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