Alison O’Reilly and Anna Corrigan to be awarded the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday October 30th
Alison O’Reilly and Anna Corrigan are to be awarded the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society this afternoon, in Trinity College. Each year, the society elects a select number of new Honorary Patrons to the society based on their significant contribution in their respective fields.
This year, The Phil, the world’s oldest student society has elected Alison O’Reilly and Anna Corrigan for the honour of Honorary Patronage, in celebration of the outstanding and unique contributions they have made to public discourse and human rights, though their tireless work on unveiling one of Irish history’s darkest chapters – the untold stories of Ireland’s forgotten victims of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
Alison O’Reilly is an Irish journalist, documentary maker and author of My Name is Bridget, The Untold Story of Bridget Dolan and the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Anna Corrigan is a member of the Tuam Home Survivors Network. Her mother was Bridget Dolan and her two brothers John and William were victims of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
My Name is Bridget, written by O’Reilly pieces together the story of Anna’s mother Bridget Dolan, who in 1946 at the age of twenty-six, entered The Tuam Mother and Baby Home, alone and eight months pregnant. Bridget gave birth to a boy, John, who died at the home in a horrendous state of neglect less than two years later. Tragically Bridget found herself back in the home in 1949, again alone and pregnant with no one to turn to. Her second child was once again delivered into the care of the nuns and was taken from her, never to be seen or heard from again. To this day, there is no clear record as to the whereabouts of her two brothers. Anna believes the remains of her eldest brother John are amongst the 796 buried babies awaiting identification.
A huge amount of thanks and recognition are owed to Alison and Anna for their courage and their tireless work for human rights in this country, by pushing one of the most important issues of our generation into the national dialogue.