Silence for babies who died at Galway mother and baby home

By Mary Mcdonnell
May 25, 2015

A sign placed outside Leinster House last year at a Justice for Tuam babies march.

A remembrance service has taken place outside Government buildings for babies who died at a mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

A moving 800 seconds of silence was held at 12pm for some 800 babies who died at St Mary's between 1925 and 1961 – one year on from the discovery of a mass grave which shocked the world.  

The ceremony is organised by a coalition of mother and baby home survivors: 

  • The Bethany Home Survivors
  • Adopted Illegally Ireland
  • Beyond Adoption Ireland  
  • Castlepollard Mother & Baby home group
  • Adoption Rights Now 

Terri Harrison, from the 'Mother to Mother Dublin' group has called for the transparency in investigations into the homes. 

She said: "As life givers in Ireland, we were cast aside, denied our basic human rights. Our loss hidden, our truth never told, our lives lived beneath a veil of deceit. 

“No Mother has been asked to partake in the Commission of Inquiry to assist, or to support them in unveiling the very essence of an unspoken chapter of Irish history. 

“It is only when we all acknowledge our wrongs, our misgivings, can we truly face each other. Our children and our children's children will carry the scars of our open wounds, unless we as a society say no more, enough is enough.”

Survivors are calling for a number of measures to be brought forward by Government including the provision of a dedicated counselling support service made available to all survivors.

The three actions they call for are: 

  • A separate and immediate acknowledgment, apology and redress to an aging survivor community.
  • Full Inclusion. All single mothers and their children who were forcibly separated are to be included in the Commission of Inquiry as well as any home or institution related to these activities including ALL illegal activities. 
  • Senator Averil Power’s Adoption Bill to be passed within six months to open all lifelong sealed adoption files.



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