Talk on Tuam babies branded ‘shameful’ revisionism

Now a well kept walled garden off Tuam's Dublin Road thanks mainly to the efforts of local people . . . part of the burial ground where nearly 800 children were interred from the '20s through to the '60s. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.
Now a well kept walled garden off Tuam's Dublin Road thanks mainly to the efforts of local people . . . part of the burial ground where nearly 800 children were interred from the '20s through to the '60s. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Galway Junior Minister Cíarán Cannon has branded an upcoming US talk on the Tuam babies scandal as a ‘shameful’ rewriting of history.

One of the country’s best known journalists, John Waters, is to give a talk in the University of Notre Dame in Indiana on Saturday entitled ‘When Evil Becomes Virtual ‘Cyberspace, Failing Media and the Hoax of the Holocaust of Tuam.’

“The very fact that John Waters includes the word “hoax” in the title of his talk is exceptionally hurtful to the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, in particular those who have come forward to tell their story. This shamefully insensitive re-interpretation of the facts attempts to discount the very real and all too painful experiences of survivors and the details contained in the Expert Technical report. I’m deeply disappointed that aseat of learning as respected as the University of Notre Dame would host such an event,” said Minister Cannon.

“The reality is that the story of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home brings us face-to-face with a major aspect of Ireland`s sometimes murky social past in which children were victimised by a society that found it convenient to overlook their existence. To attempt to put some kind of revisionist gloss on what was an awful reality is simply not right. The facts are as follows. There is documentary evidence of just under 800 infant deaths in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. The death rate of babies at the Tuam home was almost double the rate of other homes around the country.

“Mr. Waters should also note that Catherine Corless, whose meticulous research uncovered the truth of what happened at Tuam, was recently the recipient of the Bar of Ireland Award and and was also honoured at the NewsBrands Irish Journalism Awards. Catherine`s work has given us the opportunity to acknowledge what may be termed ‘Ireland`s forgotten citizens’ and ensures that we can now properly honour the memory of the children in Tuam. The views expressed by Mr. Waters seriously undermine his own credibility. The primary aim of every professional journalist should be to report truthfully on events and in this context Mr. Waters should do a little more research and also reflect on the courageous testimony of so many of Tuam’s survivors.”