Castlepollard Exclusion From Commission on Mother and Baby Homes INQUIRY. (Second Thread)


Well-known member
Sep 2, 2008
The Kennedy Report of 1970 also reported that over two decades (1949 to 1969) over 200 children went missing from the Institutions never to be seen by family or the authorities ever again.



Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
We are looking for * New * legislation authorising the government to dig up Tuam children's remains without involvement of the coroner.

31 August 2018

Activist Solicitor KEVIN HIGGINS Gets Real

Priority ~ Read to End


My Notes, initial listening

Podcast of The Keith Finnegan Show – Wednesday August 29th 2018

Activist Solicitor Kevin Higgins is on the show instead of Peter Mulryan [Chairman and acts generally as spokesperson for Tuam Home Survivors Network] because of legal issues around the matter with Minister Katherine Zappone. Keith Finnegan asked Kevin Higgins to explain. Keith said he is quite happy to have Peter and Kevin on the show.

Kevin Higgins: I think It speaks for itself. For the past 18 months or so, and certainly following a major statement by [?-indistinct name] last year, the Minister Katherine Zappone seems to be of the view that she and her cabinet colleagues will make the decision on the future of the mass grave at Tuam.

Whereas in fact they have absolutely no power to do so.

Keith: Who makes that decision?

Kevin Higgins: Only the coroner can deal with what is in fact a mass grave with unexplained deaths. And a coroner, as you know, is an independent office answerable only under the duties imposed on him by his office. And as we know on this occasion the local coroner has not acted. But that does not mean the power to deal with the site reverts to a Minister, or indeed to government. It means the power in effect reverts to the Attorney General who has an obligation to appoint another coroner to carry out an inquest.

Keith: Could the coroner act at this stage or who could call the coroner in this situation into action?

Kevin Higgins: Well, let's be very plain about this. There are 3 coroners in the County of Galway, it's a large county. The coroner in this case with responsibility for the Tuam Home area is the coroner from North Galway Dr Val Costello. To my knowledge individuals almost certainly have relatives buried in the Tuam pit. I have been writing to him for some considerable time. In one instance, it was 4 years asking him when he intends to act. Now, I also know that Peter Mulryan has written to him on two occasions by registered letter. And neither Peter nor another individual has ever received an acknowledgment or reply.

Keith: At this stage is it your legal belief that under the Coroner's Act of 1961 under S24 that a coroner for the North Galway area that you have named as Dr Val Costello has the powers to decide on what happens to the remains of the Tuam babies and Minister Katherine Zappone has no such power?

Kevin Higgins: It's not my opinion, that is the LAW. Now Dr Costello has failed in his duty.

He is not here to represent himself.

Kevin Higgins: I do beg your pardon Keith...

Keith: He is not here to defend himself.

Kevin Higgins: Then why don't you pick up the phone please and ask him.

Keith: I will be doing that shortly. We will...

Kevin: Higgins: Very good. Now let me just point something out to you. Next month will represent the second anniversary of the dig and discovery of the remains. That is two years on. Once those remains were discovered two years ago the coroner was notified. Now if you found the body of a child in your back garden Keith, you can be absolutely certain, who died in unexplained circumstances, your back garden would have been dug up. The police would have been all over your back garden in a flash [Keith interrupts]

Keith: Garda would have been all over it. Absolutely, yeah.

Kevin Higgins: And the coroner would have convened an inquest. There are upwards of 800 children unaccounted for who, unquestionably, the large majority of them are in that area. And this man has not convened an inquest. And that is absurd.

Keith: From your legal point of view then, under the 1961 Act, who does a coroner (say in Waterford where it also happened) go to seek advice and guidance as to what the next step is (if something of this magnitude comes to the fore).

Kevin Higgins: Where any coroner would go. He would seek proper forensic help and he would...

Keith: From whom Kevin, sorry?

Kevin Higgins: From forensic pathologists. In the first place he would take advice from the state pathologist, from her office, he would then have somebody assess the needs. In the case of Tuam we are talking of something of such magnitude that you would need a repository for the remains of all the children to see how they could be reassembled, it would be properly secure, temperature controlled, It would require a significant team of individuals. They would among other things be taking samples to determine what you can from body parts, causes of death You can certainly without question tell from the development of even part body parts how old the individual was at death. You can determine a whole range of illnesses which may have been the cause of death. You can determine whether death, in some cases, has taken place by violence.

But here we are two years after the presence of these bodies have been confirmed, no inquest convened, the Minister posturing that she and her government colleagues would make the decision WITHOUT A SHRED OF LEGALITY, something which she is perfectly aware of. IN THAT TWO YEARS, THEY HAVE WASTED ALL OF THAT TIME, LEFT THE SURVIVORS IN LIMBO AND DENIED ANY FORM OF JUSTICE TO THOSE CHILDREN. THIS IS A DISGRACE, AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE.

Keith: I 100 percent agree with you in that regard . Can I ask you just in relation to two years ago you say when the first dig was found … at that stage it was cordoned off by garda tape and forensic investigations and then there was mirror imaging and all of that. And then that tape was taken away, the mirror imaging machine were taken away and the site was left as is. Is that where the failure begins then, right back then?

Kevin Higgins: No, the failure begins by … the process of government is not complicated. Minister sits at cabinet table. The Attorney General sits at the cabinet table.

On the 1 June 2017, I sat in the gallery in the Dail, along with many others, and I listened to her statement about making a decision on the site. I followed her out on the plinth where she was interviewed by Joe Little from RTE. And [to mike and camera] she said to Joe Little that the government would make the decision as to future of the site. Now as I wasn't a member of the press corps of Leinster House both I and Joe Little challenged her on that. And I said she was usurping the role of the coroner. She shook her head and said "No, that was her advice."

