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.
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.
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.