By Kevin Higgins
after Carolyn Forché
Beamed into one’s living room via satellite,
or framed in syndicated photographs
on the quality papers’ foreign pages, even
their black or missing front teeth
have a strange beauty.
The shanty town dwellers of La Paz,
in their hand woven red and green ponchos,
carry themselves in a fashion
which puts to shame the post office queue
scraggy mother of two, with change
in her slovenly wallet for lottery tickets,
but not shampoo.
Nothing against the locals.
But even the skeletal colosseum cats have a grace
which the one I ran over on my way
to this morning’s Amnesty
International meeting absolutely lacked.
The ongoing pain of the Yazidi women
and the entire Choctaw nation (every generation)
is best struggled with over a fair trade salad
in one of the more radical tea shops
on Sandymount Strand.
In comparison, one admits,
our local Others – with their dole
day drunkenness, and lack of imagination
which has seen them prosaically wander the roads
these past thousand years – just
don’t cut the whole grain mustard.
When they start mouthing Civil Rights
and municipal water cannon, or
police batons get over enthusiastic
on their irresponsibly positioned skulls,
people like me will feel forced to pass by
on the other side, checking our messages
for pictures of unfamiliars being
The Position of the Tuam Home Survivors Network in agreeing to meet Government members on Monday 22nd October 2018.
Birth and Death Certificates for the former Tuam Home number 1101 births within the Home and 796 deaths within the Home. Of those recorded as dying within the Home, slightly in excess of 79% failed to reach the age of one year.
The graveyard records of Galway County Council disclose burial places for just two of those children. Despite the previous knowledge of both Galway County Council and the Bon Secours Order, the presence of large numbers of infant remains was finally confirmed by an exploratory dig at the Tuam site in October 2016. It further confirmed that the resting place of those remains had, for some decades, served as repository for sewerage.
That partial excavation confirmed what was already reasonably believed – that a large number at least of the children who had died as inmates of the Home, for whom no burial records exist, lie with the remains of that sewerage system.