Now if she took advice from Maire Whelan, who was then Attorney General, then she took very bad advice I do not believe for one moment that the Minister is in possession of advice from Seamus Woulf the current Attorney General that the government has power to proceed in this way. I do not believe it. If you have such advice, you should tell us.

Furthermore, let me just go on Chief, if I may. This lady came into office promising transparency and how she would embrace the survivors, keep them up to date.

On January 16 this year the Network {THSN] wrote to her on a range of issues including the welfare of survivors, and a lot of very basic requests. That letter was posted to her, emailed to her and handed to her by Noel Grealish dated January 16th. The Network have never received a reply from her. When Peter Mulryan sought some basic answers under an FOI request, he got a very speedy reply — a demand for 500 Euro.

This woman has never written to the Bon Secours and yet she runs to the Pope asking him to make the Bon Secours pay. The Government should make the Bon Secours pay. The coroner [Minister?] should show at least some courtesy to survivors and respond to their letters.

And if you want to know how Minister Zappone has perverted the process with this so called consultation, speak to Adrienne Corless, the daughter of Catherine Corless and ask her how she tried to turn the Tuam vigil into a sort of Eurovision song contest poll. Ask Adrienne, she has written extensively on it, and very well, and very cogently.

Keith: You have thrown a curved ball today in relation to this, as I did not realise that the power was with the coroner, under the Coroner's Act of 1961. And I did understand when the Minister ... To be honest in 2, 3, 4 weeks trying to get in contact with her, I got in contact with her press office on Monday with a view to getting her on the programme. And I will have her hopefully tomorrow, we will put this to her.

Quite simply, you are now saying is, the coroner in question is the person with the power under the '61 Act to make the next decision what happens.

Continues below...


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010

31 August 2018

Keith Finnegan continues:
May I ask you just in relation then Kevin Higgins, are you representing the group or are you their legal representative?

Kevin Higgins: I acted for Peter [Mulryan] in High Court proceedings which are not as yet complete. They are very complex. Now for family reasons, I have stepped back from practice. I have very serious family matters to deal with, in fact my own personal matters to deal with. My colleague Peter Higgins is holding that file now and pressing matters. I provide advice to the group [THSN] based not on opinion but knowledge of the LAW.

In this case, it is incontrovertible that this lady has kept the survivors dangling on a piece of nonsense for two years.

In my view that is an abuse almost as great as the abuses that have been uncovered. And this abuse does not? go back, the behaviour of James Reilly when in office and Francis Fitzgerald in concealing documentation which was provided to their department in 2012 is an absolute OUTRAGE.

This is our Bergen, this is our Belsen [Bergen-Belsen], this is our Auschwitz. The prosecutors at Nuremberg go round the local area and invite people to vote for what should happen. Why are we doing this?

Keith: Galway Co Council did that.

Kevin Higgins: Well, NO Galway Co Council were acting as agents for Katherine Zappone. Also what they did are and have been being defrayed [costs] by Katherine Zappone. This is part of the smokescreen, deflection of the actual issues.

Keith: And yesterday Catherine Corless on the programme welcomed the fact that the memo was given to the Pope in the hands of a written note. She was very accepting of that. Yet, this morning we are talking about a different issue here. We are now talking about the powers that Minister Zappone doesn't have and the coroner does have.

Kevin Higgins: Catherine is perfectly entitled to her opinion and everybody knows that this all began to roll with Catherine. But that is Catherine's opinion. She seems to have a good working relationship with the Minister and she is entitled to have that. I'm afraid I judge the Minister by what she does rather than soothing words. Going down earlier this month to speak to the survivors at the hotel in Tuam and quoting Proust [STARRY: A FRENCH NOVELIST !!] to them.

She will not answer a direct question. Whether she is the PATSY for government, or whether she is just weak, or whether she is a fool, I don't know. Or whether she is all three.

Keith: She is not a fool, I have to say that much Kevin.

Kevin Higgins: I am not talking about Catherine Corless, I am talking about Katherine Zappone now.

Keith: We have left Catherine Corless. I am talking about the Minister now.

Kevin Higgins: Whether she is not foolish and does understand the issue, then her behaviour is inexcusable. To delay for two years. You leave the survivors still dangling for two years while you engage in a piece of nonsense that has no legal basis. And in that two years you LITERALLY STAND IN THE WAY BY DOING THIS OF A PROPER EXHUMATION OF THAT SITE.

That in my view is unforgivable.

Keith: We will come back to that Kevin. I wish you good health and everything that goes with it. Regards to Peter Mulryan, I admire him, etc.

Errors and Omissions excepted


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
The Kennedy Report of 1970 also reported that over two decades (1949 to 1969) over 200 children went missing from the Institutions never to be seen by family or the authorities ever again.

View attachment 17799


"Run once and when caught you got an unmerciful beating - to continue to run and you became a target for all kinds of violence. There were stories around Ferryhouse in my time of two bodies of children somewhere in the hills and woods around Ferryhouse. Apparently they ran away and headed into the forest and got lost.​
"According to the Kennedy Report (1970) over 230 children absconded from the Institutions and were never seen again - not by their families or the religious or state authorities. Many of the Institutions were in very remote places ... Ferryhouse was/is two miles from Clonmel and any boy seen on that road was reported by the locals. So using that road to run was out of the question - especially during the day.​
"It didn't stop us at night though and one night we organised a raid on a Clonmel Bakery. Twenty of us went through the fields and up the banks of the River Suir into town and waited for the Bakery to fill the Bread Vans ... we emptied one of them [Loaves, buns, cakes) and took ourselves back to the dorms and had a feast.​
"Just sharing this to emphasise that we did resist them in our own way.​



Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Peter Tyrrell

Emotional London vigil honours early Irish abuse campaigner

*Peter Tyrrell recounted ordeal at Galway industrial school in harrowing memoir*

Ellen O'Riordan in London

On April 26th, 1967, Peter Tyrrell set fire to himself on Hampstead Heath aged 51. His body was identified a year later, with torn fragments of a postcard addressed to Dr Sheehy SK, Trinity College Dublin.

