Monday, 26 February 2018

Mixed Race Irish in the Mother and Baby Homes in the 20th Century

Lunchtime Seminar Series: 

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

Thursday 1st March 2018, 1-2pm, 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)
Susan Lohan, co-founder of ARA (Adoption Rights Alliance) and ‘Clann’

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.

Susan Lohan is the co-founder of Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA), and is currently working as an advocate in Ireland for open records for adopted, fostered adults and those who spent time in Mother and Baby Homes, Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries. ARA is undertaking a joint initiative with JFM Research, in the form of ‘Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data’. The purpose of Clann is to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland through a number of ways; by assisting those who wish to give evidence to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, compiling a public group report to submit to the Commission, the Irish Government and international human rights bodies, and sharing archival documentary materials through the Clann website.


Friday, 16 February 2018

My name is Bridget by Alison O'Reilly

In 1946, twenty-six-year-old Bridget Dolan walked up the path to the front door of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Alone and pregnant, she was following in the footsteps of more than a century’s worth of lost souls. Shunned by society for her sins and offered no comfort for her pain, Bridget gave birth to a boy, John, who died at the home in a horrendous state of neglect less than two years later. Her second child was once again delivered at the home and was taken from her, never to be seen or heard from again.
She would go on to marry a wonderful man and have a daughter, Anna Corrigan, but it was only after Bridget’s death – and in the aftermath of the explosive revelations that the remains of 796 babies had been found in a septic tank on the site of the home – that Anna discovered she had two brothers her mother had never spoken about. Was her baby brother’s body in the tank? Anna still doesn’t know.
Through Anna, this book puts on the record the life of Bridget Dolan and all the forgotten women and children of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.