Tag Archives: Tuam Babies

Pieces from the Stay With Me exhibition

Today is the final day of the Stay With Me art exhibition at the In-spire Gallerie on 56, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.

The exhibition consists of artworks created by people moved by the Tuam Babies story.

The gallery writes:

We will have a screening of Mia Mullarkey’s ‘Mother and Baby’ along with the artists coming together to reflect on what has been an emotional but rewarding journey for them.

All are welcome to join us at the gallery from 12pm to 9pm [today] and have a final chance to see these beautiful works by artists from Ireland and abroad in honour of The Tuam Babies and our celebration of Love.

Broadsheet understands that such has been the reaction to the exhibition that it is hoped it will be brought to other towns across Ireland and abroad in the near future.

The exhibition was officially opened by RTÉ journalist Philip Boucher Hayes two weeks ago.

In-spire Gallerie

Previously: You Are Cordially Invited

Thanks Alison



The Late Late Show on RTÉ One.

Damian Mac Con Uladh writes:

A standing ovation for fearless and tireless researcher Catherine Corless…

Fintan Dunne writes:

“Ahead of  last night’s  show, I spent yesterday in Catherine’s company with Kathy McMahon of Irish First Mothers as Catherine’s husband Aidan plied us with coffee and biscuits.

Catherine’s demeanour then was just as relaxed, but with the inherent strain of it all visible on her face.

Tonight, as she turned to face the deep acclaim, her features lit up like the clear light she represents.

The people have ssued a verdict.

The existing secretive and minimalist Commission of Investigation just slid into the deep on an ebbing tide…

In fairness.

Previously: Catherine Corless on broadsheet.ie

Thanks Dermot Keyes


Where’s Terry?

There you go now.

hereshow Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 16.54.56

From top: William Campbell; Terry Prone; Sr Marie Ryan of the Bon Secours order

Here’s How the current affairs podcast presented by journalist William Campbell addresses the media and Tuam.

William writes:

Did the country leader of the Sisters of Bon Secours-Ireland, Sr Marie Ryan organise a campaign of lies and media manipulation in an attempt to distract from the story of the Tuam babies? The latest edition of the Here’s How podcast investigates…

Includes interview with Brendan O’Neill, author of this morning’s criticism of reaction to Tuam.

Listen here

here’s How


Today’s Irish Times

the mawkish discussion of Tuam, the transformation of it into fodder for tabloid outrage and ostentatious emoting on Twitter, is an ugly spectacle.

It seems designed not to work out what happened in the home, but to make it a symbol of evil that we decent people might contrast ourselves against.

It’s virtue signalling – an attempt to advertise one’s own moral rectitude by poring over the depravity of bygone eras.

The most striking thing about the handwringing over Tuam is its impatience with fact-gathering. These Tuam ghouls cannot wait for all the information – they have virtue to display, and they’re damn well going to display it.

…If we look calmly at what is actually known, then it seems that while the home was an awful, tragic place, it was not necessarily a site of insanity or evil.

That the “structure” had 20 chambers suggests it had been turned into a kind of catacomb. That the children buried there were “swaddled up”, as one eye-witness described it, suggests they were not simply “dumped”.

That the discovery of the structure in the 1970s was followed by a priestly blessing and then the setting up of a grotto by local people suggests the town of Tuam, and Old Ireland more broadly, was not a foul place but rather had many good people in it, concerned for the dead.’

Rush to moralise over Tuam has run ahead of the facts (Brendan O’Neill, The irish Times)

Graham K writes:

A week on and the Irish Times has made no efforts to correct the smear on historian Catherine Corless. Instead we are left with ‘edgy’ op-ed columns like this (above) smearing people for their reaction to Tuam. We are virtue signalling about dead babies apparently…wow. Just wow.

Brendan O Neill?

Earlier: Children of A lesser God

diarmuid1June 5, 2014

RTE Reporter: “This mass grave in Tuam gives us some indication of what went on in those homes. It was discovered 40 years ago by two children. Why are we only hearing about it now?”

Diarmaid Ferriter (Professor of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin):  “Well it’s clear that the work that has been done by Catherine Corless a local historian to see if there was any register of the death of babies and infants. That was a process that lead to a connection between this mass grave and this mother and baby home.”


June 27, 2014

“We have to be careful about scapegoating, we have to be careful about rushing  to pronouncements and definitive declarations of what happened, you know, and this erroneous assertion that 800 bodies were dumped in a septic tank. That is not true. And yet there is this rush when these scandals break. There’s a rush to judgement and  sometimes  rush to scapegoat. None of these institutions were one dimensional…we need to be aware of context.”

Diarmaid Ferriter to Dutch journalist Arjen van der Horst


March 6, 2017

Claire Byrne: In 2014, you said that the assumption or the claims that were 800 childreen dumped in a septic tank in Tuam were erroneous. Do you still hold that view?

Diarmaid Ferriter: “I don’t know.”

UCD History Professor, Diarmuid Ferriter, discusses deaths at mother-and-baby homes (RTE, June 5, 2014)

Tuam and Ireland’s shame: unedited interview with historian Diarmaid Ferriter (Interview with Arjen van der Horst, June 27, 2914)

Claire Byrne Live ‘Tuam Babies’, March 6, 2017 (RTÉ)

Previously: Terry Prone’s Reputable History

Thanks Newsworthy.ie


Severed Connections

All those bones.
All those bodies.
All those secrets.
And where are the daddies?
Who split the thighs,
spilt the seed
who hid and ran
still running
as the missus carries the load.