Tyrrell recorded his life story, sending chapters to former Irish senator and lecturer Owen Sheehy-Skeffington, who campaigned to end corporal punishment in schools.

Tyrrell’s harrowing memoir, Founded on Fear, recounts a lost childhood of extreme physical, emotional and sexual abuse under the whip-wielding fists of the Christian Brothers at St Joseph’s Industrial School at Letterfrack, Co Galway. It was not published until 2006 when the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was under way.


We’re here today to recognise in a public place that Peter died and lived with integrity for truth, love and justice,”said Nuala Fynn (64) who organised the vigil.​


The calm of the candlelit vigil at the top of Parliament Hill turned to anger later at Children’s Corner Community Centre, as speakers castigated Ireland’s brutal past and “amnesiac” present.


Candles are laid on London’s Hampstead Heath in memory of Peter Tyrrell. Photograph: Ellen O’Riordan


The following poem is in memory of Peter Tyrrell who self-immolated in 1967 at Hampstead Heath, London, to draw attention to the abuses he suffered while in the care of the Christian Brothers in Letterfrack Industrial School, Galway, Ireland.

'Letterfrack Man'

One day I will go to Hampstead heath
to read his postscript, written in
oily black ash that Friday in April.
In that hollowed ground
where they found him,
his last meal, a pint and a take-away,
burnt offerings,
his overcoat melted to the bone,
I will stand a long time;
weep that it took so long for his
match to spark a revolution.

Connie Roberts


Connie Roberts Poet
Published on Apr 26, 2019

Alas, I couldn't attend the candlelit vigil & memorial for Peter Tyrrell in London this evening (April 26, 2019), but here's a video of me reading my poem "Letterfrack Man", which was broadcast at the event. A passionate activist, author and survivor of the notorious Letterfrack Industrial School, Galway, Peter Tyrrell fought for years to stop the abuse of children in Irish industrial schools. His efforts fell on deaf ears. He set himself on fire in a London park on April 26th, 1967. He was 51 years old.

Thank you Ellen O'Riordan.

Lumpy Talbot

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2015
I heard something odd some years back and I think if memory serves it was in connection with Peter Tyrell. Apparently some clown/religious nut was going around pubs in North London deliberately mentioning Peter Tyrell's name and it seems trying to dig up negative stories about Mr Tyrell. The suspicion is that it was an attempt by some lunatic to bring discredit on Tyrell when his story was receiving more prominence because of the institutional abuse coverage in the media.


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
I don't know what the London council regulations are for erecting public monuments, but I feel a commemorative statue should be placed at Hampstead Heath for Peter Tyrrell. Peter Tyrrell;s name should never be forgotten.

I would also like to see a massive memorial for the 'migrant children' erected near Houses of Parliament, Westminster, as a reminder of their government's child trafficking crimes. These children were deported to Canada, Australia, South Africa… and tortured by the Catholic clergy. The Sisters of Nazareth… in Britain falsified the children's birthdates, their birth places and changed their names to make it nigh impossible for the children to find their birth mothers.

The birth mothers were told that their children had died or been adopted.

Other organisations were involved, such as, Dr Barnados… The government did apologise for what happened.

Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants sent abroad

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.​
He expressed regret for the "misguided" Child Migrant Programme, telling the Commons he was "truly sorry".​
He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart.​
The scheme sent poor children for a "better life" to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to.​


^^^ LIAR, they thought it saved money on upkeep to deport the children overseas. ^^^

More than 130,000 children, aged between three and 14, were sent to Commonwealth countries.​
As they were shipped out of Britain, many were wrongly told their parents were dead, while parents were given very little information about where their children were going.​
The former child migrants have told how on arrival they were separated from their siblings, and put into foster homes, state-run orphanages and religious institutions. Others were educated only for farm work.​
'Moment in history'​
Many were subjected to brutal physical and sexual abuse by those who were meant to be caring for them.​
Tony Costa, who grew up in orphanages in the UK until he was sent to Australia aged 12, said: "I would often cry myself to sleep, many a night. And we were there until we were 16 years of age.​
"To this day, in the early hours of the morning, it's nothing uncommon for me to wake up in a sweat, thinking of my time whilst in these institutions."​


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
The Girls of Bessborough

24 April 2019

By Deirdre Finnerty

This was a mother and baby home, not a prison. Legally, Bridget and the other girls could have left at any time.​
But in practice it wasn’t as simple as that. Any girl who ran away might find themselves rounded up by the police. And in any case, for the vast majority there was just nowhere else for them to go.​
Each girl admitted to the home knew they would give birth there and stay until their baby was adopted - as long as three years.​
They weren’t allowed outside except for short walks around the grounds and they had to be accompanied.​
They were all given jobs. Some worked in the kitchens or in the red-bricked laundry building.​

She left the home just a week after [baby] William’s death. With no baby to give up for adoption, the home would no longer receive state funding for her.​
Bridget remembers being very weak, and hampered by an abscess in her leg where she had been injected. But she knew she would have to find work quickly.​
“There was nobody you could talk to about this, absolutely nobody. You had to keep working.”​
Bridget didn’t want to admit to her family, who still thought she was in London, what had happened.​
She decided to return to London and quickly found another job.​
Emigrating, she says, was a lifeline after all she had been through. ....​
Bridget married and had three daughters, and got on with a new life.​

