HomeTagsPosts tagged with "tuam babies"

tuam babies


In response to the papal visit this weekend, those impacted by the discovery made at the Tuam Mother and Babies Home will gather in peaceful vigil. 

Survivors of the home and relatives of infants found on the grounds will host their vigil at the same time as the papal Mass in Phoenix Park.

The vigil will be held in Galway on August 26th. 

'Pope Francis needs to make a public statement saying he is sorry for what was done in the name of the church in the past, rather than meeting victims in private,' Historian Catherine Corless told The Irish Times.

Ms Corless worked tirelessly to trace the death certificates of 796 who resided at the Tuam site.

'I cannot see what the problem is with a public statement of apology.'

Last year, significant numbers of human remains were found in what appeared to be a septic waste unit at the site. 

'These remains involved a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to 2-3 years,” said The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.

'Radiocarbon dating of the samples recovered suggest that the remains date from the timeframe relevant to the operation of the Mother and Baby Home. The homes ran from 1925 to 1961.'

The site had been undergoing excavations to investigate sub surface anomalies that were considered worthy of investigation.

Feature image: Niall Carson.


Last month, Ireland voted to repeal the 8th amendment to our constitution which makes abortion in this country illegal. 

Since the referendum vote, the Government has been debating and discussing the best ways to introduce the full spectrum of reproductive rights into our health care system.  

However, one retired priest and author of God Sense or Nonsense Fr Con McGillicuddy took to pen to paper to detail how he felt that mother and baby homes should be reintroduced as the alternative to abortion in Ireland. 

A letter sent in to and printed by The Kerryman local newspaper was photographed and shared on Twitter

'As an alternative to this recurring problem may I suggest that the Department of Health provide an alternative to abortion. It could do so in this affluent age by providing assistance to the women so afflicted – like finance as well as medical and psychological aid.'

'In bygone years a cash-strapped government relied heavily on nuns to labour in mother and baby homes on frugal subsidies to care for mothers and their infants. Health standards were very sub-standard then, resulting in high mortality rates for infants and mothers.'

'The Department of Health could now provide mother and baby homes, with all services included, emphasis on privacy for the women, or provide services for the women who opt to live on their own.'

'When their babies are born, the choice would be to retain their babies or place them for adoption.' 

'A practical and beneficial spin-off would be that infertile couples could adopt 'unwanted' babies in Ireland, sparing them the ordeal of travelling abroad and having to cope with intricate legal restrictions.' 

'Politicians should consider and debate this alternative, as our government seems to be completely fixed on abortion.' 

His letter has caused uproar on Twitter, with many hoping that the piece is a work of satire. 

However, Fr McGillicuddy is known to spend his spare time penning letters to newspapers in a bid to 'uphold the Catholic faith.' 

'It’s like going back in time reading the letter! Decades of abuse – physical, mental, sexual and deplorable treatment of women and babies,' one Twitter user wrote.

This week, the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries united in Dublin to be honoured at Áras an Uachtarán and the Mansion House.

Many of the over-200 survivors, now aged in their 80s, faced brutal, horrendous treatment at the institutions.

'The treatment of vulnerable citizens in our industrial and reformatory schools, in the Magdalene Laundries and in Mother and Baby Homes represents a deep stain on Ireland’s past, a stain we can only regard today with great shame, profound regret and horror,' President Michael D Higgins told the women.  

'It is sobering to consider that many women were also victims of the cruel and degrading regimes of Industrial or Reformatory Schools before being referred to the Laundries, and so many were intimidated into a silence by the abuse of authority of one kind or another,' he said, according to The Journal. 

'Ireland failed you. When you were vulnerable and in need of the support of Irish society and its institutions, its authorities did not cherish you, protect you, respect your dignity or meet your needs and so many in the wider society colluded with their silence.' 

Many have called for the suffering of those in mother and baby homes and other Catholic institutions be commemorated historically in a museum. 



A debate on the Tuam babies scandal was scheduled to kick off at 10am this morning, however the debate was delayed as not enough TDs showed up for the meeting. 

Oireachtas rules state that 20 of the 158 elected TDs must be present for a debate to occur, meaning the meeting started behind schedule as the Dáil waited for others to show up. 

Once the debate began, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone issued an apology to the victims of the scandal, and told TDs she will consider including all residential Irish institutions in the current inquiry.

Twitter and Facebook users quickly became aware of the dwindled numbers of TDs present, and they definitely were not impressed by the government's percieved dismissive attitude towards the issue. 

Many Facebook users are demanding a list of the officials who did not show up to be published, so that they can officially complain to their elected representatives.

"Where can you see a list of those who did attend so we can email those from our constituency who are supposedly meant to be representing us who did not show up for this debate. I'm totally disgusted by this," said one. 

"What the hell needs to happen for them to turn up? A debate on cutting their expenses would have it jammed. Just furious."

"It's because they don't care! They don't care when it happened why would we think they care now! By the way they sleep very well at night in case anyone is interested," commented another outraged citizen,on a Facebook post about the debate.

"Aw well it's not as if it's water charges just dead babies, sure we wouldn't bother marching for that," said another. 

Katherine Zappone labelled the issue “a scandal of huge proportions.”