Seminar in Dublin church on Tuam children’s home cancelled due to Covid-19

Topics included ‘False allegations of child abuse against the Catholic Church, including homicide’

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Co Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Co Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

A “history seminar” challenging findings of various Commissions of Inquiry into child abuse and planned for Dublin’s University Church on Stephen’s Green next Sunday has been cancelled.

Advertised as a history seminar “with particular reference to the Tuam Children’s Home” likely attendees had been advised to “arrive early as numbers are restricted due to Government Covid-19 restrictions.”

A spokeswoman for Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese said staff at the University Church had “confirmed that the event due to take place this Sunday has been cancelled. Current Government guidance permitting people to gather at places of worship is for religious services only. No other gatherings are permitted.”

The theme of the seminar was: “Do modern Irish historians exaggerate the role of the Catholic Church in independent Ireland” and speakers scheduled to take part included Brian Nugent, author of the book @Tuambabies: A critical look at the Tuam Children’s Home Scandal.

It challenges findings of local historian Catherine Corless concerning the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and those made there by the Mother and Baby Home Commission, published in its March 2017 interim report.

It found that “significant quantities of human remains” had been discovered there, in what appeared to be a sewage tank. The remains involved “a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to two to three years,” it said.

Mr Nugent was to speak on “Did home rule equal Rome rule in independent Ireland?” Another scheduled speaker was Eugene Jordan, author of False History Underpinning the Irish Mother and Baby Home Scandals. He was to give a talk on “The Tuam Children’s Home story, a failure of modern Irish historiography.”

The third scheduled speaker was Rory Connor, described as an “expert on various Commissions and Inquiries” as well as author of the irishsalem blogspot.com website. He was to speak on “False allegations of child abuse against the Catholic Church, including homicide”.