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Dated: 28 Aug 16
          Email: firstmothersvoice @ gmail dot com

Ireland's largest group of mother's incarcerated in Mother and Baby
homes met on Sat 27th August at Dunboyne Castle Hotel, near Dublin
- where many were themselves held awaiting birth, when a part of
the new hotel was a religious convent.

Some of the mothers spoke with Brian O'Connell for the
RTE1 Radio show 'Today, with Sean O'Rourke'.


Founder of Irish First Mothers group,
Kathy McMahon commented:

" This year's conference celebrates how far we have come in our journey to reclaim our just rights. Dunboyne's, Ard Mhuire Good Shepard Convent once coerced us as victims of a social regime.

" But today, with the sympathetic support of hotel management, we assemble in triumph."

The conference heard from invited speakers and a key focus was on the interim report of the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes - which is due soon to be presented to children and Youth Affairs Minister, Katherine Zapone by the head of the Commission of Inquiry, Judge Yvonne Murphy.

The conference backed a proposal that legislation be introduced on a cross-party basis --both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland-- that currently-exempted graveyards run by religious institutions be brought into the public domain and thus within the ambit of relevant and appropriate legislation.

This would the end the current 'limbo' status of such plots and might assist the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes to uncover the full circumstances of historic burials on such grounds.


I R I S H   F I R S T   M O T H E R S

Dunboyne 2016
' Phoenix Arising '

Speakers Schedule

Kathy McMahon:
Founder, Irish First Mothers

Opening address by Kathy on the Conference Theme of
Phoenix Arising; on the Commission of Inquiry; on recovery
from trauma and the human rights context of what
was done to Irish first mothers.

Brenda Coughlan:
Australian Natural Mother's Rights activist

Speaking via Internet about the latest developments from Victoria, and in Australia,
mother's rights activist, Brenda Coughlan spotlights "extermination" as a policy against single pregnant mothers; and speaks about her call for an Australian royal commission into medical professionals' practices around forced adoption policies. .

Wendy Lyon:
Wendy is with KOD Lyons Sols.

Wendy speaks about the commission of inquiry and human rights issues. She holds a BA in Political Science from the State University of New York and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Griffith College Dublin. Her essay “Client Criminalisation and Sex Workers’ Right to Health”, was acclaimed by Justice Michael Peart and she has acted for a number of women in historical abuse cases, including symphysiotomy, illegal adoption and Magdalene laundries.

Toni Maguire:
Archaeologist and anthropologist

Speaking on the need for reform of laws relating to religious-run graveyards, and;
What modern archaeological technology could reveal about our hidden heritage.

Sinead Kavanagh:

Fintan Dunne will present highlights of a professional study by Sinead Kavanagh into the effects of incarceration and forced adoption -as part of her qualification for a masters in psychotherapy.

Amanda Ni Choighligh:
Peer Educator, Recovery College South East

Speaking on therapies for Moving Forward, Staying Well and Being Positive.

Eimear Ferguson:
Sinn Féin Councillor for Laytown-Bettystown, Co Meath
Official representative for Sinn Fein.

Open Mike Discussion:
Also open to issues raised via internet.


Like many others, I had my beautiful baby stolen by forced adoption in Ireland.

Please help our group of mothers to represent the tens of thousands of Irish women who suffered the same fate.

Innocent women were coerced in pregnancy and often incarcerated in institutions run by the Irish State in collusion with religious orders.

Nothing can ever undo the damage inflicted on many of these women - who in some cases had their infant literally torn from their arms. Most carry the wounds of those experiences to this day - never having had the opportunity to speak of it.

I found the strength to speak out. So have other mothers in Irish First Mothers - a peer support and reform activism group which I founded in early 2014.

My Story:

For many mothers, the group has represented a freedom from the weight of secrets kept for decades, but countless more mothers still silently suffer PTSD, depression and ill health due to trauma and unexpressed grief......

Read On:



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