[Bridget has thought of William every day for 58 years]

Even when the inquiry’s report is published, the women worry that the legislation underpinning it suggests the full archive will be sealed.​

Catherine Coffey O’Brien

The evidence gathered by the inquiry cannot be used in criminal or civil proceedings. Nor will former residents be guaranteed access to their own personal information. Catherine can’t understand why.​
“It’s almost like they’re eradicating the past,” she says. “What more are they trying to hide?”​

With thanks to:

Dr Lindsey Earner Byrne, University College Dublin

Dr Jennifer Redmond, Maynooth University

Dr Paul Michael Garrett, University College Galway

Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Clann Project

Professor James Smith, Boston College

Journalist Conall O Fatharta from the Irish Examiner

All of the women who shared their stories

Read the full article


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Mother and baby homes report may be 'defamatory'

'Unpublished report of collaborative forum on mother and baby homes said to criticise Tusla'

April 28 2019 1:00 PM

Maeve Sheehan

The Attorney General warned the Government that the report of the collaborative forum on mother and baby homes raised serious legal concerns and was potentially defamatory.​
The Government's legal adviser cautioned that publishing the report could interfere with the separate State investigation into mother and baby homes and advised shelving it until after the investigation concluded, the Sunday Independent understands.​
Its unpublished report is understood to be "severely critical" of Tusla, particularly in relation to access to adoption records, according to informed sources.​
It includes serious allegations against the child and family agency's adoption and information section. The Minister is understood to have raised the issues with Tusla, which has defended its work and denied the allegations.
The Government was told that managing the expectations of survivors would be "very challenging", particularly in relation to providing a health care package to survivors, a recommendation of the forum.​


Did the report criticise individuals at Tulsa?

A Trip down Memory Lane to Oberstown...

*I can remember asking on Why would Minister Zappone want to protect the rights of individuals criticised in the independent report (authors Goldson & Hardwick) into Oberstown's Children Detention Campus over the safety, security and well being of the children there?

*I can remember the children who were involved in the incidents were given lengthy prison sentences (read Professors Goldson and Hardwick's comments in below IT article).

*The authors of the report Professors Barry Goldson and Nick Hardwick said the finding of the report could have been relevant to those sentencing decisions.

*Their report remains unpublished.

Decision not to publish Oberstown review ‘deeply problematic’

Authors of report into period of disorder at children’s detention centre in 2016 speak out

Mon, Aug 6, 2018, 01:00

By Maresa Fagan

The authors Professors Barry Goldson and Nick Hardwick ~~

Redacted version
A number of boys involved in an incident at Oberstown in 2016 were given extended prison sentences when they came before the courts this year and further children have been issued with lengthy prison sentences for incidents that occurred shortly after we completed our review. If our report had been published it may have been of interest to the courts and relevant to the sentencing of these children.”​
The authors said a redacted version of the report could be published.​
A representative for the Minister said: “The department is aware of the view that publication of the report is in the public interest. However, given the passage of time it is considered that it would be misleading to publish the report now, having regard to progress that has been achieved in the interim.​
In May, three youths were handed down sentences of five years for their role in a “rampage” at the facility in August 2016, which involved a fire causing more than €3 million in property damage. In a separate case, a youth detained at Oberstown was sentenced last month to four years in prison for causing €50,000 in damage at the facility during four incidents between January and October 2016.​

Continuing with Collaborative Forum ...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 05:50 PM

By Conall Ó Fátharta

In announcing the recommendations, Ms Zappone said she was amending the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill to "take account of issues raised by the Forum".​
However, a forum member accused Ms Zappone of engaging in "a complete misrepresentation of what had been called for in the recommendations, pointing out that the forum was categoric in its view the planned legislation needed to be scrapped, not amended.​
"We never asked for the Bill to be amended. We asked for it to be scrapped. It is a complete misrepresentation of what we called for. We said 'Kill the Bill'," she said.​
Just seven [7] of the 19 members appointed to the forum by Ms Zappone turned up to the press event announcing the recommendations.​


^^^ I wonder if any out of the 7 members at the press event travelled to Boston College (Zappone's alma mater), USA with Minister Zappone? They might have bonded over there with all the fanfare, hand shaking, warm embraces…

The Charter of the Collaborative Forum was meant to be about the "primary residents" of the mother and baby homes. But the biological mothers were thin to scarce on the ground compared with the predominance of adoptees... Fintan Dunne media representative for Irish First Mothers has eloquently spoken on this.


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
The above article 'The girls of Bessborough' article is available via the 'Long Reads' section on the front page of the BBC New website The girls of Bessborough - BBC News
Than you Lumpy. Deirdre Finnerty has the ability to explain complex subjects in simple language (hallmark of a great writer).

Deirdre Finnerty

London, England
Broadcast Journalist — BBC
United Kingdom
As seen in: BBC

I write and report for @BBCWorld. Previously based in Washington, Westminster and Brussels. Irish. Daydreamer. Yoga-lover. Email:


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Father Orazio Caputo's ecclesiastical trial for violating confessional to protect abuser postponed

Apr 15, 2019

Claire Giangravè

ROME - A long-awaited ecclesiastical trial for a priest [Fr Orazio Caputo] who allegedly broke the seal of confession to inform members of a controversial lay group in Italy of a police investigation of their leader for sexual abuse of minors has been postponed indefinitely.


