Sunday, 15 April 2018

Hugely positive Morning Ireland podcast

This is so positive !  The Government cannot refuse or dismiss this contribution by our own Experts available in our own Universities.

Please listen to podcast on Morning Ireland 13/4/2018

Hundreds of babies buried in a mass grave in a former religious-run mother and babies home in Tuam can be identified due to advances in DNA testing, a team of scientists have said.
A team of four from University College Dublin and Trinity College have challenged the findings on an expert group set up by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, which previously concluded that identification of the remains would be difficult.
The Government-commissioned report by the expert technical group (ETG) said the exhumation and identification of the remains held in the underground chamber and adjoining septic tank would be difficult because remains are ‘commingled’.
However, Dr Stephen Donoghue of the UCD-TCD team, who are all experts in genomics,  told RTE’s Morning Ireland that advances in genomic technology ‘should allow for the identification of the remains at Tuam’.
Donoghue said: ‘There were a number of problems identified by the Expert Technical report…including the quality of the DNA and the commingling of skeletal remains and the cost associated with carrying out DNA analysis.’
Donoghue said the team felt the expert technical group report was ‘overly pessimistic and quite circumspect’, he explained: ‘We felt that report was viewed through the prism of a technology that is around 20 years old, called short tandem repeat DNA profiling
The team, which consists of Professor David MacHugh, Dr Jens Carlsson and Dr Stephen Donoghue — from UCD, and Trinity College’s Professor Dan Bradley, feel that a more advanced technology will allow for better identification of ‘poor quality DNA’.
Donoghue continued: ‘And these essentially allow for whole genome analysis of poor quality DNA and so really we’re saying that the remains should be identifiable at Tuam.’
In March 2017, the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation confirmed the discovery of juvenile human remains in ‘significant quantities’ in the chambers at the former home run by Bon Secours nuns.
Between 1925 and 1960, 796 children died at the Tuam mother and baby home.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Mother and Baby panel boycott

Fintan Dunne of Irish First Mothers (IFM) has left the selection panel established by Katherine Zappone, the children’s minister, which is working out the membership and scope of a forthcoming collaborative forum.  Dunne, who is IFM's political adviser resigned on Wednesday at the panel's second meeting.  He claims the 'debate was shut down' and differing viewpoints had not  been recorded in the Minutes of the first meeting
Article in Times UK  - 'Mother and Baby Panel Boycott'

Bonnie Kavannagh's tiny porcelain hearts

Bonnie Kavanagh holds her collection of tiny porcelain hearts. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

A child therapist turned fine arts student has created a collection of tiny porcelain hearts as a tribute to the babies of Tuam.
Mature student Bonnie Kavanagh, from Dublin, said her work was an attempt to acknowledge and recognise the loss of so many young lives who ended up buried in a mass grave at the site of a former mother and baby home in the Co Galway town.
The white hearts exhibit is one of a series of ceramic and glass pieces of art now on show in Dublin's Gallery Zozimus.
They are the creation of students from the National College of Art and Design.
Ms Kavanagh, a former child psychotherapist who is now doing a degree in fine arts specialising in ceramics, said the story of the Tuam babies resonated with her.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Adoption machine by Paul Jude Redmond

Interview with Miriam O'Callaghan at 10 - 11 am on Sunday the 25th March

Here is the link to hear the interview

Paul Redmond was born in Castlepollard and has just published his book - the Adoption Machine:  The dark history of Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes and the inside story of how Tuam became a global scandal 


The Mother and Baby Homes are the last, the biggest, and the dirtiest secret of Holy Catholic Ireland…this is Ireland’s Holocaust.’– Paul RedmondApproximately 100,000 single mothers lost their babies to forced separation in Ireland since independence in 1922. 35,000 pregnant, single women were sent to nine Mother and Baby Homes, where thousands of their babies and young children died due to wilful neglect and indifference.Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home survivor, Paul Redmond, examines how and why the Mother and Baby Home network was built and how it transformed into a ruthless and efficient money-making machine, harvesting up to 97% of all babies born outside marriage, with many used as ‘guinea pigs’ for pharmaceutical research. The religious orders effectively generated up to €40m revenue (today’s terms) from selling Irish babies to local and overseas arranged adoptions. Redmond, in a deeply personal and passionate voice, examines the history of Ireland’s ‘Adoption Machine’ ahead of the anticipated findings from the Commission of Inquiry into Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes, interweaving his own powerful story of uncovering his past and his ongoing activism, to help others who have experienced the same.The Adoption Machine is a compelling, emotional and damning indictment of the Catholic church in Ireland and it’s failing of the women and children in their care.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Lunchtime seminar NUIG Monday 26th March 2018


Lunchtime Seminar Series: 

Mixed-Race Irish in the Mother and Baby Homes in 20th Century Ireland; using ICERD to help establish the truth of what happened

Monday 26th March 2018, 1-2.30pm, Seminar Room,

Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI, Galway

Dr David Keane, Associate Professor of Law, Middlesex University
Conrad Bryan, AMRI (Association of Mixed Race Irish)

Dr David Keane is Associate Professor of Law at Middlesex University. Dr Keane's research is in international human rights law, with a particular focus on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). His most recent book, the very first edited collection on ICERD, is entitled '50 Years of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: A Living Instrument' (with A. Waughray). He has written a range of books, journal articles and book chapters on human rights, ICERD, minority rights, freedom of expression and related areas.

