Friday, 24 August 2018

Letter in Support of Tuam Survivors into today's Irish Times

Nice to see some momentum happening

A message from Kimberely Campanello

Letter in support of Tuam survivors, missing and their families. I sent it in on the 14th of Aug, but they must have held it back to coincide with Pope's visit. 
Sir, – We the undersigned writers and artists appeal to the Government to use the full force of its purse and power to undertake a complete excavation, identification where possible, and dignified reburial of the victims of Tuam. We further appeal for the Government to undertake anactive and authentic attempt to identify the many missing individuals who will have been illegally adopted at home and abroad.
In light of significant, possibly criminal, failings at Tuam – of which the lack of burial records for 796 infants and children, the missing bodies of women, the verified existence of “significant quantities” of human remains, and the ongoing testimony of survivors are ample evidence – mere memorialisation is inadequate. Systematic exhumation is necessary to uncover the truth. The Government must use any and all resources (including, as necessary, resources of the Bon Secours Order) to complete a full excavation and identification of all remains on the site as has been consistently requested by Catherine Corless, survivors, and family members of those who lived in the Home. – Yours, etc,


MARY O’DONNELL,
DR AILBHE DARCY,
KIMBERLY
CAMPANELLO,
AIDEEN BARRY,
CARMEL BENSON,
MELONY BETHALA,
DR DYLAN BRENNAN,
MAIRÉAD BYRNE,
FIÓNA BOLGER,
JUNE CALDWELL,
MARY ROSE
CALLAGHAN,
ANNA CAREY,
EILEEN CASEY,
PAUL CASEY,
SARAH CLANCY,
JANE CLARKE,
PATRICK CHAPMAN,
BRÍD CONNOLLY,
SUSAN CONNOLLY,
JUNE CONSIDINE,
BRIGID CORCORAN,
MARION COX,
ENDA COYLE-GREENE,
CATHERINE
ANN CULLEN,
MADELEINE D’ARCY,
MARTINA DEVLIN,
MOYRA DONALDSON,
THEO DORGAN,
CATHERINE DUNNE,
ANNE ENRIGHT,
ATTRACTA FAHY,
TANYA FARRELLY,
ELAINE FEENEY,
KIT FRYATT,
MIA GALLAGHER,
ANTHONY GLAVIN,
SINÉAD GLEESON,
SHAUNA GILLIGAN,
JACKIE GORMAN,
DYLAN COBURN GRAY,
SARAH MARIA GRIFFIN,
VONA GROARKE,
MARY GUCKIAN,
MAURICE HARMON,
JACK HARTE,
JOANNE HAYDEN,
CLAIRE HENNESSY,
RITA ANN HIGGINS,
ELEANOR HOOKER,
VICTORIA KENNEFICK,
ANATOLY
KUDRYAVITSKY,
DAVE LORDAN,
AIFRIC MAC AODHA,
CATHERINE PHIL
MacCARTHY,
JOHN MacKENNA,
NUALA MACKLIN,
ALICE MAHER
CHRISTODOULOS
MAKRIS,
OANA SANZIANA
MARIAN,
EMER MARTIN,
JOHN McAULIFFE,
FELICITY McCARTAN,
FLISH McCARTHY,
MOLLY McCLOSKEY,
MARIA McMANUS,
DECLAN MEADE,
PAULA MEEHAN,
LIA MILLS,
SINÉAD MORRISSEY,
PAUL MULDOON,
HELENA MULKERNS,
ANNE MULHALL,
SONYA MULLIGAN,
CHRISTINE MURRAY,
UNA NI CHEALLAIGH,
ANNEMARIE
NÍ CHURREÁIN,
NUALA NI CHONCHUIR,
DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA,
EILEEN
NÍ SHUILLEABHÁIN,
LIZ NUGENT,
JEAN O’BRIEN,
MARGARET O’DONNELL,
JOHN O’DONOVAN,
NESSA O’MAHONY,
GERALDINE O’REILLY,
Dr ROBYN ROWLAND AO,
KARL PARKINSON,
JUSTIN QUINN,
CONNIE ROBERTS,
ANNETTE SKADE,
KELLY E. SULLIVAN,
ANNE TANNAM,
SUSAN TOMASELLI,
JESSICA TRAYNOR,
SAMANTHA WALTON,
DAVID WHEATLEY,
ADAM WYETH.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The power of silence



Silent Vigil.


Congregating at the Town Hall, Tuam from 2pm. Procession to 'Home Babies' site leaving at 2.30. Public gathering 3pm at the site during the papal mass. All welcome.

