The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

From the record of Dail Eireann


Maureen O’Connell, a deputy of the Dail, responded to allegations that babies were being taken from England to Ireland then sold for export saying;

‘In three years 523 babies have been sent to America.’

The full extent of Baby Trafficking in the Republic of Ireland, where the first Adoption Law was passed in 1959, is still emerging.

Baby Trafficking in the Republic of Ireland is referred to as ‘Informal Adoption’. In reality it is the stealing and selling of babies.

Between the 1930’s and the 1960’s an estimated 60,000 newborns were procured under false pretences for married couples that had been turned down as prospective adoptive parents on various grounds.

The perpetrators of Baby Trafficking broke the law, forged documents, destroyed evidence, took babies from young mothers on the pretext of arranging legal adoptions.

Amongst those implicated are priests, nuns, midwives and nurses who were paid to break the law and steal babies from their unmarried mothers, then smuggled them to married couples who brought them up as their own flesh and blood.

Large amounts of money changed hands to ensure the entire illegal episode was hushed up.

Baby Trafficking was extremely lucrative, as Kevin Conney of the Adopted Peoples Association in Dublin explains:

‘A woman discovered that her ‘adoptive parents’ made a donation of IR£650 to the local priest, the equivalent of about IR£6,000 today.’

Adult victims of the Republics Baby Trafficking, some of them shipped to America as babies, faced a conspiracy of silence and total absence of records when they attempt to discover their true identity.

Unmarried mothers whose babies were stolen then sold have no rights and no one is obliged to help them.


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The nuns, with the collusion of the state, even sold the women’s babies. “Pat” told journalist Mike Milotte about the American couples who came to the home looking for a baby to adopt and her heartbreak when her son was taken to be adopted:

They had to be physically perfect, and none of the black babies that were there were ever selected ... No one ever discussed adoption with me ... I was just called over by one of the nuns and told he was going the next day ... I remember so clearly, bringing him down to the side door, hugging him, cuddling him and kissing him, and he was just swiped out of my arms by a nun.


These offences did not take place in the dim, distant past - this is all living memory.


Views: 37

Comment by Rob Northall on January 16, 2011 at 15:31

People where Chattel to the Religious Orders; I am afraid to say in the eyes of the Religious they don't think they have done anything Wrong?

As God gave them Dominion over US!

Comment by Andrew Brennan on January 16, 2011 at 17:49

Hi Robert


You'd think that when an elected and respected member of the national Parliament would make a statement like above that the State would move in and investigate and root around for the truth - but alas not in Ireland as there was no interest shown at all by the State.   Seems our State only reacts to information collection in the salubrious surroundings of golf courses.

Comment by pauline jackson on January 16, 2011 at 18:39
Nowadays everyone knows that we all need certain information about our genetiques. when a doctor discovers an illness  one of the first questions thay ask is about the medical history of our familys. Its a differcult moment to go through when we dont know the answer . all these babies have this problem today as adults.Its one of the many side effects of childhood in the hands of these women in black
Comment by Andrew Brennan on January 17, 2011 at 11:10

Hi Pauline


The fact that most of the medical records of former child detainees are missing has meant that many of us have been denied medical treatment.  Allied with not knowing about our parents, our kith and kin  .....

Comment by pauline jackson on January 17, 2011 at 12:37
Thats true andrew. but we all have had to face these moments. Iwonder where in the vatican thay keep our records. thay must have copies. after all thay employed us
Comment by pauline jackson on January 17, 2011 at 17:01
hello andrew ' you are right about the different classes of nuns. i still remember when the elder sister of XScame over to ireland on holiday . the fact that she worked in africa seemed to excite the lot of them . she was recieved as a v. i. p. . she brought a monkey as a present to the school. i still remember the pair of them striding through the place . at first i thaught that XS will be nicer to us with her sister watching but she acted like we werent there. she looked straight through me . we saw a film about her life in africa . i remember wishing i was african. thay looked so happy in the film

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