Tuam ceremony honours the 796 babies found at site

Family members and survivors of the mother and baby home call for a full exhumation

Peter Mulryan, a survivor of the Tuam mother and baby home,   lays flowers  at the site  where the bodies of 796 babies were uncovered. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Peter Mulryan, a survivor of the Tuam mother and baby home, lays flowers at the site where the bodies of 796 babies were uncovered. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

 

Family members and survivors of the Tuam mother and baby home have issued a renewed call on the Government to carry out a full exhumation of the site following a series of events to honour the 796 Tuam babies on Saturday.

The ceremonies included the unveiling of a hand-knitted quilt, with a square for each baby, the screening of a documentary about the scandal, testimonials and poems from the families, and a live concert.

The white blanket, the brainchild of Dublin-based artist Barbara O’Meara, was made by 300 women across the globe.

Tuam Home Survivors Network chairman Peter Mulryan, whose younger sister was among the 796 babies, said the survivors were overwhelmed by the support they had received for Saturday’s event.

Anger at Taoiseach

“We are the kind of people who would not have been known or heard of, but now we are being extremely well represented all over the world. It’s just mind-boggling, the way the wheel has turned around. We were classed as nobodies, people who were not to be heard,” said Mr Mulryan.

He expressed anger that the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had visited the site in a personal capacity recently without making any attempt to contact the survivors.

“Our search for justice is awful slow. We don’t understand why a public figure like an Taoiseach would come sneaking down, with nobody to meet him. It hurt us very much. We were so disgusted with an Taoiseach, to hear that he spoke to the residents, to ask them what they would like done here, rather than to ask us, the families and survivors,” he said.

Mr Mulryan will lead a Walk With Peter event to honour the Tuam babies through Dublin city centre on Saturday, October 6th, when 796 cardboard coffins will be carried from O’Connell Street to the Garden of Remembrance to remind people that the families are still seeking justice for their loved ones.