New book to tell the story of forgotten victims of the Tuam Mother & Baby home
‘Significant quantities of human remains have been discovered’. These eight harrowing words delivered by Minister Katherine Zappone on March 3rd 2017 struck a horrified chord throughout the country and reverberated across the world.
The news had emerged that the remains of 796 babies had been discovered in a septic tank on the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway.
For Anna Corrigan, the revelation of the discovery came during her own heart-breaking search for her two unknown brothers. In 2012, eleven years after her mother’s death, Anna discovered that her mother, Bridget Dolan had given birth to two sons in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home before Anna was born.
'My Name is Bridget' by Alison O'Reilly, pieces together the story of Bridget Dolan, who in 1946 at the age of twenty-six, entered the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, alone and eight months pregnant.
Bridget gave birth to a boy, John, who died at the home in a horrendous state of neglect less than two years later. Tragically Bridget found herself back in the home in 1949, again alone and pregnant with no one to turn to. Her second child was once again delivered into the care of the nuns and was taken from her, never to be seen or heard from again.
To this day, there is no clear record as to the whereabouts of her two brothers. Anna believes the remains of her eldest brother John are amongst the 796 buried babies awaiting identification. With conflicting records from The Bons Secours Sisters for William’s date of birth, and with no official death certificate, she believes that William, like many other babies and young children at the time was illegally adopted through the Catholic Church to America.
She continues to search for him. Anna’s discovery of her mother’s secret past sheds a new light on her own difficult relationship with her mother and the great care Bridget took of Anna’s own daughter when she became a teen mum herself years later, so that she would not have to experience a life like her own.
Without her mother to turn to for answers, Anna was compelled to uncover any information she could about her brothers. Here with Alison O’Reilly in this book, Anna pieces together one of Irish history’s darkest chapters – the untold stories of Ireland’s forgotten victims of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
The book was published by Gill Books on April 20.
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