by Charley Brady - ‘Irish American News’, Chicago.
11/03/2017 - “There aren’t going to be any happy endings here. No one is going to come out of this looking very good. What were the fathers of these children doing? Did they just watch and breathe a sigh of relief as their pregnant lover was dragged off to a life of misery and their child was farmed off to whoever would have it? Were the fathers’ families equally relieved? Many must be alive now, having gone onto raise families of their own.
Do they sometimes lie there staring into the darkness at three o’clock in the morning? Or did they buy into the Church’s wicked teachings hook, line and sinker (as much for convenience as anything else) that the Wanton Woman was to blame for her tempting ways and as the descendent of Eve?
Were these children and the unmarried mothers just embarrassments to be locked away lest they ‘shamed’ a country that considered itself to be the land of saints and scholars?”
‘Swimming Upstream’, Irish American News, 2014
A truth revealed, is slowing coming to light, the story of the tens of thousands of babies stolen at birth and sold abroad by the Irish Catholic Church. This illegal sale through Irish Catholic Adoptive Agencies was and is a scandal. Mothers to this day continue to search for their disappeared children. In the depravity that marked the period, young unwed mothers were enslaved or killed after giving birth and their babies were stolen and handed over to Irish Catholic Church Adoptive Agencies to raise. In continued crimes committed by the powerful Irish Catholic Church, it's impossible to imagine something more evil than this. The Irish Catholic Church falsifying names and births on birth certificates, and openly helping American families to adopt babies, stolen from their doomed unwed mothers, back in Ireland. Nobody in the Irish Catholic Church has been charged with kidnapping and falsifying official documents. Many unwed mothers, to this day carry two weights, called “Shame” and “Guilt”, and blamed themselves for the loss of their babies. We here in Ireland need to deal and uncover the true crimes of the past, that more than 65,000 babies were stolen during the dictatorship of the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland alone, and to many experts that figure is much higher, the theft of babies was systematic in all Irish Mother and Baby Homes.
We need the Irish Government to immediately thrown their support behind the effort to uncover the crimes of the past, the theft and illegal sale of Irish babies from over 200 Mother and Baby Homes and religious Orphanages in Ireland. "We do not have time to keep waiting, for promises of Irish Government help, many mothers are getting older by the day, and dying off, emotionally mutilated by the lies of the Irish Catholic Church and never knowing what became of their stolen babies, sold to who and where". Some babies, as many as 650, were murdered or died in transit, an unwed mother who had her baby stolen or murdered cannot ever live as before, her life is truly over.
By Alison O'reilly For The Irish Mail On Sunday
A shocking recording from a woman who worked in an Irish home for unmarried mothers where almost 800 children died confirms there is an unmarked grave on the grounds of the infamous institution.
Julia Devaney entered St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway when she was nine years old and spent 36 years there until it closed in 1961. She worked as a domestic servant for the Bon Secours nuns.
Mrs Devaney gave a stark account of the home in a recorded interview with a former employer who ran a shop in Tuam some time in the 1980s. However, the tapes only resurfaced earlier this year.
From the 1920s, unmarried pregnant women in Ireland were routinely sent to institutions to have their babies, many of whom were sent to America for adoption.
Local historian Catherine Corless, who researched the names of the 796 children who died in the home from 1925 to 1961, has spent a number of months transcribing Ms Devaney’s interview.
Mother-and-baby homes were only part of the system for dealing with unmarried mothers in the 1950s. Many children were also sold into a thriving network that stretched from Ireland to the US
By Mike Millote - The Irish Times
The National Archives of Ireland contain just a few snippets, but they are enough to make clear that State officials in 1950s Ireland knew the country was a centre for illegal international baby trafficking. The number of children involved can’t even be guessed at, but we can be sure they were all “illegitimate”.
Ireland was regarded as a “hunting ground”, in the words of a senior civil servant, where foreigners in search of babies could easily obtain illegitimate children from mother-and-baby homes and private nursing homes, then remove them from the State without any formalities.
There were both legal and illegal adoptions. During the 1950s up to 15 per cent of all illegitimate Irish children born in mother-and-baby homes each year were taken to the United States with the full knowledge of the State. In total more than 2,000 illegitimate children were removed from the country in this way. Most were adopted by wealthy American Catholics.
Limerick historian uncovers a damning trail of news reports on the Tuam Children’s Home, including this 1924 photo of children at the earlier Glenamaddy Home.Connacht Tribune
The 796 infants and children buried in an unmarked mass grave in the septic tank behind St. Mary’s Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway made headlines around the world after their shocking story broke in May 2014.
But this is not the first time the Home and the ‘Home babies,’ as locals call them, have been in the news.
Following early reports on the research of Tuam historian Catherine Corless, who brought the story to light, Liam Hogan, a Limerick-based historian and librarian, began uncovering a trail of damning news clips dating from before the Home’s founding in 1925 to after its closure in 1961.
The articles show that the Home was very much a matter of both public and governmental knowledge. And the way in which they discuss the Home’s occupants (or “inmates” as they are more often referred to) makes clear the totally normalized disdain with which all the “illegitimate children” and “fallen women” were held.
The Tuam Children’s Home, it turns out, is a scandal that emerged from an even earlier scandal – The Glenamaddy Children’s Home, less than 20 miles away.
Fred Barbash - The Washington Post
Among the bitter images of his childhood at “the Home for Mothers and Babies” in Tuam, Ireland, two stand out as particularly wrenching to John Pascal Rodgers.
Of the first, he has no independent recollection as he was only a year and a half old. His mother told him 48 years later about it. One day at Tuam, she explained, she found out that she was about to be separated from her son by the nuns who ran the home, perhaps forever. So she came in and “cut off a lock of my hair as a memento.”
The nuns then sent her to an institution then called “the Magdalene Asylum” in Galway, he said. She was 17-years-old. “The key was turned in the door and she remained there 15 years until she got the courage to escape.”
Conall Ó Fáthara - Irish Examiner
The Government must push the Catholic Church and religious orders to open their records to abuse survivors and academics.
Catriona Crowe, former head of special projects at the National Archives of Ireland, said that it “should not be a matter of grace and favour” that survivors are granted full access to records, but a matter of right.
She said Ireland had seen unprecedented disclosures relating to treatment of vulnerable women and children across a unique archipelago of institutions — mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries, industrial schools, and reformatories. She said the only way to achieve a complete picture of what happened is to have full access to their archives.
She said these institutions were run largely with the blessing of the State and, as a result, the State should now intervene.