Friday sees the opening of the film Philomena. A story of a mother and sons search for each other having been separted at the age of three, sold off to an American family by the nuns in Sean Ross Abbey Mother and Baby home, Roscrea. The banished babies story is about to unfold into Irish society. A British film based on the book ‘The Lost child of Philomena Lee’. This is an ongoing issue in our society and societies throughout the world. It as as horrendous and shocking and criminal as anything described in the Ryan Reports. For many it is an issue of Adoption Rights and the rights to obtain the records of their birth parents and their medical and personal records. This is still being denied them by the Irish State and religious congregations. And yet, the State still persists with a memorial to victims of residential institutional abuse. Truth not trivia. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2451155/Philomena-Lee-To-think-nuns-told-son-searching-me.html)
THE BANISHED- UNGATHERED
Bringing home the Irish citizens that were sold abroad
Since the foundation of the State, thousands of babies have been removed from their lawful parents and their native land and sold to adoptive parents. This practice was, by and large, carried out by Religious congregations and in many cases the Irish State turned a blind eye. The mothers of these children were coerced into signing documents that would remove their rights to any information on their children and their whereabouts. These babies were trafficked out of Ireland mainly into the United States of America. All of these babies have been denied access to their personal histories and knowledge of their birth mothers and fathers. This cruel and inhumane treatment and denial of personal information on one’s identity constitutes a form of ethnic cleansing.
The destruction and elimination of one’s origin, the beginning of the self, was erased and for many people a lifetime sense of absence ensued. These people are still seeking to realign themselves with their birth mother and family and to be able to obtain access and ownership to all relevant personal and medical information and documentation.
The ‘banished’ children of this nation deserve their rights and their place in the history of this land. They deserve their birth certificates, their records and all the relevant information that is being held by the State, its agents and servants, and the church, its agents and servants that will give them a roadmap to achieving their full selves and their full identity. These are our brothers and our sisters, our aunts and our uncles, our nieces and nephews, our sweethearts, our family. Let this be a true gathering of equals. Support the cause, acknowledge this unjust denial and bring back the banished babies to their rightful place. To be silent on this issue is the continuation of a violence.
It is time to end this perpetual exile, facilitated by the Irish State and Irish Church. The light that reflects from a mother’s eyes to her new born child is the eternal home and that reflection needs to be actualised and manifested now in ‘action’. Stop the prolonged injustice of those, who as babies, were trafficked with their identities erased.
Lets bring them home.