HomeWorldFor the Lost Children of Tuam, a Proper Burial at Last

For the Lost Children of Tuam, a Proper Burial at Last

The tiny shoe is the color of the open sky. Its blueness is made all the bluer by the dark earth filling the space meant for a young child’s foot.

For Catherine Corless, the single shoe symbolizes the interrupted childhoods that have become her life’s work, transforming her from a near-recluse finding diversion in local history into a reluctant but resolute conscience of Ireland.

A decade ago, while researching the past of a long-closed home for unwed mothers here in Tuam, County Galway, she came upon problematic math. At least 798 children had died in the St. Mary’s Mother and Baby Home during its operation from 1925 to 1961, yet only two were buried in the cemetery across the street.

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