Neeson tipped to produce film about Tuam babies horror
Corless warns against ‘making a quick buck’ from scandal
HOLLYWOOD star Liam Neeson is being tipped to co-produce a film on the Tuam babies scandal after the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed four years ago that hundreds of children were buried in an unmarked mass grave in Co Galway.
The Northern actor is lining up with renowned producer Jules Daly (The A-Team) for a film adaptation of New York Times article The Lost Children Of Tuam, which received worldwide attention last October. Article author Dan Barry tweeted: ‘Some possible good news regarding “The Lost Children of Tuam.” Maybe a movie, with Liam Neeson and Jules Daly producing. The story certainly needs to be told, again and again.’
The horror of the Tuam babies came to national attention when the MoS ran an exclusive front-page story on May 25, 2014, identifying the mass grave. A fortnight later, a commission of investigation was established to examine what happened in the mother and baby homes across Ireland. The areas examined included mortality rates, treatment of mothers, burial practices and adoptions. The MoS highlighted the role of the Galway historian Catherine Corless, whose tireless work resulted in the discovery of the remains of close to 800 babies and infants near a septic tank at the Tuam home, run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925 until it closed in 1961. Speaking to the MoS yesterday, Ms Corless said she has concerns about anyone ‘profiteering’ or ‘making a fast buck’ from the scandal.
She urged that if a film is made, the voices of survivors must be heard – and they should receive some of the proceeds. She said: ‘I would hope any film is sincere and done sensitively and truthfully.’
The Government is examining a proposal to excavate the site and carry out DNA tests, which would cost up to €5m. Ms Corless and the survivors said this is ‘imperative’ because the official figure of 796 bodies is based solely on death certificates found. ‘Do we have a body for each and every one of those?’ she asked. ‘We just don’t know.’ She queried whether birth certs might have been ‘falsified’, with babies sent for adoption in the US – as has occurred in other institutions.
‘The way the survivors have been treated and the way the site has been left is an absolute disgrace,’ she added. ‘It’s very disrespectful.’
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said she is working ‘to ensure appropriate decisions are taken’ regarding the site. She said she would bring proposals to Government in the near future. ‘There is a collective desire to respect the dignity and memory of the children who lost their lives,’ she said. ‘I appreciate that many former residents were frustrated by the necessity for the 12-month extension of time [up to February next] even though they recognise the complexity and breadth of the task.’
‘Hope any film is sincere and done truthfully’
linked: Liam Neeson to produce the film
story: Irish Mail on Sunday exclusive in May, 2014