A Note on Mother & Baby Homes from the Directors

The tragic nature of the Mother & Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries have been etched into our social consciousness. The slow revelation of the extent of the abuses carried out has been present in media coverage for the majority of our adult lives. An ever present unfolding horror story. Growing up in a society which has seen the Church’s power diminish dramatically, it is hard for us to fathom the influence it had and the injustices that were carried out against so many Irish women and others.

To us, the story of a woman in a Mother and Baby Home speaks volumes about the different roles played by women in society during that time. The pressure, mindset and shame of parents who would send away their daughters. The women who were powerless to refuse this banishment. The nuns with a duty of care, some of whom so readily abused their power and others who tried their best to offer comfort amidst cruelty. This resulted in countless children being forced to grow up without knowing their mother’s love.

What struck us from all of the accounts researched, was the heartbreaking sadness felt by the mothers and how their constant cries were ignored. In a number of cases, there was enforced silence within these institutions. This oppressive silence contrasts with the wails of the Banshee, a character from Irish mythology steeped in death and sadness. In our film, Her Song, we try to bring these elements alive through the medium of animation.

For more information on Mother & Baby Homes and the Magdalene Laundries, please follow the links provided below:

http://jfmresearch.com - Justice for Magdalene Laundries

https://www.iccl.ie/tag/mother-and-baby-homes - Irish Council for Civil Liberties (Archives on Mother & Baby Homes)