The mother, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her underage daughter’s identity, claims to have gone to confession with Father Orazio Caputo in the fall of 2017 where she spoke of her concerns for her daughter within the lay-led “Catholic Culture and Environment Association” (ACCA) in the southern Italian town of Acireale.

She claims to have told Caputo, who performed the sacraments for ACCA members, of a police investigation of the so-called “Twelve Apostles,” looking into the top officials of the association and its charismatic lay leader, Piero Alfio Capuna, considered to be the reincarnation of the Archangel Michael by his acolytes.


Parallel civil proceedings against Fr Caputo ~

…. [Fr Caputo] He is charged with aiding and abetting a criminal conspiracy and will have to attend his criminal trial as soon as July.


According to a police report, Caputo - having heard from the mother of an alleged abuse victim of the police investigation - warned the president of ACCA Salvatore Torrisi and regional councilor Domenico Rotella, who is married to one of CAPUANA’s closest associates, Rosaria Giuffridda, and [she-Rosaria) who is also facing trial for facilitating the alleged abuse.

Lay cult Leader Piero Alfio Capuana

Capuana, who was arrested in August 2017, is charged with sexually abusing at least six underage girls and has asked for an expedited [criminal] trial, which is scheduled to take place in May. He was initially supposed to begin his trial on Feb. 18.


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Candlelit Vigil on Hampstead Heath, London, in Memory of pioneering anti-abuse campaigner Peter Tyrrell

*Peter Tyrrell is widely considered to be the first person to break the silence on institutional schools.

*Peter's Ultimate Sacrifice was on Hampstead Heath on 26 April 1967. Peter's charred remains … to draw attention to the abuses he suffered while in the care of the Christian Brothers in Letterfrack Industrial School, Galway, Ireland.

*In Letterfrack St Joseph's Industrial School, the children were lined up five (5) times a day for SADISTIC RITUAL BEATINGS. *

Eoin O'Sullivan, a professor of Social Policy at Trinity College left a message in absentia:

"Peter's works and nascent campaigning was a catalyst in the ending of the confinement of children."

*Tyrrell documented his life story. He sent chapters of his book Founded in Fear to former Irish senator and lecturer Owen Sheehy-Skeffington, who campaigned to end corporal punishment in schools.

*Peter Mulryan and activist solicitor Kevin Higgins attended the Vigil on Hampstead Heath. Solicitor Kevin Higgins said "If you uncover the remains of a child in you back garden, how long do you think it would take the police and the coroner to come round?

*Nuala Flynn organised the candlelit vigil.

'No More Fear"

By bodger

Courtesy of The Irish World

Click to further enlarge article (go to


By Colin Gannon


A special Thank you to Bodger for his reporting. As organiser Nuala Flynn said, it is hard to take in what happened in Ireland (Magdalene laundries, county homes, mother and baby homes, institutional schools, orphanages…) enabled by the unfathomable silence and cover ups. Criminal acts were carried out with impunity against vulnerable children by the religious. There are no words to express the horror.

Thank you Colin Gannon.

Further reading:

Last edited:


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010

Victoria White makes LIGHT of the role of Bon Secours religious congregation by saying they were UNPAID for their work.

'The truth of the Mother and Baby Homes lies buried with the bodies'

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 12:00 AM
The truth of the Mother and Baby Homes lies buried with the bodies

By Victoria White

For a start, responsibility for the burial of these infants lay entirely with the State. Galway and Mayo County Councils paid the Sisters of the Bon Secours a capitation rate to look after individuals and their babies,* but the nuns were paid nothing for their work.* [Victoria White]

I feel absolute revulsion. ^^^ You have to be signed in to read this drivel, which is unworthy to be called journalism. ^^^

My reply to Ms Victoria White IN KIND is thus ~~

If the nuns wanted to abuse children, it's not enough to say that they were unpaid, as every sado-masochiist knows, you have to pay for that perverted pleasure. The nuns are in arrears. SHAME AND UTTER CONTEMPT.

*It was joint responsibility by Bon Secours and the Galway City Council. The Fifth Interim Report refers to the GCC as likely to have known about the burials when planning the Athenry Road Housing Scheme in 1969 ~~

14.The Commission is surprised by the lack of knowledge about the burials on the partof Galway County Council and the Sisters of Bon Secours. Galway County Council members and staff must have known something about the manner of burial when the Home was in operation. The Board of Health and its sub-committees sometimes held their meetings in the Home. Employees of Galway County Council must have known about the burials. County Council employees would have been in the grounds of the Home quite frequently as they carried out repairs to the building and possibly also maintained the grounds. It seems very likely that Galway County Council must have been aware of the existence of burials when they were planning the Athenry Road housing scheme in 1969. [p10]


:mad:It was the Bon Secours who were cruel to the children who threw food on the ground that the little mites ran for (Read Tuam Survivor Anne Kelly Silke's story below) ~ who neglected the children while gorging themselves and visiting inspectors and council officials on regular feasts at the home - who kept records which they possibly sent for safe keeping to Rome eventually ~ out of the jurisdiction ~ who enriched themselves while the vulnerable children were left hungry ~ who lived contrary to their faith ~ who treated children and their mothers as lesser beings ~ let's not forget the mothers who are also missing ~ women of full age who lost their lives ~ they were not provided with the dignity of a marked burial with appropriate ceremony as no record exists ~ it was the nuns who caused and continue to cause horrendous suffering and finally they were the ones who as recently as last January attempted to make the case that the structure was a crypt.

:mad:It was the Bon Secours who employed a PR consultant Terry Prone to construct a story. Ms Prone is married to former priest Tom Savage. In the various reports ~ Ryan Report, McAleese Report etc., it was the Religious who took vows of poverty, chastity and working for the poor that were most egregiously evil and went against moral teaching, common and Canon law. :mad:

*The mother superior at Tuam instructed and Biba Rabbitte And Julia Devaney carried out her orders. Only a few death certificates were signed by Sister Hortense from the early period.

