In 1946, twenty-six-year-old Bridget Dolan walked up the path to the front door of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Alone and pregnant, she was following in the footsteps of more than a century's worth of lost souls. Shunned by society for her sins and offered no comfort for her pain, Bridget gave birth to a boy, John, who died at the home in a horrendous state of neglect less than two years later. Her second child was once again delivered into the care of the nuns and was taken from her, never to be seen or heard from again.
She would go on to marry a wonderful man and have a daughter, Anna Corrigan, but it was only after Bridget's death that Anna discovered she had two brothers her mother had never spoken about. In the aftermath of the explosive revelations that the remains of 796 babies had been found in a septic tank on the site of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, she became compelled to try and find out if her baby brothers' remains were among them.
Here, Anna and Alison O'Reilly piece together the erased chapter of the life of Bridget Dolan and her forgotten sons, reminding us that we must never forget what was done to the women and children of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.
Alison O'Reilly is an award-winning documentary-maker, broadcaster and journalist from Drogheda, Co. Louth. In 2014 Alison broke the story of the Tuam Babies burial scandal which made international headlines and led to the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry into the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland. Since then, Alison has written extensively about the Tuam Babies and has spoken to survivors and the families of the children who died there.
Alison began her career in 1994 and has worked with several broadcasting companies including MTV Europe, Sky News, TV3 and 98FM. Her specialised areas of interest include Children's Rights, Mother and Baby Homes, adoptions and crime. In 2007 she won Best Human Rights Director at the San Francisco Women's Film Festival for her documentary Midnight's Lost Child. The same year she directed the critically acclaimed documentary series My Heroin Hell, Rachael's Story about former heroin addict and bestselling author Rachael Keogh. In 2015 Alison won a Justice Media Award for her work on Irish adoptions and also produced the hard-hitting documentary, Born Addicted. She has been nominated for Journalist of the Year and Crime Journalist of the Year in the National Newspapers of Ireland Journalism Awards. Alison has worked for a number of national newspapers and is currently a reporter with the Irish Daily Mail.