Pilgrimage to the Playground

Home Babies by Catherine Corless




The playground/'Home Babies' site in Tuam has become a place of pilgrimage for those who want to pay homage to the 800 babies and missing women. As mentioned many times on this blog, Tuam which means Tumulus (burial mound) has become a metaphor for all the horrors that are buried by Church and State and it makes sense that people should want to go there. 
Dark tourism some would call it. 

But what about the guardians of that place?

The small children who play there everyday?


I've been thinking a lot about those little ones since we met them on Saturday 11th August, just wondering what they make of the frequent visitors who come and go to pay their respects to the babies at their playground. Surely they deserve to have a play area which doesn't have 800 skeletal remains beneath the surface and is essentially a CRIME SCENE.
Surely their families deserve better than that.

Children will always play: 
On dumps
Amongst rubble
Near landmines
In refugee camps
In dangerous waters
with anything and everything
some of the parents of the children we met probably even played with the actual skulls of the babies on sticks back in the 70's.

What the hell...?
This situation is abhorrent. Perverse. And WRONG!



If you can't make it to the vigil in Tuam on Sunday, perhaps consider going to one nearby or lighting a candle for the survivors of that horror house.
Don't forget to add a little blessing for the guardians of the playground, those beautiful little children who deserve a playground free of bodies.

Get them out of there!!!



Sunday August 26th
Silent Vigil to remember all the forgotten ones.
Congregating at the Town Hall, Tuam from 2pm.
Procession to 'Home Babies' site leaving at 2.30pm.
Public gathering @3pm at the site during the Papal Mass at Phoenix Park.
All welcome. #standfortruth  




Many people are travelling from all over Ireland and the UK to walk in solidarity and truth to the 'Home Babies' site in Tuam, thereby acknowledging the horrific abuses carried out by Church and State. 
Please join us @AnnetteMckay15


Glenamaddy Workhouse

Hobnail Boots unknown


Back in January a friend of mine invited me to visit her home place of Glenamaddy.
 Delighted to get a tour by someone who loves the town, I leapt at the chance.
January's an interesting time to visit anywhere as there's a pensiveness in the air and all life is paired back to its skeletal state. You get the truth of things. 
A pretty little town, Glenamaddy's a fine example of a rural place that's still got the feeling of 'old Ireland' without the bling to tell you it does. Surrounded by lakes and trees, it's somewhere I'd like to return to now the summer's at an end to see what's shifted.


Little by little, over the course of the day as we visited all the lovely nooks and crannies of Glenamaddy, I found my life force diminishing bit by bit and the feeling of grief encapsulated the lens through which I was viewing things. On hilltops looking down at beautiful lakes, enjoying the lovely chat, I became more melancholy and a driving pain began penetrating my forehead. Trying to shake it off and be present with my host became difficult and by the time we finally reached the old workhouse, I was engulfed with sadness and quite faint. 
Standing at the edge of the lake nearby, I had to resist the temptation to jump in. I don't like to swim in cold waters, ever, yet I felt a tremendous pull from the water. Many 'inmates' probably ended their life there. Noticing I was uneasy, my friend suggested we leave and soon we were back at her house drinking sweet tea. 


Photo Sadie Cramer
I was quite ill for several days following that visit and have often wondered what it was all about. I get the experience of overwhelming grief creeping up from the ground into my body sometimes, so I know it's not my own. 

Photo Unknown
Last Sunday I got a call from my father who began to tell me for the first time, that my Grandmother whom I adored and her siblings were put into a workhouse when her widowed mother became destitute. One of my aunts died during her time there. 

Apart from the obvious reasons, I've finally found out why this subject matter has gripped me so forcibly for so long. The last few days have been shattering as I loved my nan deeply and often feel her comforting presence around me. 


Only time can tell what the TRUTH of this situation is. This is the bare bones of it as it is known now but as someone told me during the week: 
'We're all a collection of shattered hearts really.'

We are. 
But somehow by sharing our hurts and supporting each other, we can help heal the pain that separates us rather than unites us 💚

Please join us in Tuam on Sunday:

We are gathering at 2pm outside Tuam Town Hall, at 2:30pm we will walk unitedly down the 30min route to the former site of the Tuam Mother & Baby home. We will start proceedings at 3pm which will coincide with Pope Francis saying mass in Dublin. We will be asking volunteers to read the #796 names and ages individual. We respectfully invite supporters to bring baby and toddler shoes, which will be left at the site in remembrance of the children, After thanking visitors we will then peacefully disperse.  @AnnetteMckay15