:mad:If the structure was a crypt why didn’t they place their own sisters who were interred in consecrated grounds not once but twice in the supposed crypt? Because it wasn’t a bloody crypt?

*And why did they ignore the Catholic teaching and Canon law instruction with regard to the burial of one baptised into the Catholic faith?

*It was and always has been about money. The nuns have sinned against the mothers and children and must now atone for what they did in financial redress. The longer the Bon Secours continue to withhold the truth the more they are damned for eternity.

*Has Ms White read Tuam survivor Anne Kelly Silke’s earliest memories of the nuns treating the small children like animals?

27 January 2019

Anne Kelly Zilke's memories of Tuam Mother and Babies Home ~~

… of the babies in cots lined up outside the home in the “scorching” sunshine; the ubiquitous Bina Rabbitte - the woman whose name appears on almost every birth and death certificate for the Tuam home - preparing bottles; and of the nuns tearing lumps off large batch loaves to throw at the children, who would fight over it, like pigeons; and of hunger.

At the age of 9 Anne Kelly Silke was sent to a wealthy farming family who had 7 bedrooms in their house ~~

Anne slept in her own room with a broken window and potatoes spread all over the bedroom floor to sprout.

She milked 14 cows in the morning and 14 in the evening and was responsible for feeding the sows, ducks, hens and turkeys. Sometimes she was taken out of school to clean the house.

Psychopathic Foster Family's son sadistically brutalised young Anne Kelly Silke ~~

“The worst beating I ever got was the horse’s whip. His mother went to him over something I’d done. I think it was over a tin of fruit that I took, or over the apples that I took. I did open the tins of fruit and I’d eat them,” she says. She thinks she was 11 or 12 at the time. Her foster mother went for Anne, and when she retaliated, her son stepped in.

"He [son] stripped me half-naked, waist down, and put me across the chair - and the wallop. The blood was pouring down my legs. I couldn’t sit,” she says. My backside was skinned, that was the truth.

Has journalist Victoria White read the Fifth Interim Report? I know it's harrowing…

Anne Kelly Silke's Foster Family were paid ~~

The family who took her in would have received a monthly fee of £2 and 10 shillings until she was age 10, £3 a month up to the age of 16, plus an annual allowance of £9 to £11.

Did Ms Victoria White even speak to any survivor groups? A very partisan article from what I've read.

By way of contrast to the drivel written by Victoria White, here is a researched article by Maeve Sheehan in Sunday Independent ~

Copy and paste into your browser

CormacBourke Verified account


Editor, Sunday Independent

In the Sunday Independent #sindo don't miss this stunning piece of journalism by Maeve Sheehan #tuambabies


It's GLOBALLY documented that the "Tuam Babies" (as they were called) were segregated at school from the other children. They were made to sit at the back of the class (Ms Catherine Corless sat in same class with "Tuam Babies").

They had to arrive at a later time, to stop them mingling with "legitimate" children.


The girl’s long walk ends at the Mercy school, where tardiness might earn you a smarting whack on the hand. The children from the home are always late to school — by design, it seems, to keep them from mingling with “legitimate” students. Their oversize hobnail boots beat a frantic rhythm as they hustle to their likely slap at the schoolhouse door.


It makes me sad that the Irish Examiner would stoop so low as to publish such unworthy journalism as produced from Ms Victoria White.

Irish Examiner Conall O'Fatharta was inspired to become a journalist by the late Mary Raftery's groundbreaking work, and deservedly Conall has been honoured with the Law Society of Ireland's Justice Media Award for excellence in legal journalism. Ms White should have conferred with Mr O'Fatharta who is a mine of information on Tuam. Her article insults the Tuam survivors. I would demand an apology.

"Victoria White is a Dublin-based writer in fact and fiction. She is also an environmental activist who wants to green the face of feminism"
Last edited:


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Right To Know has FOI on Bon Secours Country Leader Sr Marie Ryan weaselling on their LEGAL LIABILITY for Tuam

I take no prisoners, we need the CORONER present from the start of the Tuam exhumation
, and then we may be also looking at criminal proceedings

:mad: BUT…but…but… Minister Zappone wants to bypass the Coroner in * NEW *LEGISLATION :mad:

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 13h13 hours ago
Noteworthy Retweeted Noteworthy

Letters and records from behind the scenes on talks over who should be liable for the excavation and reburial of the remains found at the burial site in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home:

Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie

Religious order that ran Tuam said they had no "legal liability" for the mother and baby home until after commission of investigation had reported. Said €2.5 million donation would be "sole contribution" to the government fund for excavation and reburial: Religious order that ran Tuam says it has no 'legal liability' to provide funding before mother and baby home commission ends

Copy and paste to your browser letter to Minister Katherine Zappone from Bon Secours Sr Marie Ryan Country Leader ~

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 16h16 hours ago

However, Minister Zappone said there had already been public and media calls for the order to make a bigger contribution to costs. She said this was a matter "which the congregation may wish to reflect upon":​

Copy and paste to your browser Minister Zappone's letter to Bon Secours congregation ~

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 16h16 hours ago

In follow-up letter, the minister said she noted that the Bon Secours Sisters had said they did not have "legal liability" for the mother and baby home. Also said she wished to acknowledge the €2.5 million contribution they had made:​

Copy and paste to your browser Minister Zappone's letter to Sr Ryan

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 16h16 hours ago

Minister Katherine Zappone pressed for a firm commitment from the order on sharing costs. The Bon Secours Sisters said they were not in a position to do so at the meeting and asked for a "sense of the amount involved":​

