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Mother and Baby Home survivors want ‘dignity and respect’

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Survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home just want to be treated with dignity and respect in their dealings with the authorities, according to local historian Catherine Corless.

Ms Corless and a group of up to 35 survivors emphasised this sentiment when they met with two Government Ministers at the Corralea Court Hotel in Tuam for over two and a half hours last Friday.

Ms Corless, whose tireless research brought to light the mass grave at the institution of unmarried mothers, said the meeting with Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone, Local Government Minister Simon Coveney, and CEO of Galway County Council, Kevin Kelly, “went very well”.

“The survivors met together first beforehand and so were well organised. They asked tough questions but it was very dignified. It was a very good meeting,” she said.

It was organised after Ms Corless met with Minister Zappone in Dublin some weeks ago.

“She asked me what is it the survivors are looking for. Compensation was never mentioned. I haven’t met one survivor who has mentioned compensation. What they are looking for is acknowledgment, an apology, and to be kept informed,” said Ms Corless.

She explained that survivors feel that an injustice continues to be meted out to them because they continue to be treated shabbily.

Ms Corless said there was “disappointment” that neither minister nor Mr Kelly had answers in relation to the coroner’s findings.

Some of the survivors want to rebury their loved ones elsewhere. In order to do this, they need to know whether they have DNA results of the deceased.

“They want to know whether it is possible to remove them individually . . . it was a disappointment that they didn’t get answers on that.”

Ms Corless said another key issue of concern is the stumbling blocks being put in place of survivors who are trying to access records and information.

“The Church and the Bon Secours won’t give it to them and Tusla (State’s child and family agency) is making them use FOI (Freedom of Information) and to hire solicitors to get records about their lives. That’s still a reflection of how they are being ill-treated all these years later. It is an insult to them and they feel let down again,” she said.

Survivors were angry, too, that the County Council had decreed that the site should be declared a monument and a peace garden be erected as a remembrance.

This was done without consultation with survivors, she said.

“That’s just another example of how they were treated by the County Council. That shouldn’t be a peace garden – it’s a tank. That’s an insult,” she said.

Overall, however, Ms Corless said Ministers Zappone and Coveney, and Mr Kelly were “very sincere” and gave “no empty promises”.

They did “promise sincerely” that access to records would be made easier for survivors.

Minister Zappone also pledged that any updates would be sent to Anna Corrigan of the Tuam Babies Family Group so that survivors could hear about any developments first, rather than reading about it in media.

Connacht Tribune

Remembering the rough and tumble of open-air festivals

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of those public relations puff pieces – admittedly sent out on behalf of a mattress manufacturer who might just have a vested interest in sleep – offered a series of suggestions by which those attending outdoor music festivals this summer might be assured of a restful night.

That conveniently overlooks the fact that no one ever went to a weekend music festival in search of a good night’s sleep; indeed, for some any form of shuteye qualifies as proof that things didn’t go as well as you might have hoped.

Which means that the suggestions of these ‘sleep experts’ might have to be taken with a small pinch of salt – after a shot of Tequila at sunrise if you’re a real music head, of course.

But for what they’re worth, the experts suggest you bring an eye mask, use ear plugs so you can tune into a relaxing podcast, and take a nap during the day.

Alternatively, you could always stay at home because the rough and tumble of a weekend in a tent on a boggy field might not be for you. Instead pull up a comfy chair and watch Glastonbury on the BBC.

Even as it is, those festival-goers who think they’re roughing it don’t know the meaning of the word; unless you were in Lisdoonvarna in the eighties, you have no idea what getting back to basics is all about.

Equally the modern outdoor music festival involves a field or a park in the middle of a city, to which you can take the LUAS and your picnic basket, secure in the knowledge that the concert licence means you’ll be on your way towards home by around half ten.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

The only thing Boris Johnson actually believes in is himself

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Boris Johnson...clinging on despite all the odds.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

This is a column that is a little bit about a political question – and a lot about how political leaders manage to cling on to power. The political question is the Northern Protocol, and the leader clinging on – despite all the odds – is, who else, but Boris Johnson.

How he has managed to stay in 10 Downing Street defies all precedent. Many of his predecessors have fallen on their swords for much, much less.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Johnson has careered from crisis to crisis, disaster to disaster. When it was agreed by the EU and the UK, he hailed the Northern Ireland Protocol as a triumph.

As the Prime Minister he ousted, Theresa May, reminded him in the Commons this week when she was speaking of his low stock among international leaders: “Actually, I suspect they are saying to themselves why should they negotiate in detail with a government that shows itself willing to sign an agreement, claim it as a victory, and then try and tear it apart in three years’ time?”

That’s a good question. Johnson is now trying to destroy something he partly created. And the litany of other contradictions run deep. He spent weeks going around the place joking about Covid, shaking hands, and downplaying its seriousness. Then he caught it and almost died from it.

The number of deaths in Britain from Covid were among the highest, pro rata, anywhere. It would have downed another leader. But not Johnson.

In fairness, the British were the first to come out with mass vaccinations even though the decision to extend the time period before the first and second jab was not a great one in retrospect.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Move sought on scheme to promote growing of catch crops

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Stephen Canavan: Scheme needed on catch crops.

THE Dept. of Agriculture has been urged to ‘move swiftly’ and introduce an incentive scheme for the growing of ‘catch crops’ this Summer to help any potential Winter feed shortages.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that such a scheme would be easy to introduce and would incentivise farmers to grow catch crops such as rape and kale.

“These crops would provide a high-quality feed for stock during the early Winter period and would also give farmers the opportunity to reseed land for next year,” said Stephen Canavan.

He said that while the Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) would be a welcome help to farmers, more assistance from the Dept. of Agriculture would be required to ensure that there were no feed shortages over the coming Winter season.

Fast growing catch crops – such as rape and kale – can be sown in mid to late Summer and still be ready for feeding by the early Winter period.

However, last week, National IFA Chair, Paul O’Brien, hit out at the EU Commission for delivering ‘mixed messages’ in terms of their policy on farmers producing more grain and fodder crops.

He said that while last month, the EU were encouraging farmers to grow more crops for feed, they were at the same time pressing ahead with proposals for reductions in the use of pesticides – essential for crop protection.

“Commissioner Wojciechowski was explicit when he addressed our National Council last month: ‘the EU Farm to Fork policy will have to be re-visited in light of food security concerns.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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