Catherine Corless

  • Tuam historian Catherine Corless has criticised the Government for failing to commit to excavation, exhumation, and DNA testing of the children’s remains found at the site of the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

    It’s now a year since the Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone confirmed that a substantial amount of children’s human remains had been discovered at the Tuam site.

    An expert group published its report in December outlining five possible options on how the situation should be handled.

    These ranged from no further investigate work at the site and that it be turned into a memorial, to exhuming the human remains and burying them elsewhere.

    A consultation process is now underway, and Galway County Council has arranged an independent facilitator to meet with locals in Tuam tomorrow and Friday as part of this process.

    Submissions can also be made online before 16th March, but historian Catherine Corless has objected to the voting system put in place by Galway County Council, where people can indicate their preferred option.

    Speaking to Midwest News, Catherine Corless said the least that should be done is that the children’s remains be exhumed and buried in a proper burial ground.

    She says it’s disappointing that so little has happened over the past year, despite the public outcry at the time.

  • No member of the Tuam Home Survivors Network was extended an invitation to attend a civil reception in Dublin this Saturday afternoon for the Visit of Pope Francis, despite a request by historian Catherine Corless  to allow a member of the Network take her place on the guest list.

    Catherine Corless, whose work uncovered details of the deaths of close to 800 babies at the former Tuam Mothers and Baby home, confirmed today that she declined an invitation from the Taoiseach's Office to attend the civil reception in Dublin Castle.

    She told Midwest News that she had asked that a member of the Survivors Network take her place, but said that request was refused and added it would have meant a lot to those affected.

    Catherine explained that she had refused the Taoiseach’s invitation as she believes her place is at the planned protest in Tuam on Sunday at 3pm at the site where it is suspected that 796 babies are buried.

    She also wrote to the Vatican asking for Pope Francis to meet one of the survivors of the home but that request has not yielded any result.

  • Survivors and relatives of infants from the Tuam Mother and Baby Home are planning a vigil to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin.

    The vigil will take place in Tuam on Sunday week, to coincide with the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park.

    Historian Catherine Corless will join relatives at the vigil.

    Ms Corless told today’s Irish Times that Pope Francis needs to make a public statement saying he is sorry for what was done in the name of the church in the past, rather than meeting with victims in private.

    Ms Corless traced the death certificates for 796 infants at the former home in Tuam.

    The State’s Commission of Investigation confirmed in March 2017 that it had discovered significant quantities of infant bone at the Tuam site.

    Ms Corless and members of the Tuam Babies Family Group will light candles and place a special sculpture made by Flemish women in the shape of a baptismal font at the grave site of the former Bon Secours home.

    They will also read out the names of those who are believed to have been buried there.

    The event has been timed to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin. He is also due to spend 55 minutes at Knock Shrine that morning. Ms Corless said she would not be travelling to Knock. She said there had been a groundswell of support for the Tuam event.

    Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said a recommendation on the future of the burial site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam is expected to be announced in early autumn.

     

     

     

     

     

  • The failure of the Catholic Church to intervene in the controversy that continues over what should happen to the more than 800 infant remains, found buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the former Mothers and Babies Home in Tuam has been highlighted today by campaigner and historian Catherine Corless.

    Catherine was among a number of west of Ireland recipients last night of the 43rd annual Rehab National People of the Year Awards.

    She was recognised for her work in uncovering the secretive burials.

    Catherine took the opportunity last night, and again on Midwest News today, to highlight the need to have the remains exhumed and identified and buried in consecrated ground. She insists it would be part of the healing process for all of the families involved and said the only thing stopping a full exhumation is money.

     She said all of these children were baptised and she believes it's everyone's right to have a Christian burial and asked why the Church has not intervened in insisting for the same.

  • Tuam historian Catherine Corless is to receive an honorary degree from NUI Galway next month.

    In 2014, Ms Corless revealed that hundreds of babies and toddlers had been buried in unmarked graves at a former mother and baby home in Tuam.

    She's also known for her advocacy work on behalf of the survivors, and the children who lost their lives.

    Others to receive an honorary degree include musician Sharon Shannon and dementia activist, Helen Rochford Brennan.

     

  • Tuam historian Catherine Corless will be conferred with an honorary degree this afternoon at NUI Galway.

    Ms Corless, who campaigns on behalf of the survivors and the deceased of the former Tuam Mother & Baby Home, is one of four people receiving honorary degrees from the University this week, and will be conferred with a Doctor of Arts this afternoon.

    Tomorrow, musician Sharon Shannon will be conferred with a Doctor of Music.

    Helen Rochford-Brennan from Tubbercurry, an activist for people with dementia, and biodiversity campaigner Brendan Dunford of the Burren Life Project will be conferred with honorary degrees on Wednesday, during the Autumn conferring ceremonies at the University.

     

  • The latest DNA testing will be used to try to identify bodies buried at the site of the former Mother & Baby Home in Tuam.

     The Government yesterday confirmed that the area will be fully excavated, and a forensic examination will aim to identify the remains of all children buried at the site, while arrangements for reburial or memorialisation of the children will then be arranged.

    It's believed hundreds of bodies may be found at the site.

    The Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said she could not give a timeline for then work would start, as legislation needs to be passed to allow it to happen, adding that sich a task has never been undertaken or contemplated previously.

    The Bons Secours nuns, who ran the Tuam home, have offered to pay €2.5 million of the expected 6 to 13 million euro cost of the excavation.

    Minister Katherine Zappone says the Government has made this decision in the hope it will shed light on what happened and provide closure for families..

     

    Tuam historian Catherine Corless, whose research led to the discovery of the children's remains, says she's delighted that, of five options presented to Government for the Tuam site, they chose the option to fully excavate and forensically examine the area.

    Catherine Corless told Midwest News that this decision will be welcomed by survivors and the families of those involved...

  • Survivors and relatives of infants from the Tuam Mother and Baby Home say are standing together for the sake of the babies that have been buried in a sewage tank in Tuam, and are planning a vigil to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin.

    The vigil will take place in Tuam on Sunday week, to coincide with the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park.

    Historian Catherine Corless will join relatives at the vigil.

    Ms Corless traced the death certificates for 796 infants at the former home in Tuam.

    The State’s Commission of Investigation confirmed in March 2017 that it had discovered significant quantities of infant bone at the Tuam site.

    Ms Corless and members of the Tuam Babies Family Group will light candles and place a special sculpture made by Flemish women in the shape of a baptismal font at the grave site of the former Bon Secours home.

    They will also read out the names of those who are believed to have been buried there.

    The event has been timed to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin.

  • The 43rd annual Rehab National People of the Year Awards were presented last night at a special ceremony in the Mansion House in Dublin.

    West of Ireland groups and individuals featured strongly.

    Tuam based historian Catherine Corless was recognised for her work uncovering the secretive burial of hundreds of children at the Tuam mother and baby home.

    The people of Ballaghaderreen were declared Community Group of the Year for welcoming Syrian refugees to their town

    The Irish Coast Guard was  honoured, as were their heroic lost colleagues from helicopter Rescue 116 and the  community of Erris  who helped with the extensive search operation.

    While the Galway Senior All Ireland winning Hurling Team took the Sports Award at last night’s celebrations