Archiving the personal stories of injustice at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home

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Galway Daily news NUI Galway archive gathers oral history of Mother and Baby Home Survivors

A fresh archive of the oral history of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home will ensure that the stories of injustice from that place are not lost to history.

NUI Galway is gathering the personal stories of survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home and local who lived in the area.

Working with the Tuam Home Survivors Network, NUIG is launching this archive at the university next Thursday.

‘Archiving Personal Histories: The Tuam Mother and Baby Home’ will begin with a survivor-led workshop featuring members of the network, and university staff and students.

That evening President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh will launch ‘The Tuam Oral History Project’ at the Human Biology Building.

This gathering of oral histories connected to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home will be housed in the James Hardiman Library to ensure their story cannot be twisted over time.

Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley from the Department of History said, “We hope that through this event and the wider project, the voices of survivors and members of the community in Tuam will be brought to the fore.

“We hope that the survivor-led approach and the creative element of the programme can be used in exploring experiences of other institutions.”

“Historical justice is a key part of this,” she added, “as these stories have relevance not only to Ireland but to a variety of countries and contexts.”

Following the launch, there will be songs from Padraig Stevens and poetry from Elaine Feeney.

Mia Malarkey’s documentary, ‘Mother and Baby’ will also be screened that evening, followed by panel discussion involving Mia, survivor Peter Mulryan, Breeda Murphy from the Tuam Home Survivors Network and campaigner Eunan Duffy.

But these records aren’t just going to be stored at forgotten, Elaine Feeney with the university will direct creative projects stemming from the oral histories.

These multi-disciplinary projects will bring together contemporary artists and Mother and Baby Homes survivors, as well as work with local schools and the wider community.

Dr Barry Houlihan of the Hardiman Library states, “Archives and oral history provide spaces for reflection for present and future communities as well looking on the past.”

“These testimonies will provide an important resource for access to private and public histories and experiences for future generations.”

This free event is open to all next Thursday, February y. To book a place go to https://bit.ly/2Rl7goJ.

For more information or to contribute your story to the project please email tuamoralhistoryproject@gmail.com.