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[Names marked with an * mark have been changed to protect the identity of those who are alive]
This is a piece that I have wanted to write for a while but I didn’t want to share this without the green light from ‘Beth’, now that she’s allowing me to share this, read on…
Here's a quick refresher for those of you who are new here and haven’t been following along with my shenanigans in terms of mother and baby homes and my work with Project Infant.
I started Project Infant in July 2022 for a number of reasons, [I go a bit more in-depth about my reasons in my mother and baby homes presentation here.] One of which was that I have a relative who was born in Bessborough. Had ‘Beth’ not survived I would not exist.
That’s because ‘Beth’ is my amazing mother.
One of the things I was frequently encouraged to do was to take a DNA test, I had people asking why I hadn’t done one. I would typically respond with a reasonably wishy-washy answer always leaving more questions than answers. (Which happens to be one of my talents in some situations…)
The actual reason is that my mother was being put in touch with her biological mother Ana* and meeting her half-sisters Eve*, Rochelle* and Eric*. They met recently, and I also got to meet them. It’s a weird but wonderful feeling knowing your family tree grows that bit more, I can’t quite describe it but it was a brilliant one, to say the least. The meeting went incredibly well. It’s why we held off, we wanted to meet our family first before we went doing DNA tests. But I’m hoping that I’ll feel ready to do one at some point. I am curious but I do not want to rush it.
But, Mum’s half-sister Rochelle* had a connection to an institution (Temple Hill) like Mum, so I have another connection. However, if we’re talking topical points, neither Mum nor Rochelle* qualify for the redress scheme as they both spent less than 6 months in an institution. (In this case, Rochelle* would not even be considered as Temple Hill is not covered by the redress scheme)
So, when it comes to mother and baby homes, this reasoning should give you, dear reader, a fair idea as to why this topic hits home for me and why I fight. Why I fight passionately and why I’m determined to boost the voices of others and help them to be heard as well as my own. Why I fight to make sure every mother and infant connected to those homes are heard, even if they aren’t around anymore.
Survivors of these homes deserve justice.
They deserve it now — not in decades to come.
They deserve justice that is fair, not ‘justice’ under a false pretence where it actually excludes thousands.
They deserve justice where their input is factored in, not where those affected are ignored or shunned.
They deserve justice and they deserve answers.
And remember, there were only 18 institutions which were investigated by the Commission of Investigation. The Clann Project found that there were at least 182 institutions which operated in some capacity. [See document page 132, section 5.21 of this report.]
This limitation will not allow the Commission to make findings that reflect the operation of at least 182 homes, institutions, agencies and individuals operating across the country.
~ Clann Project
So, I’m going to do what the Commission didn’t and that’s find their names, any mother and infant who died in these ‘homes’ and restore them to public memory again.
I’m not backing down.
Count on it.
[NOTE: If you would like to be a part of helping to research the names of these infants, please get in contact with me here.]
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