Belonging: A Memoir of Place, Beginnings and One Woman's Search for Truth and Justice for the Tuam Babies

ISBN-13:
9781529339765

The unforgettable memoir from the woman who uncovered the 'Tuam babies' scandal
When 51-year-old Catherine Corless decided to enrol in an evening course in local history, she had no idea where the decision would lead her. The lecturer encouraged the class to 'see history all around you', to 'dig deeper and ask why'. It was from these humble beginnings that Catherine began researching the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in County Galway, which she had passed every day as a child on her way to school. Slowly, she began to uncover a dark secret that had been kept for many years: the bodies of 796 babies had been buried in what she believed to be a sewage tank on the grounds. But who were these children, how did they get there and who had been responsible for looking after them? Determined to ask why, Catherine doggedly set about investigating further. Her quest for justice for the Tuam babies and those who went through that home would span over a decade as, often against fierce resistance, she brought to light a terrible truth that shocked the world, impacted the Vatican, and led to a Commission of Investigation in Ireland. Part memoir, part detective story, Belonging is both Catherine's account, and that of those 796 children for whom she came to care so deeply: one of the tender love of a mother and her child; of pain and trauma; of the unforgettable screams which echoed through the corridors as children were taken from their mothers; and of a mystery which continues to this very day, as so many are still left without answers, still searching to know where, and to whom they belong.
Catherine Corless is married to Aidan, and they have four children, Adrienne, Alan, Alicia and Aaron, and nine grandchildren. Her quiet, secluded life - rearing a family, farming, gardening, and enjoying her pastimes of art, crafts and family history research - changed drastically in 2014, after some research she had done into the Bons Secours Mother and Baby Home at Tuam was picked up by media and exposed worldwide. Her research revealed the harshness, cruelty and discrimination of the mothers who gave birth there, and their offspring. It also revealed the terrible secret of 800 babies who had died at the Home from 1925-1961, whose remains had been laid in a defunct sewage tank. Resulting from this revelation, the Irish government was pressurised into setting up a Commission of Investigation into all Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland, whose final report was issued in January 2021.
The unforgettable memoir from the woman who uncovered the 'Tuam babies' scandal


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HISTORY / Social History; Social & cultural history; Memoirs; Social and cultural history; ANF: Literature;