Monday, 7 November 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - All Soul's Day 2016

Candles at the playground - Breeda Murphy


A Shimmering Heart

A great shimmering heart of light,
Glowing and warm and embracing,
Small souls with us that night,
Twinkling and moving and endearing.
Enveloping us as one at last,
Longing for truth of a sad past,
United as one in a procession of light,
On this, very special all souls night.
Written by Ger Henry Hassett after the vigil last Wednesday 2nd November


The candlelight vigil (All Soul's Day 2016) in Tuam was an incredibly moving and powerful evening. One I'll never forget.
ht Vigil in Tuam w
At the playground

We were blessed with such a beautiful night. 

Catherine Corless - By Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald

By Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald

By Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald

By Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald
Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald

Ray Ryan - Tuam Herald

I've been debating whether or not it's my place to thank people for their contribution as the whole evening was about everyone and all our contributions (that's what made it happen, it was about all of us showing up and doing it together.) However, I also feel that someone needs to acknowledge the many contributors who gave so much of their time to help this work. 


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Mark Hand 
Catherine and Aidan Corless
Jim and Sarah Morrissey
Val and Patsy McNamara
Pauline Cunningham
All of the contributors to the Art Exhibition
Mary Dunne from the County Council
Kevin McNicholas
The Corralea Hotel
Valeo
The Marshalls
Eric Cunningham
The Gardai
The Order of Malta
Local media
Breeda Murphy
Edel Lowry
Mary Donaghy
The Survivors
Mia Mullarkey and Ishka films
Roorii – Feature Walls
Tom from the Rural Social Scheme
John McGrath
Jimmy from Elwood Office Interiors
Sunset Films 
Nuala Flynn 
Those who purchased/sold the candles

Contributors to the evening at the Town Hall

Eric Cunningham
Aoife 
Una Mulryan
Elaine Feeney
Rita Ann Higgins
JP Rodgers 


The Survivors 


Stunning music by the gifted Eric Cunningham who opened and closed the evening at the Town Hall.
Eric Cunningham - By Breeda Murphy
Aoife
It was very important to hear a child's voice at the start of the proceedings in the Town Hall, to set the right tone, so Catherine Corless granddaughter Aoife read a beautiful poem called Infant Angels by John G. Gibbs which was word perfect from beginning to end. Thank you Aoife.
Una Mulryan (daughter of Peter Mulryan one of the survivors) read a beautiful poem by Breeda Murphy.
Una Mulryan
 Days, months or years represented your short lives
When you left, there were no good-byes,
No opportunity to grieve or show tears
No display of affection, no eulogy, it has taken years.
To roll back the layers of times past
And reclaim our children for centuries to last.

And  as we gather in solidarity,
With family members and local community,
We remember your lives, no longer in vain,
Recalling a time of so much pain.

Little ones, resting in  west of Ireland clay,
Our mission to give recognition to you in your day,
Of Times forgotten and decades past,
Now your name has been memoralised  to last

Now cherished as children with stories untold
Forever enshrined in our hearts and our homes
Your identity returned, your belonging assured
We celebrate your  homecoming as rich as as it’s true.

This day, All Soul’s day, we will remember you at this place,
No more forgotten, our children will see your face
You’re here – forever enveloped in our hearts,
Never more to part.


-----Welcome home ----
Breeda Murphy

Peter and Una Mulryan

JP Rodgers
John gave a potent and moving account of his origins in the Tuam Mother and Baby home (more on John again)

Jp's contribution to the Tuam Spirit Babies exhibition



By JP Rodgers


Elaine Feeney - poet  photo by Breeda Murphy

Elaine Feeney  is an incredible poet and teacher based in Tuam. We were all riveted to our seats as she read the poem 'The Harvest.' (I couldn't find it on the internet but here's a link to an interview she did for the Honest Ulsterman which will give you a real insight to this amazing woman.) The imagery conjured in the poem kept coming back in waves in the days following the vigil. Thank you Elaine for your rich contribution. http://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=312&a=187

http://humag.co/features/elaine-feeney





Rita Ann Higgins read a stunningly potent poem called Letter Frack which had most of us in tears - another rich contribution from such a renowned poet.http://www.ritaannhiggins.com


We then heard many moving accounts from the survivors who bravely told their stories (some for the first time in public.) I'm not going to mention their names . 
PJ Haverty






The entire evening, from beginning to end, flowed in the most beautiful and poignant way which was certainly beyond anything I expected. 
THANKS to all of us for making it happen together. It needed all of our efforts! 
Lots of love Xx 
More on this again...when I'm fully recovered.



Photo by Andy Newman



One heart - Photo by Ray Ryan Tuam Herald

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