The Haunting Past of Ireland’s Unwed Mothers

The movie [amazon_link id=”0330518364″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Philomena[/amazon_link] brought the subject of unwed mothers in Ireland into the limelight this winter and it seems that it is not a subject that will be fading away anytime soon. As a woman who had her first child as a teenager it breaks my heart that anyone would dare steal these children, sell them and ship them overseas; for what they claimed would be a better life. Yes, I know the struggles of a teenage parent and so do my ancestors before me. Though it is not something I wish for my children, I definitely would not wish for them to be held as prisoners of the church and their child sold. I know that times are different and things have changed, but the life that these women led break my heart. To not know where your child is or how he /she is, it is unbearable.

With Philomena’s story being told in such a grand way, I just knew it would be no time at all before more stories were told about the young mothers in the laundries of Ireland. This past week, I came across an article on Irish Central on this very subject. This story has a happy ending.

There was another forced adoption, this one was in the 1950’s. Christopher Quirin was born to a single mother in Ireland. She was in the same Abbey as Philomena, the Sean Ross Abbey (located in Roscrea, County Tipperary). Quirin did not have help from a journalist and received no help from the nuns in his search for his mother. Growing up, he knew he did not fit in, which is one of the reasons he decided to search for him mom. Quirin finally met his mother and plans to bring his family to meet his new found family. The original story (with m ore details) can be found on Irish Central. Congratulations to Mr. Quirin on his success in finding his mother.

This just makes me wonder how many more stories will we hear about? When will the church release the records and let the lost children of Ireland find their birth families? If you ask me, tomorrow is not soon enough.




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