Suggestions for those engaging in Mother and Baby home inquiry.

Chrisso Flynn's dress

To all of those who are thinking of engaging in this process.  Keep a record of all phone calls and conversations that you have with the inquiry and its staff.

Keep the original copy of all correspondence or statements that you wish to submit to the inquiry examination. If you are posting, make sure to register and send the copy.

Ensure, if you are going to give witness testimony that you have good counsel and good support mechanisms as this process can be very traumatic and stressful.

It would be also important to inquire now whether there is a fund available for people to avail of counseling etc.

The past is a good learner and the past has show that they never cared for us.  Didn’t nurture us and didn’t love us.  We were ‘surplus to need’ and thrown away.  There is nothing to suggest now that this practice and belief has truly changed.

It is important that people care for themselves and nurture each other and invest in themselves for their own truth rather than this inquiry which will take many years to complete its work.  While it is very welcome – similar public inquiries and examinations into institutions in this country have further alienated many, caused further harm and avoided truth, consequences for perpetrators and has not led to any meaningful recovery, healing or reconciliation.

Try not to give or invest too much in this inquiry process at this particular point.  Easy does it.  It didn’t happen to them it happened to us.  We are the owners of it and they’d be only too delighted if we handed it over willy nilly for them to do what they like with.

So be prudent, be cautious and be aware of false nurture and don’t get  into the world of expectation or transference.

This is just another part of the journey where we will find ourselves challenging the State in an inquiry that they have set up.

It would be far better to email than to phone I think.  It gives you more control and boundary and is easier to manage how one feels and you then also have the paper trail to prove what you have sent.  The freephone is manned from 10am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm Monday to Friday.   

Children born in the listed institutions are welcome to call and they will be issued with an information leaflet and application form which they can return to the commission should they be interested in telling their story to the Confidential Committee.

We’re not looking for sympathy.  We’re looking for justice and truth and the right to have access to our families and documents etc. When I say we, I include myself, because i’ve been on this journey – similar in every way to the Ryan report for decades. We can hold them accountable but we are ultimately responsible for how we are going to engage with this process.

It would be also wise to set up a good national support group with trusted individuals who people have confidence in as there are many groups out there purporting to represent individuals and groups – perhaps a new steering committee with good independent professionals might be good.

Bear in mind that we were the trafficked, the banished, the forsaken.  For those of us who have had this experience and lived to fight for truth and tell the story there are twice as many who lie in pits for graves from Tuam to Letterfrack, Passage West to Castlepollard.

These are but suggestions – they are not advise and you are the one who has to make the decisions and take the responsibilities.

4 thoughts on “Suggestions for those engaging in Mother and Baby home inquiry.

  1. Thankyou for getting the info out about
    this Mannix. My aunt, Helen Gardiner, who was from Sligo,
    was in the home in Cork, in the 50’s
    I think. I will be in touch with the
    Commission & thank you for the
    helpful comments re: contact. I’ve passed the info on to the group I belong to in the U.S. Thanks for all you
    Kathy (Barron) Aghajanian
    Boston Branch
    Concerned United Birthparents

  2. Thanks Mannix.    My father’s step sister was in the Mother & Baby Home mentioned in Tuam for the first 2 or 3 years of her life.  She is 81 years old now.  I have forwarded your posts to her daughter in England so they are at the very least aware it is happening.  She has said she doesn’t not have many memories of the time but I know she was shocked and appalled when the news broke last year regarding the bodies found.  In fact I went to church with her a year ago in Co. Mayo, her/our family’s home church. After the service she wanted to talk to the priest.  She told him she had been in that home. He did not have the decency to acknowledge her experience or the suffering inflicted on her siblings in industrial schools which he is aware of, and instead started telling her the media were blowing it out of proportion, not to believe what she was hearing on the news. I was disgusted and walked away, leaving her and her daughter with the priest.  I couldn’t believe he was so thoughtless and uncaring to an elderly woman telling him her experience.   Regards Bonnie

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