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Redacted Lives: The first episode of our new documentary series is out now

The Journal has launched a new podcast series that explores the experiences of people who passed through mother and baby homes.

Updated Nov 13th 2022, 7:01 AM

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THE JOURNAL IS today launching a new six-part documentary series about mother and baby homes, telling the stories of women and children who passed through the system.

Redacted Lives will follow the experiences of mothers who ended up in institutions because they became pregnant outside marriage, as well as people born into the system.

Tens of thousands of pregnant women and girls were sent to mother and baby homes in Ireland throughout the 20th century. Their children were usually adopted or sent to industrial schools – often without their mother’s consent.

Mother and baby homes existed in many countries but the proportion of unmarried mothers sent to institutions here is believed to have been the highest in the world.

Many women have tried to find their children over the years, but to no avail. Adopted people also struggled to find their parents, or information about their early life.

These people were silenced for decades – and when the State finally said it would investigate the system via a Commission of Investigation, many of their stories were dismissed and disregarded.

Redacted Lives gives those women and their children the chance to tell the real story of mother and baby homes, and how the State continues to deny survivors access to information, proper redress and ownership of their true identities.

Finally, they get to speak in their own words, in their own voices.

Tracey 1735

Episode one – Tracey 1735 – is being released today. This episode explores the stories of three women who passed through the system – two as mothers and one as a child.

Listeners will be introduced to Terri, Mary and Maria, who explain how they ended up in institutions and the ongoing impact this has on their lives.

They are three of the more than 100,000 people who spent time in these institutions in Ireland.

Their crime? Getting pregnant, or being born, outside marriage.

Decades later, their search for answers continues.

The series was created by the award-winning team of News Correspondent Órla Ryan, who has written extensively about mother and baby homes, producer Nicky Ryan, from the critically-acclaimed Stardust podcast, and executive producer Sinéad O’Carroll.

New episodes of Redacted Lives will be released every Thursday. Subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe now on:

If you passed through a mother and baby home or another institution and want to share your story, you can contact us in confidence by emailing redactedlives@thejournal.ie.

Redacted Lives is presented by Órla Ryan and produced by Nicky Ryan. Sineád O’Carroll is the executive producer.

Taz Kelleher is our sound engineer, and design is by Lorcan O’Reilly.

With thanks to Daragh Brophy, Laura Byrne, Christine Bohan, Susan Daly, Adrian Acosta and Jonathan McCrea.

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in these episodes, you can contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123.

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