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 16h16 hours ago

Notes of meeting with government show Bon Secours Sisters said they were "genuinely shocked" by what had been found at Tuam. They said the discovery was "alien to their ethos and practice". They had nobody with first-hand recall of the mother and baby home:​

Ken Foxe Retweeted
Noteworthy‏ @noteworthy_ie 16h16 hours ago

Religious order that ran Tuam said they had no "legal liability" for the mother and baby home until after commission of investigation had reported. Said €2.5 million donation would be "sole contribution" to the government fund for excavation and reburial: Religious order that ran Tuam says it has no 'legal liability' to provide funding before mother and baby home commission ends …​

Copy and paste to your browser letter to Minister Zappone from Bon Secours Sr Marie Ryan ~

Ken Foxe


Editor at @Noteworthy_ie by @thejournal_ie. Lecturer TU Dublin. Director @RightToKnowIE. Like #FOIA & data
. Email me On Threema: 3UD6FCWF

Dublin, Ireland

Thank you Ken Foxe @ Noteworthy


I would like the FOI on Minister Zappone's JUNKET to her alma mater Boston College, US where around 4 lucky selected Collaborative Forum members got an all expenses paid trip with her.
Zappone returned triumphantly to Boston College. Hey schoolmates, I made it, I'm a huge mover and shaker in Ireland. Did those lucky Collaborative Forum members speak against Ms Zappone at any time, or do they all warmly embrace her? Birth mothers on Collaborative Forum were few on the ground even though the Collaborative Forum Charter said it was all about the primary residents (birth mothers).


Miriam O'Callaghan‏ @mir_ocall 16h16 hours ago
Replying to @noteworthy_ie

@KZapponeTD might wish to reflect on why she, herself, is suppressing a report into #Oberstown. This is not the bad old days of the homes and the laundries. We now have a Minister for Children and she is it. #tuambabies

Miriam O'Callaghan

Mother, writer, musician. Write for Sunday Independent. Qui si parla italiano. #migrants #climate #wildlife #Iraq #poverty #restiamoumani


Right on Miriam.

I was also talking about this IN A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE (see my below post of Tuesday 30th Apri)l where I compared suppression of independent authored Oberstown Report ^^^ to Collaborative Forum members Report being delayed. I was concerned it would go the same way as Obertstown independent report, as CF members criticised Tulsa. Those kids at the detention campus could have had mitigating circumstances and / or reduced sentences, given community service, shown leniency....

More infomation here ~



Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010

Religious order that ran Tuam says it has no 'legal liability' to provide funding before mother and baby home commission ends

Bon Secours Sisters say a €2.5 million donation towards excavation and memorial will be their only contribution to the state.

May 3rd 2019 5 min read

By Ken Foxe


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
10 ways institutional abuse details are still being kept secret

Updated / Wednesday, 8 May 2019 10:12

By Maeve O'Rourke NUI Galway [Friend of Magdalene Women]

Opinion: 20 years after Bertie Ahern’s apology, the State's insistence on secrecy is stronger than ever


This is a truism worth reflecting on: victims/survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland are decent honourable people who deserve decent honourable treatment by the State. In other words, victims/survivors of institutional abuse are equal citizens who have the same constitutional and human rights as everyone else.

It is only by recognising and respecting those rights now that the State can demonstrate remorse for, and capacity for change from, its previous pattern of abuse. This is a principle that should have underpinned all responses since 1999 to our terrible legacy of unlawful family separation and systematic cruelty and exploitation in institutions nationwide.

Censorship of survivors and archives

But while rightly establishing some statutory investigations and financial payment schemes, the State has at the same time exercised its legal powers for the last two decades over the evidence contained in witness testimonies and the archives of church and official bodies to censor survivors and keep personal information from many. Survivors have been treated as though they cannot be trusted with the evidence of their own past.

Public access to non-sensitive documents such as administrative files, inspection and financial registers, and burial location records, has also been prohibited. The church authorities in turn have felt no obligation to establish public archives that are readily searchable and accessible.

In this way, survivors’ access to the courts and Garda complaints mechanisms has been gravely hampered. The ability of many to piece together their own history – including such fundamental aspects as their own identity and health conditions – has been denied. In addition, society’s opportunity to properly engage with our recent past and dismantle the similar systems that prevail at present is significantly curtailed.

Why we need an independent national repository

Now is the time for political leaders in Ireland to announce the creation of an independent national repository which gives survivors and relatives of the deceased all existing personal records. The national repository should also provide public access to testimony voluntarily deposited, archival records and other material evidence of our shared history. ….

The Government should heed the clear and carefully-devised Set of general recommendations for truth commissions and archives published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence in 2013.

Canada offers an example of how to construct national archives of institutional abuse records, as Dr James Gallen of Dublin City University frequently argues. The Canadian National Center for Truth and Reconciliation, established recently at the University of Manitoba, houses millions of digitised records taken from government sources, Indian Residential Schools and the religious bodies involved in managing them, survivor statements (given voluntarily to the archive) and other community events and hearings conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission over the past decade. The National Center’s policies and activities are overseen by a Governing Circle including survivors and their ancestors and a majority of whose members must identify as Aboriginal.

The human rights abuses described by survivors of Ireland’s institutions and adoption system are among the most serious recognised by the international community

Ireland’s human rights record


Forced disappearance, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, widespread arbitrary detention and systematic violations of the right to respect for family and private life all require the State to investigate in a manner that includes victims/survivors. The State has obligations to allow access to judicial complaints mechanisms and to ensure that victims/survivors have the means of obtaining redress including as full rehabilitation as possible.

