Galway woman speaks about being adopted from Dublin Mother & Baby Home

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A grandmother of three who lives in Moycullen has spoken about being adopted by a family in Co. Galway from a Mother and Baby Home in Dublin in the 1950s.

Philomena Ní Churraoin Harte was adopted in 1952 by Antoine and Bridie Curran in Cill Chiaráin in Connemara when she was a small baby, and has no memory of the Mother and Baby Home.

Speaking on Iris Aniar on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta today, Philomena said that she found out that she was adopted when she was preparing for confirmation and had to choose a confirmation name.

It was then that she found out that her name was Philomena Mary, and that Mary had been her birth name.

She told interviewer Fionnuala Uí Neachtain that that her parents in Connemara gave her a fantastic upbringing.

“I had a wonderful upbringing. I was saved in comparison to a lot of people,” she said.

“I had a sister Teresa, and she was also adopted from Dublin… our home was full of love. We had guardian angels, we were saved.”

Speaking about her adoption, she said that there was ‘no talk of those things’ at that time.

“The children in school used to call me ‘cat from the home’ but I didn’t understand what they were talking about,” she said.

“I don’t know if it really upset me… For me, I had a father and a mother – we had a wonderful upbringing, and I didn’t know anything else.”

Although Philomena never looked for her birth parents, her sister did.

 “I never wanted to search for my birth mother and father … and I send them only my blessings, I hope that life was kind to them.

“It must have been very difficult for my mother, and I suppose [giving up their baby] is not something anyone wants to do, but it was something she had to do.”

Philomena said that what had happened in Tuam was shocking and terrible, and that the Taoiseach’s state apology won’t be enough.

“The Taoiseach is going to make an apology in the Dáil about what happened – but is that any use? I think they need to do something more … they should investigate how that report was leaked to the media.

“The State and the Catholic Church let all these people down. The Church should come out and apologise for sure.

“Indeed, they should have done it before now.”