Thursday 23 November 2017

Notre Dame defends Waters' Tuam baby speech

Notre Dame says journalist is 'thoughtful' and 'humane' speaker, writes Niamh Horan

Notre Dame Stadium Picture: Matthew Stockman/Allsport/Getty
Notre Dame Stadium Picture: Matthew Stockman/Allsport/Getty
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

An American university has defended its decision to allow journalist and writer John Waters to deliver a speech on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

The statement comes after the Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, attacked the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, for hosting a panel contribution by John Waters entitled 'When Evil Becomes Virtual: Cyberspace, Failing Media, and the Hoax of the Holocaust of Tuam'.

Minister Cannon said: "The very fact that John Waters includes the word 'hoax' in the title of his talk is exceptionally hurtful to the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, in particular those who have come forward to tell their story." However, in response to questions from the Sunday Independent, the university's centre of ethics and culture defended its right to host the speech, describing Waters as an "exceptionally thoughtful" speaker who is "intellectually honest and humane".

Addressing questions related to Waters's presentation at the centre's 18th annual fall conference, a spokesperson said: "The history of the Mother and Baby Home at Tuam is a source of great pain for many people both in Ireland and throughout the world. We recognise and share that pain.

"As is the case with all of our speakers, the topic and title of John Waters's talk at this year's conference were provided by him."

Sunday Independent

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