TOUCHING TRIBUTE Pictured is Amanda Larkin, one of the organisers of A Little Doll of Love. Pic: Alison Laredo
Campaign for proper burial of Tuam Babies lays out 796 dolls on Castlebar pitch
THEY are called the ‘Little Dolls of Love’ in memory of the Tuam Babies and in a poignant ceremony yesterday (Monday) they were laid out on a pitch in Castlebar. Led by Valerie Jennings, it is part of a campaign to support ‘the incredible work of Catherine Corless’ to continue the quest for a proper burial for those babies who died and were incarcerated in a septic tank in the grounds of the former Mother and Baby Home, operated by the Bons Secours nuns.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Ms Jennings explained: “We have now collected all 796 dolls and later today they will be laid out on the Celtic pitch in Castlebar to represent the babies, who were born between 1925 and 1961 into the institution known as the Mother and Baby Home. It was set up for unmarried mothers from Galway and Mayo and was run by the order of Bon Secours Sisters.”
She said this community project, A Little Doll of Love, was ‘launched primarily in response to the fact that hundreds of babies’ bodies continue to lie in a septic tank’.
“Two hundred and eight of the 796 still unaccounted for children, were born to mothers from Mayo,” Valerie Jennings said. She explained that the Little Doll of Love project made requests for dolls through radio and social media outlets and there were responses from almost every county in Ireland and, moreover, from around the globe, including Australia, USA, Germany, and Spain.
“Many of the dolls donated were accompanied by letters and notes outlining personal heartbreaking stories and we are extremely grateful to all who contributed to this project in any way. Humanity has failed when you have to plead to have hundreds of babies’ bodies removed from a sewage system. We urge the government to immediately restore dignity to 796 children who were denied dignity in life and who continue to be denied dignity in death,” Valerie Jennings said.