Nee­son tipped to pro­duce film about Tuam ba­bies hor­ror

Cor­less warns against ‘mak­ing a quick buck’ from scan­dal

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - RUSSIA 2018 - By Anne Sheri­dan anne.sheri­dan@mailon­sun­

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

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