*10 ways in which institutional abuse information is still kept secret*

The Retention of Records Bill 2019, which Minister for Education Joe McHugh recently introduced in the Dáil, proposes to withhold from public inspection every document gathered or made by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, Residential Institutions Redress Board and Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee for no less than the next 75 years. This includes all survivor testimony and all administrative records and other evidence of the operation of Industrial and Reformatory Schools. The Bill does not provide for survivors to be given a copy of their own testimony or asked whether they wish their testimony to form part of the national historical record during their lifetime.

(2) Almost no prosecutions appear to have arisen from the investigations of the Ryan Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, as the advocacy group Reclaiming Self has highlighted. The Government’s explanation to the United Nations Committee Against Torture is that "the provisions governing the Ryan Commission’s work precluded the disclosure of the names of persons identified as perpetrators, hence this information was not available to An Garda Síochána for the purposes of initiating criminal investigations."

(3) Under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002, it is a criminal offence for survivors to "publish any information concerning an application or an award made under this Act that refers to any other person (including an applicant), relevant person or institution by name or which could reasonably lead to the identification of any other person (including an applicant), a relevant person or an institution referred to in an application made under this Act." Not only does this legislative provision appear to prohibit survivors from writing or speaking publicly about their experiences of seeking redress, but Reclaiming Self states that some survivors have interpreted it as preventing them from reporting their abusers to the Gardaí.

(4) The ongoing Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is refusing to provide survivors or the family members of the deceased with any of the personal information that it holds concerning them. In one letter to a survivor seeking her own records, the Commission said that its refusal was "in order to safeguard the effective operation of the Commission and the future cooperation of witnesses".

Meanwhile, as reported by Conall O’Fatharta of the Irish Examiner recently, the Commission said that it was refusing to inform families of the whereabouts of their relatives’ graves because underpinning legislation makes it "an offence for anyone, including a member of the Commission, to disclose or publish any evidence given or the contents of any document produced" and as a result "we cannot inform the families".

(5) The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is refusing to provide survivors with a transcript of their own evidence to the Commission.

(6) The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has decided to reject all survivor requests for public hearings, while the evidence that it gathers in private will be sealed for at least several decades according to its underpinning legislation and current High Court case law case law.

(7) According to its grounding legislation, the archive of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission will not be available for future use in civil or criminal proceedings.

(8) Regarding the Magdalene Laundries, the Department of An Taoiseach has repeatedly refused to release any of the contents of the McAleese Committee archive claiming that it is holding the archive "for safe keeping" and "not…for the purposes of the FOI Act".

The ability of many to piece together their own history – including such fundamental aspects as their own identity and health conditions – has been denied

The non-statutory McAleese Committee returned all religious-owned records at the end of its work. Its archive contains all State records concerning the Magdalene Laundries, including administrative and financial files, and likely also contains some information relating to the as-yet unidentified burial sites of many women who died while incarcerated.

(9) There is no statutory right for adopted people (whether lawfully or unlawfully separated from their family) or people who were placed in informal or illegal care arrangements as children to access their early life files. As noted by the Clann Project, this is at odds with the legal position in Northern Ireland, England and Wales, Scotland, Germany, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands, among other jurisdictions.

(10) There is no explicit statutory right of access to personal records for relatives of children or adults who died in State or institutional care, many of whom still lie in unmarked graves.


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010
Recalling Barbaric Times in our History

Marion Kelly Speaks To Neil Prendeville on Her Experience At Bessborough Mother & Baby Home – Red Extra

"Marion was 17 when she became pregnant. She was 20 weeks pregnant before she told a teacher who brought her to a nun who was a friend of the family. She lived in a public house in Cork and was kept hidden away at home for the rest of her pregnancy. No one was to be told she was pregnant. She only left the house once a month for the remainder of her pregnancy [to see a gynaecologist].

"Marion’s doctor decided to induce her a month early as there was a relation travelling from England. She was taken to St Finbarr’s hospital. After a ‘horrendous’ labour and birth Marion was taken by ambulance to Bessborough with her baby boy. On arrival a nun put out her arms, she thought to help her out. Instead she took her son from her. Marion did not see her son again, he was adopted and Marion’s family a few days later ‘bought her out’ of Bessborough.

"Marion has no recollection of signing the initial papers authorising the adoption of her son, who she names Anthony. She went on to meet her son after tracking him down many years later. The experience had a detrimental effect on Marion and she became an alcoholic.


Marion was fortunate to have got in touch with a Dublin lady (26 years later) who was able to fast track the information about her son Anthony. The initial meeting was bittersweet with her adult son. She still has contact with him. Marion also went on to get married and have 3 children who are all very loving (husband, son and two daughters).

Presenter Neill was extremely sensitive while interviewing Marion.


Well-known member
Nov 13, 2010

Crossing The Line
Roads Documentary

“I was told I was going to a lovely new school in New Ross . . . I was collected by a man in a laundry van.”

A poignant new documentary on Community Radio Youghal presents first hand accounts of life in Ireland's institutions. Seven survivors opened up to documentary maker Vicki Magee and revealed their ordeals in Mother and Baby homes, Magdelene laundries and other religious run centres.

The programme covers vaccine trials, labour exploitation and the process known as “Rapid Adoption” where a mother was told her baby was dead, before that baby was sold to America.

Against the backdrop of the State's ongoing failure to provide adequate redress to survivors, Roads presents their experiences, their search for identity and the battle for justice.

Originally broadcast on Community Radio Youghal, May 7, 2019
Music by Portishead
Produced by Vicki Magee and Éanna Dowling
Edited by Éanna Dowlin
Presented by Vicki Magee

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