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Cillian Murphy narrates podcast about survivors of Tuam Mother and Baby homes

The Peaky Blinders star is the patron of the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway.


Cillian Murphy (Aaron Chown/PA)

Cillian Murphy (Aaron Chown/PA)

Cillian Murphy (Aaron Chown/PA)

Actor Cillian Murphy has narrated a new podcast series about the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby homes.

The series is part of the launch of a new digital exhibition of the Tuam Oral History Project which features biographies of some of the survivors of the homes.

The Peaky Blinders star is the patron of the Unesco Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway.

At a virtual event for survivors on Thursday, survivors of the institution, their families, advocates and members of the Tuam community shared their memories in an oral history archive.

It will form as part of an independent resource to learn about the history of the institution.

The Tuam Oral History Project, led by Dr Sarah Anne Buckley and Dr John Cunningham, is currently collecting and archiving the oral histories and life stories of survivors, and over the coming year will be involving survivors in artistic projects inspired by their stories.

Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley said: “While this project is looking at one institution in twentieth century Ireland, we believe it encapsulates the longer history of institutionalisation.

“As we now know, almost 200,000 women and children went through Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes and County Homes – their stories both in these institutions and afterwards deserve continued attention by academics, artists and the State.”

The university also announced provisional findings of a report into its historical links to donations of infant remains.

The fifth interim report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters found that between 1949 and 1964, Galway Medical School “received and paid for 35 infant anatomical subjects”.

The university is working on a project to try to identify these children and develop a memorial to them.

Research led by Dr Buckley and Dr Lorraine Grimes has found that these infants who died in the Central Hospital Galway could not have come from the Tuam institution, adding that there were nine infants and not 35 as believed.

President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciaran O hOgartaigh said: “Like many other State organisations, NUI Galway, or UCG as it was then, was part of a society that did not sufficiently value the lives of some of its most vulnerable citizens.

“As a university community, we are committed to openness, openness with regard to our institutional learning from the past, openness to new, often challenging perspectives and openness to communities which have not found universities, including our university, a welcoming part of their lived experience.

“By memorialising these men, women and children, we wish to at last honour their legacy and acknowledge their sacrifices.”

PA Media