From top: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone and Sister Marie Ryan of the Bon Secours; A copy of correspondence between the order and the Department of Children
A copy of correspondence between the order and the Department of Children – obtained by Noteworthy under FOI – confirmed that the Bon Secours Sisters wanted to make a €2.5 million “donation” for the works that needed to be carried out at Tuam.
However, it was explicit that this was voluntary, with country leader Sister Marie Ryan writing: “Our advice is that we do not have any legal liability arising from St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home and we note that at our meeting you [Minister Zappone] agreed and acknowledged same.”
They said their donation would help to “expedite” the investigations the government wanted to do at Tuam.
Sister Ryan wrote: “This payment will be the sole contribution made by the Sisters of Bon Secours Ireland to the government in relation to the site.”
Separately, an account of a meeting between the Bon Secours Sisters and Zappone describes how the order had been “genuinely shocked” by the discovery of remains of the children buried at the site.
“[They] never expected such a finding,” the notes said.
Previously: ‘Created And Operated By The State’