Words: Dylan Murphy
The end of the month sees a host of talent honouring the legacy of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes.
The National Concert Hall and International Literature Festival Dublin have joined forces to present an evening of words and song honouring the legacy of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes. The Mary Wallopers, Elaine Feeney, Loah, Terri Harrison, Majella Moynihan, Noelle Brown, Phil Mullen, Jess Kavanagh, Alison Lowry and Caelainn Hogan all take part on Saturday 29 May, providing personal responses to the ongoing dark legacy of Ireland’s mother and baby home institutions.
Curated by acclaimed author of Republic of Shame, Caelainn Hogan Breaking The Silence works with generational survivors of the institutions through sharing testimonies and breaking silences around the previously concealed institutions.
This special evening includes creative responses from Elaine Feeney, poet, novelist and playwright who is Creative Director of the Tuam Oral History Project, actor, writer and adoption rights activist Noelle Brown who co-wrote and performed in the play Postscript about searching for her origins, and singer, writer and poet Jess Kav, who speaks about the generational impact of the institutions.
Additional spoken word contributions come from writer and academic Philomena Mullen, who grew up in Ireland’s institutional system and is working on a book for Skein Press. Also, author of A Guarded Life Majella Moynihan, who was forced to give her son up for adoption and charged with breaching Garda regulations for being pregnant outside of marriage.
Musical responses on the night come from Irish – Sierra Leonean performer Loah, who starred as Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, musician and survivor Terri Harrison, who was forcibly separated from her son through the religious-run institutions and Dundalk folk outfit The Mary Wallopers.
The night also features the exceptional work of award-winning and internationally-renowned glass artist Alison Lowry from Co. Down. She uses an ancient technique called ‘pate de verre’, casting antique christening robes to recreate them in glass.
Breaking The Silence is available for free on the National Concert Hall’s YouTube and Facebook.
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