Where are those daddies?
Those fine upstanding pillars.
Come from good stock.
Respectable families.
Well known. Well regarded.
Where daddy and grand daddy
split thighs and spilt seeds.
Where do they go to my lovies?
Flight of the fucking pillars.

And you – Mother Ireland – believe
those days are gone.
What of the bent and twisted spines,
crushed livers, spleens and ribcages.
Flooded lungs drowning day by day.
Your children.
Ireland’s vision of the best place for children in the world.
And still you line your pockets, your coffers,
while the crush goes on.
Rotten mouths and crumbling teeth.
Dentists on their knees upon a
suppliant child while doctor takes pliers
and pulls, tugs, the sawing of tender gums
and bone until the socket lets go with a wet
The clink as it lands in the stainless steel bowl.
This year’s allotment funded. The one beside
must wait – give the toxins time to rot gum, tooth and bone.
No matter the pain.

And still Vera walks. arthritic knees, tonsillitis,
driving March rains, sleet and dank cold.
260km, a second time.
Cork to Dublin.
To fling herself prostrate at the Dail
Masters’ feet
who’d wish you gave them more time.
Time your wee ones don’t have.
Time that no one gave the bones
and bone-dust settled on the Tuam grasses,
where wildflowers refuse to grow.

And Ireland, Mother Fucking Ireland –
your people wail, rage and still you line your
pockets, your coffers.
While your people sleep the streets,
the alleyways,
tent cities and cardboard mattresses.
Just a space to call home.

And Maurice who was good, of fine standing and
integrity you bent and bowed
and urged him break
And his wife
His children
You whipped over and over
And still he did not break
Yet still you pushed your lies home.

And the people who flee these shores
don’t only abandon country and kin –
with suicide the only other option –
They leave in droves, and sure why
wouldn’t they?
There is nothing here but rank waste.

And the good ones?
The thousands, millions who stay
because they believe in
Mother Fucking Ireland?
It’s time – time to untie these binds.

Mari Maxwell

Mari writes:

I wrote this in reaction to today’s Commission report on the Tuam burial site

Illustration: ‘800’ by Annie West

Earlier: Our Worst Fears


The Angels plot of the Mother and Babies Home in Tuam Co Galway on Saturday

The excavation of a the possible site of a mass grave in the grounds of the  Tuam Mother and Baby home has begun.

But have they identified the right plot?

Izzy Kamikaze writes:

A few weeks ago, I was happy to hear an excavation was starting at the site of the Mother & Baby Home in Tuam.

Then I saw where the hoarding went up.

I have information that suggests they’re digging in the wrong place and I know the Commission of Inquiry into Mother & Baby Homes has that information too.

It’s hard to know how to react. I struggled with feelings of powerlessness and despair. Is the hoarding in the wrong place accidentally or on purpose?

Whose interests does it serve? In a country that ‘apologises’ to Magdalene women, then tries to swindle them out of the medical care they were promised, the line between conspiracy and cock up is very hard to find.

…When corruption at the top gets to people at the bottom of the pile, it tells us we don’t matter. We might see what’s happening, but we can’t change anything, we’re too small and unimportant.

Nobody will believe us. Nobody will hear us. There’s nothing we can do. If the people at the top don’t want change and the people at the bottom think they can’t make change, then change doesn’t happen. That’s how the country that once led the world in locking up inconvenient people becomes the world leader in letting sleeping dogs lie.

The time for letting sleeping dogs lie at Tuam is over.

We’re meant to feel powerless, but we are not powerless.

[Historian] Catherine Corless, who documented 796 deaths at the Tuam Children’s Home, is not powerless.

Adopted people denied information about their origins are not powerless. Women whose children were taken are not powerless. We can expose what’s hidden. We can make change.

One way we can make change is to appeal to those who do have power and to do so publicly. We can make it impossible for people in power to say they didn’t know what was going on and what they needed to do to put it right.

So, I’ve written a letter to Katherine Zappone, who’s currently the Minister for Children, but I’ve also written it to you. In it, I tell her (and you) that

Witness descriptions of burials at Tuam confirm there is more than one burial site.

One witness description of burials closely matches disused sewage tanks below the site (formerly a 19th century workhouse.) These tanks are outside the area being investigated.

Witness descriptions of a second burial site may describe either a section of the 19th century sewage system or the 20th century septic tank which replaced it. Only the 20th century tank is within the area being investigated.

An area which may contain burials is under an access laneway used by cars. This may be destroying evidence and is also potentially dangerous to drivers and pedestrians.

If underground structures at the site in Tuam were not properly treated when the housing estate was built, there is serious risk of them collapsing, causing injury or death to users of the area which includes a children’s playground.

Failure to find bodies at Tuam, or to find the number of bodies there should be (which is in excess of 800) may indicate that deaths were falsified in order to facilitate illegal adoptions.

It’s a long letter [full text below], but easy to read, so put the kettle on and make some time. Come back to it later, if you need to.

But please don’t read this just as an appeal to the power of the Minister. It’s an appeal to your personal power, the power they try to make you believe you don’t have.

A letter to the Minister with responsibility for the Tuam Babies (Izzy Kamikaze)

Previously: ‘The Septic Tank Was In This Location’


Pic: Andy Newman via Tuam In Pictures

Or dig for that matter.

Good news for James Reilly’s friend and PR adviser Terry Prone, who is running bruising public relations for the Bon Secours nuns.

G’wan the circle.