Conrad Bryan is on the board of AMRI, the Association of Mixed Race Irish, which works to raise awareness of this small community of people with mixed parentage. He is also a board member and treasurer of the charity ‘Irish in Britain’ which represents and supports the Irish community across the UK, particularly vulnerable groups. As part of its advocacy work, AMRI has lobbied the Irish Government to raise awareness of racism affecting mixed race Irish. Most recently, they successfully lobbied for the word “race” to be included in the statutory terms of reference for the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation - the first time that this was done in any Irish government investigation or inquiry into institutional abuses.


Friday, 23 March 2018

Barnardos sorry for posters at Tuam plot

Article by Conall O Fatharta

Barnardos has apologised for “any upset caused” after leaflets advertising a support service funded by the Bon Secours Order were placed outside the Tuam babies plot. 

Two posters were placed on a placard outside the site along with business cards advertising the phone number for the service.
The name “Josephine” was handwritten on the business cards.
Excavations at the site uncovered “significant quantities” of infant remains in March 2017. 
The Tuam Mother and Baby Home was operated by the Bon Secours Order and is one of the institutions under investigation by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.
Barnardos apologised “for any upset caused” by the advertising but denied that its staff placed it there. Following a query from the Irish Examiner, the leaflets and business cards were removed.
“Barnardos St Mary’s Tuam Advice and Support Service did not post the leaflets/business cards in this location, but nonetheless apologise for any upset caused.
“The service has shared leaflets to a number of locations and groups in an effort to make sure people are aware of the service, and know how to avail of the supports it offers. Barnardos commits to removing the leaflets from this location as soon as possible,” said a statement.
The service offers a “confidential, professional helpline and email response” to people affected by the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
It is available to others who gave birth to babies at the home and their family members, people who were born there and any member of the public who has a query about the institution.
The service is funded by the Sisters of Bon Secours Ireland, which ran the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
Secretary of the Tuam Home Survivors Network, Breeda Murphy, criticised the entire concept of a counselling service for survivors being funded by the Order that ran the home.
“I don’t know what planet they were on when they thought up this one. With respect, if the minister, the Government and the Orders fail to see how absolutely inappropriate this is, then there is little hope of ever achieving justice,” said Ms Murphy.
“At our last network meeting of February 11, it was agreed not to place notification of this meaningless service on our website, we will not endorse it as Minister [Katherine] Zappone has done on her page, but rather highlight it for what it is — an empty gesture, designed only to disempower and disable survivors.”
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has said it will be “difficult to establish the facts” surrounding the burials of children who died in all of the homes it is investigating.
In December, the expert technical group advising the Government about managing the Tuam site outlined five options for the Government. 
These range from doing no further investigative work to conducting a full forensic excavation and analysis of all human remains.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Ireland: The forgotten Angels of Tuam

This is excellent.

Imagine a world where you were separated by force from your mother, simply because you were born out of wedlock. A world where you were called a bastard and she a whore. A world where you were thrown into a facility run by nuns, where food was scarce and where you didn't know what Christmas was. A world where "home" was synonymous with hell.
In the town of Tuam, Western Ireland, that world was a reality for tens of thousands of mothers and their babies, born between the 1920s and the 1960s.
In 2014, Catherine Corless, an amateur historian, revealed the result of her research: nearly 800 babies were denied proper burials and their bodies were located in the chambers of a sewage system, on the property of the former Mother and Baby home.
The investigation is still under way and its findings are due to be revealed in 2019. But many in Tuam blame the state and the Bon Secours Sisters, who ran the home at the time.
FRANCE 24's Aurore Cloe Dupuis and Julie Dungelhoeff met with survivors of the home, who demand justice for those whom they call the forgotten Angels of Tuam.
There's also a video link which you can click to view

Friday, 16 March 2018

Rachel Kneebone

Deeply moving and incredible work by Rachel Kneebone a contemporary British artist whose complex porcelain sculptures comprise organic forms in a system of interaction that unravel the human experience.

Rachel Kneebone 

399 Days (detail), Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rachel Kneebone -Descent
By Rachel Kneebone

By Rachel Kneebone

Rachel Kneebone
399 Days (detail), Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Rachel Kneebone
399 Days, Rachel Kneebone, 2012 – 2013. © Rachel Kneebone. Photograph © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Rachel Kneebone
Rachel Kneebone Photo by David Bebber