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Friday 28 April 2017

'I didn't realise my wife was on trial' - historian's husband

Ivan Hyde, from Limerick, pays his respects at the site of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home while his daughter Lucia looks on. Photo: Ray Ryan
Ivan Hyde, from Limerick, pays his respects at the site of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home while his daughter Lucia looks on. Photo: Ray Ryan

Ian Begley

The husband of Catherine Corless said he never realised his wife was "on trial" as her work on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home was vindicated by the Commission of Investigation.

In 2015, the commission was established by the government to investigate former mother and baby homes across Ireland.

Mrs Corless carried out extensive research and she believes that 796 babies were buried at the site of the mother and baby home which was run by the Bons Secours order in Tuam, Co Galway.

Speaking on RTÉ's Miriam O'Callaghan show, her husband Aidan Corless said: "When the word started appearing that Catherine was being vindicated, I thought 'good Lord, I didn't even realise Catherine was on trial'.

"I didn't realise all the doubt that was there [or] what was being said. It almost made me feel awkward walking down through Tuam.

"The one thing that I keep saying is why wouldn't the nuns [and clergy] just give Catherine the information? Why wouldn't they acknowledge that they knew, and, God damn it, they had to know."

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has also called for the probe into the scandal of mother and baby homes to be widened beyond religious orders.

He also apologised for the role of the Catholic Church "as part of that time and society".

"It was an era when unmarried mothers, as our society at the time labelled women who were pregnant and not married, were often judged, stigmatised and ostracised by their own community and the church, and this all happened in a harsh and unforgiving climate," he said.

Also speaking on the Miriam O'Callaghan show, Mrs Corless said she was "surprised" at the archbishop's comments.

"The sermon that he preached last week went nowhere because it was avoidance again, but I was surprised and pleased that he took responsibility. That's an open door for me, it's the start of an acknowledgment."

Irish Independent

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