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.
The so-called Commission of Investigation is now exposed as what we have always known it to be, a shallow dishonest exercise in suppressing the truth.
There can be no Justice without redress for survivors and that redress must be paid for by Religious Orders who have harvested enormous wealth by inflicting misery and death on the most vulnerable in our society.
There can be no Justice without an Inquest into the dead of Tuam. They died horribly and unnecessarily. They had no life as children. The State owes them the dignity of an Inquest and a Death Certificate that truly shows why they died.
There can be no more betrayals of our dead children.
Chapter by chapter we will in the coming weeks publish what we have discovered over the last almost eight years. Today we begin with “The Hidden History of Tuam”.
Our fight has not ended, it has barely begun. We have so far relied entirely on our own meagre resources. We would be grateful if even in these difficult times, you can give some small support to our campaign. We begin again today.
One of the few joys of reading the old title documentation of Irish land transactions are the curiosities that often emerge from them. By Deed dated 17th June 1917 a small parcel of land was sold to the Guardians of the Tuam Workhouse by Captain Quentin Dick, holder of the Fee Simple, or ultimate title to that land. As appears on that Deed (see below) one of the Dick family residences was at Grosvenor Crescent, Belgrave Square, London, part of what is known as Belgravia, a neighbourhood where only the very wealthy have ever been able to own a house.
Those old enough to be devotees of the vintage television series Upstairs, Downstairs will recall that the fictional Bellamy family lived at 165 Eaton Place. The list of notables who have lived there is substantial and diverse. Today the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich who owns Chelsea Football Club, has a large property on the corner with Belgrave Square.
Quentin Dick was a 'toff' with a family tree and wealth which guaranteed his privileged place in society. Like so many who occupied such a position, his family had been owners of significant tracts of Irish land. Indeed, Dáil questions in March 1946 (footnote 1) dealt with the delayed disposal of the Captain Quentin Dick Estate by the Land Commission. The family always combined its wealth and position in society with the presence of its males in the forces of the Crown. There have always been Dicks in the British Officer Corps.
The 1917 transaction was a small one, involving a plot adjoining the wall of the Tuam Workhouse. The parcel of land in question was in possession of one of the sub-lessees of the land to which the Captain held ultimate title. For some years the Guardians of the Tuam Poor Law Union, had paid a rent of Three Pounds a year for this patch of land and a further Six Pounds a year for an easement over it.
The easement in question was permission to have the raw sewerage from the Workhouse flow out and spread over the land in question. It is unlikely that from within the perfumed urbanity of Eaton Square, Captain Dick was ever aware of this unusual and somewhat indelicate arrangement over his land.