and Clodagh Glavin from North Tipperary took place at the site of the Tuam
Mother and Baby Home. The remembrance ceremony is an important step in
acknowledging the rights of the ‘disappeared’ children, their mothers and
the former ‘Home Babies’ some of whom were present and provided their own
testimonies at the ceremony.
The trip was organised by mothers themselves, Majella and Clodagh, reaching
out to our community having witnessed Catherine Corless’s dignified stance
on the Late Late Show complimented by survivor Peter Mulryan’s testimony,
as he explained his efforts in the Four Courts in an attempt to gain access
to his sister’s file.
The group who travelled by coach upon arrival on site, were met by
Chairperson of the Tuam Babies Family Group, Peter Mulryan and his wife
Kathleen and were further introduced to survivors Carmel Larkin, P.J.
Haverty, Anne Kelly Silke, Walter Francis and Group secretary, Breeda
As the names were read aloud of each child, poems recited, memories shared,
tears flowed and the clouds which had gathered ominously, lifted to reveal
bright sunshine at times. The group enveloped in friendship, as survivors
were shown love and support to shed further light on their experiences
while living at the Home, the oldest Anne left the Home aged nine, while
Peter Mulryan left at the age of four and a half. Their memories were
complimented by the powerful testimony of Felix O’Neill, himself a survivor
of the Institutional abuse who travelled with the group from Cahir, in
Following the ceremony the group travelled to the Ard Ri hotel for
refreshments kindly provided by Peter and Kathleen Mulryan.
It is the first occasion that members of our Group hosted a community such
as this and we are extremely grateful for their show of solidarity, their
willingness to listen and join with us in recalling the life, however
brief, of the ‘little ones’ whose whereabouts are unknown for many – as a
number are located below ground as found via the Commission of Inquiry’s
As Majella and Clodagh both reflected it is a continuous ‘journey’; one of
hope that we can see, within our lifetime, closure when the babies,
children and missing mothers, gain their rightful place in society, in our
homes, communities and our hearts.
We are one family, is the enduring message from Majella – we journey
together – and justice, while elusive, is denied in such instances to the
most deserving. Peter Mulryan, currently 74 years of age, legally tied up
in the High Court in an effort to gain access to his sister’s file and
ultimately her whereabouts – he asks the question – is she one of those
located by archaeologists in Tuam? Perhaps she is one of those trafficked
from the Institution per correspondence from HSE’s Whistleblower Philip
Garland, former assistant National Director of child and family services
with the Health Service Executive? When will he receive the news he
awaits? His wish to lay to rest, the remains of his only sister (if
deceased) in a family plot. Likewise, PJ Haverty wishes to receive an
apology from both State and the Bons Secours Order which he can read over
his mother’s grave in light of her many journeys to the home in an effort
to gain access and care for him herself.
The requests are simple and resonate with all, sisters, brothers, mothers,
fathers, sons, daughters, grandmothers – all in the group gathered had one
thing in common – they are waiting for the State to show, by act, due
respect to survivors and family members and allow for some element of
closure within their lifetime. It appears, at this juncture, it is too
much to ask, when one reviews Peter’s many appearances under Judge
Humphreys at Court No. 24 of the High Court where Tulsa are unwilling to
co-operate in handing over the files related to his one and only sister.
County Tipperary has responded to our call and are on our ‘pathway to
justice’ with us.