Tuam Home Survivors Network consists of survivors, family members and advocates who seek to inform and obtain a factual representation of this dark period in our recent history. We seek to encourage and enable survivors and those affected, to speak and record their experiences so that we can present a true, factual first-hand testimonial based account that is accessible to all.

“Survivors helping Survivors”

Our mission is to support survivors of Mother and Baby Homes by offering solidarity and friendship through a peer-supportive network to enable them to speak candidly of their experiences. Assisted by advocates, we work jointly to ensure that no survivor, regardless of length of stay or experience in such Institution is left behind – and that their place, central to the process of recognition, is guaranteed at all times.


08/08/2018 - The following is a copy of a letter sent to Mr Séamus Woulfe, Attorney General by Peter Mulryan dated 7th August 2018.

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Mr Seamus Woulfe SC
Office of the Attorney General,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2.

 

Dear Mr Woulfe,

Further to my recent letter.

Dr Val Costello as Coroner for North Galway continues to fail in his obligations to convene an Inquest into the mass grave at Tuam and the deaths of up to 800 infants.

Where he has so clearly failed, there is a clear obligation on you to appoint a Coroner to convene an Inquest into the Tuam deaths. It is not up to me to cite the legal argument or statutory basis under which that duty falls on you, it must be assumed that you as Attorney are reasonably aware of the law and of the significance of the Tuam mass grave.

By Kevin Higgins

30/07/2018 - As the horror of Tuam has unfolded over the last four years, there has been a steady stream of denial in the form of comment which has been ill-informed, inaccurate, ignorant in the crudest sense and sometimes just ill-mannered.

The nay-sayers have included those who have come to enjoy over time, some degree of public credibility. This in some cases has led to a career posturing as a polymath with an implied indemnity for the damage their oracle-like pronouncements cause. In this green and sometimes pleasant land, it was always thus.

The following riposte is directed in part at Mr John Waters, because he chose to strut about in the public domain, in a manner that has not merely misrepresented the actuality of Tuam but is grossly offensive and hurtful to the extended Tuam family. Survivors do not have to tolerate another layer of abuse and will not.

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When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean―neither more nor less ....the question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things. The question is, said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master―that's all.   Through the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll, 1872

Since the Tuam story began to circulate widely in 2014 there has been no shortage of those seeking to discredit it, to diminish the horror and even in the face of incontrovertible evidence to deny it ever happened. Many such responses, if not all, come from individuals or organisations which represent conservative Catholic thinking apparently firmly fixed in a dogma that dominated the Ireland of the first half of the twentieth century or in some cases, the era of the Spanish Inquisition.  Some of it has targeted Catherine Corless and been unpleasantly derogatory of her. One notable voice is that of Bill Donohue 'President of the Catholic League of America'. Continuing his previous dismissals of the Tuam mass grave, Donohue criticised the major story published by the New York Times, written by Dan Barry and entitled: The Lost Children of Tuam. This was published in an editorial gesture of great empathy and generosity with an eight page Special Supplement to the paper's edition of October 29th 2017.

21/02/2018 - We recognise that the Commission is restricted by the Commission of Investigaton Act 2004 and by the Terms of Reference set by the Oireachtas.

We are grateful that the Commission working  within those restraints interpreted its powers in a manner which led it to carry out a search of the Tuam site, which confirmed it as a mass grave.

Latest News

Monthly Update on Issues relating to Mother and Baby Homes - Aug 2018

The first meeting of the Collaborative Forum was held on Thursday 26th July in Government Buildings Minister Katherine Zappone was in attendance at this inaugural meeting and addressed the Forum’s 20 members, thanking them for their commitment and highlighting the value of the Forum as -

“A real opportunity for us to take one more step in putting our shameful past behind us — not forgetting it, or simply ‘moving on’, but acknowledging, knowing, recording, and building on it; using our past to help us to move forward”.

Read more ...

Minister Katherine Zappone's Speech

On Monday, the 23rd of July, Minister Katherine Zappone held a meeting in Tuam which we attended and where our secretary Breeda took the following notes as transcript in real time on the laptop as the Minister spoke.

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Good evening everyone, almost all here, maybe more will gather.  Thank you very much for coming.  I am joined by Fergal Lynch (Secretary General) Michelle Shannon (Director, Youth assistant director), Doyle working in section of department with her – and Wendy and Liam will assist later as part of evening to help facilitate exchanges with me.

To say first of all how appreciative I am for you to give time, many having done this and having spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting and advocating for issues related to site of Tuam. Many of you are aware I’ve met with some of you this is my fourth visit over the last year and a half

Speaking a little first to you; First by speaking about the decisions I now have to make and how I hope to make them and why I am here this evening with my officials. We start with that point and may I say as more people are coming in, to acknowledge the montage of children’s toys that greeted us as we came in to recall the 796 children and I acknowledge that as part of the evening and the depth of feeling behind that as well.

Read more ...

Dr Thomas Bodkin Costello

22/07/2018 - The following written by Kevin Higgins is based on research undertaken by him over the last four years and is part of a much larger work. It gives us a clearer view of how  the Tuam children were treated including my own sister and makes it even more urgent that a full exhumation takes place. An Inquest must be convened and post-mortems conducted to determine how the Children of the Tuam Home died.

Kevin Higgins has acted as my solicitor in the only litigation involving Mother and Baby Homes which has so far come before the High Court. Those proceedings will continue.

Peter Mulryan, Chairperson, Tuam Home Survivors Network.

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Dr Thomas Bodkin Costello (and Friends)

Dr Thomas Bodkin Costello, local worthy, doctor, enthusiastic antiquarian and by popular acclaim, all-round 'good egg', became Medical Officer to the so-called Mother and Baby Home at Tuam when it opened in 1925. He had previously been Medical Officer to Tuam Workhouse, for many years, housed in those same buildings until its closure in 1921.

While we know from a number of disclosures in recent years, that any records kept by the Bon Secours Order when they managed the Home over thirty-six years, must be viewed with distrust, we should be able to treat official State documents with some credibility. In this instance, we should be able to look at the Death Certificates for 796 children issued by the State itself between 1925 and 1961 with some confidence. These Certificates deal only with those children who died within the Home itself and give no indication as to the life span or health and welfare of any child who left the Home. Furthermore, there is no certainty that the 796 Death Certificates available reflect the deaths of all children which occurred in the Home.

Read more ...

Zappone on visit to Tuam to hear views on Mother and Baby Home site

17/07/2018 - The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone is to visit Tuam on Monday evening next (23rd July 2018).

During the visit she is expected to take time listening to the views of people on the future of the site of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

Read more ...

Press Release - Tuam Home Survivors Network Response Regarding the Consultation Report

07/07/2018 - The Report of the so-called "Consultative process" on the future of the Tuam site is worthless, a crudely designed mechanism to delay or prevent what clearly requires to be done.

This Report commissioned by Minister Zappone using Galway County Council as her agent, seeks to further the myth that the Minister and Government in general has the power to decide the future of the mass grave at Tuam.

Read more ...

For details on how to contact the Tuam Home Survivors Network please click here.