Tag Archives: Tuam Home Survivors Network

Cover of the Irish Mail on Sunday, on May 25, 2014; the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed to journalists last Saturday that excavation work at the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway, will begin in the latter half of 2019.

Further to this…

The Tuam Home Survivors’ Network have since released a statement saying:

“It is now four and a half years since Alison O’Reilly broke the story of Tuam to the world press on Sunday the 25th of May, 2014.

“In March 2017, Minister Katherine Zappone advised that the remains uncovered during the test excavation dated to the period of the home (1925-1961) and were of babies and children aged between 35 fetal weeks and three years.

“This revelation, while confirming what many survivors and family members suspected, brought a new urgency to the situation.

“Finally, Dr Geoffrey Shannon’s report focused on the human rights which continue from cradle to beyond the grave attributing to the 796 in an effort to provide much needed dignity and respect to the lost children of Tuam and six mothers whose burial place remains unknown.

“To that end, we look forward to the New Year in the hope that it brings some element of closure to an injustice that weighs heavily on families seeking return of loved ones and an elderly population of survivors who seek answers in their lifetime.

Tuam Home Survivors Network looks forward to direct involvement in decisions by Government and appointed experts along every step of the way throughout this comprehensive programme of activity required to bring about a resolution that meets with international best practice protocols for the recovery of human remains and to bring comfort to our network participants, primarily family members and survivors.”

Tuam Home Survivors Network Response Regarding An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Confirmation of Exhumation in 2019 (Tuam Home Survivors Network)


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.”

From top: Taoiseach leo Varadkar and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; The site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway

This evening.

At 7.30pm.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will meet with a representative of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network in Government Buildings.

Ahead of this meeting, the network writes:

Birth and death certificates for the former Tuam Home number 1,101 births, within the home, and 796 deaths, within the home. Of those recorded as dying within the home, slightly in excess of 79% failed to reach the age of one year.

The graveyard records of Galway County Council disclose burial places for just two of those children. Despite the previous knowledge of both Galway County Council and the Bon Secours Order, the presence of large numbers of infant remains was finally confirmed by an exploratory dig at the Tuam site in October 2016.

It further confirmed that the resting place of those remains had, for some decades, served as repository for sewerage.

That partial excavation confirmed what was already reasonably believed – that a large number at least of the children who had died as inmates of the home, for whom no burial records exist, lie with the remains of that sewerage system.

In a functioning civil society, the local coroner would have convened an inquest without delay into such a mass grave of children who had been jointly in the care of the State and the Bon Secours Order.

Two years after the discovery of those remains, the local Coroner has failed in his statutory duty and two Attorneys General have failed to nominate a replacement coroner, which in all the circumstances, they are clearly obliged to do under section 24 of the Coroners Act.

Instead the children of Tuam and their families have been subjected to another two years of obfuscation and deceit.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs continues to hold the position that Government has the power to decide the future of the Tuam site.

If either she or Government has, at any time, received advice from the office of the Attorney General that Government has such powers, they should publish that advice now.

The Tuam Home Survivors Network does not believe that any such advice exists, but if it does, it is clearly very bad advice.

The only acceptable outcome in the matter of the Tuam mass grave is the immediate convening of an inquest into the deaths of all the children recorded as dying within it, for whom no burial record exists.

This requires a complete forensic exhumation, together with use of all resources required, to complete the most extensive DNA database possible and post-mortems to determine, wherever possible, the cause of each death.

The removal of the children of Tuam from one mass grave to a different mass grave is unacceptable and any attempt to impose anything so disrespectful will be resisted by all lawful means.

The Position of the Tuam Home Survivors Network in agreeing to meet Government members on Monday 22nd October 2018 (Tuam Home Survivors Network)

Thanks Kevin Higgins



Survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and friends gathered at the site of the mass grave on Saturday for a Remembrance Day for the 796 children believed buried there.

Last month, to the dismay of survivor groups, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone released a letter she gave to Pope Francis regarding her hope that the Vatican will pay for the exhumation costs.

Saturday: Meanwhile, In Tuam

Previously: Disinterring Tuam

‘A Dishionest Exercise’

This morning/afternoon.

Tuam, County Galway

Ciaran Tierney writes:

Survivors held a special service of remembrance for the 796 Tuam babies at the Tuam site. Women from all over the world knitted a beautiful white blanket to honour each of the babies…

Tuam Home Survivors; Network

Yesterday: How To make An Irish Quilt

Pics via Ciaran Tierney, National Collective of Community Based Women’s Networks, Elaine Feeney

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.


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