole. That was my life story. I could go on for another hour.”

“The [foster] mother was an absolute angel and she would often say, when I was being hammered, ‘you might want him yet, some day’ and it did happen. I did [meet my birth mother] with a struggle. But I did meet her, she was in the home for 35 years. I wanted to take her out. I used to take her out once a month and I was told I was coming too often.

But I wanted to take her to our own home but was denied the chance and she died of a broken heart in that place, where she worked for 35 years in slavery, in a laundry where she worked in a cold yard, frosty mornings and the old-fashioned way of washing clothes and they couldn’t talk to their friends beside them. Nobody knew what was going on within the system.

They couldn’t talk about their life or complain. They were never let out to do shopping, anything. They were just what I call, like myself, nobody. She died there and I didn’t know it in time to visit her either. She died aged 84 and she’d been there 35 years.”

PJ Haverty said:

“I was born in the home in Tuam as well and I spent six and a half years there and I was told that I went to the national school for two years, which I did and we had to go in ten minutes late in the morning and leave ten minutes early in the evening, so as we wouldn’t mix with the kids from outside, in case we’d tell them anything about what went on in the home.

And in the playground we were cornered off in a section so we wouldn’t be allowed to play with the other kids. So, lucky for me, I finished up in a fantastic foster home and I was looked after very well and then my foster mother was very good to me and we decided to go looking for my birth mother because she felt sorry for my birth mother. So after great work, a social worker accidentally left a file opened and my mother’s name and the address was on it, so I worked from there and she was in Brixton in England. And she had married with no family.

So, when I got to meet her then, she told me what had happened in the home. That she was rejected by her own parents because of the Catholic church, being pregnant outside of marriage, and had to be taken to Tuam. And they didn’t have the hundred pounds to pay.If she did, she’d have the baby and be released again straight away.

But she had to stay there for 12 months, to work there as a slave, looking after the babies, cleaning and tidying the place. So when the 12 months was up she was shown the door and told to get out and I was going to be fostered out.

So she went down to the hospital in Tuam and got a job there as a cleaner. So every so often she would make that 10 minutes, 15 minutes walk to the home and knock on the door and ask could I be seen, could she talk to me, ‘could I take him away from there altogether, I want to look after him’ and they said, ‘no’, they closed the door on her face. And she spent about six years doing that. Til eventually I was fostered out then and she decided then, there’s no hope staying here, so she went to England.

And she went to Brixton then and she married there. But had no family. And she told me this story and I thought about Our Lord being crucified but my god these mothers, you know in the homes throughout Ireland, were crucified. And I blame the church, I blame the State and I hope that you don’t delay and get to the bottom of all this and not to drag it out like we’ve all these tribunals going on 20, 15 years.”

Thanks Luke O’Riordan

Previously: Reputable History and Mortal Spin