04
Sat, Dec
19 New Articles

Aughagower man makes emotional visit to Tuam mother and baby home

News

EMOTIONAL Seosamh O Maolchroin laid a wreath on the burial site in the Tuam mother and baby home after his first visit to the home in 60 years.


Anton McNulty

AN AUGHAGOWER man who was born in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam is calling for Mayo County Council to erect a monument to the Mayo victims of the home.
Seosamh Ó Maolchroin, from Aughagower, Westport, returned to the Tuam home for the first time in more than 60 years to lay a wreath at the burial ground on the site of the former home, in memory of those who lost their lives there.
Seosamh’s mother was only 16 years old when she gave birth to him in the home in Tuam in 1952. He spent the first six years of his life there before he was taken in by a family in 1959 and adopted in 1966.

Lucky to survive
Speaking to The Mayo News after the emotional visit to the home on Thursday, Seosamh called for the bodies of the babies to be exhumed and analysed.
“I was very lucky that I survived. It was emotional for me to visit the site for the first time in all these years. I never returned to the home after I left it in 1959, but I was happy to return to lay a wreath in memory of all those who died,” he said.
“In the year I was born seven babies died and 41 babies died in the time I was there. Of the 796 babies who died in the home, 208 were from Mayo, and I only recently discovered that three of them came from Aughagower.
“I want to meet with Mayo County Council and for a monument to be erected to remember those who died, and I would like to see a plaque installed at the new Aughagower graveyard to the three babies from the area who died.”

Search
While Seosamh was in Tuam his mother was sent to a laundry in Dublin, and she would come down once a year on his birthday to bring him a present. She refused to sign the adoption papers until he was 14 years old.
When he discovered he was adopted he searched for his mother the ‘length and breath of this country’, but all he came up against was ‘a blocked wall’. They finally reunited in 2003, but they had very little time together, as she died in 2005.
Seosamh explained that members of her family are still unaware of his existence, but he has not given up the idea of meeting with them. He has yet to discover who his father is, and he would like to find out.
“She took secrets to her grave,” he said. “I want to know who my family was.”

3011 MPU