Statement by Galway County Council re Consultation Process for the former Mother & Baby Home, Tuam

8th March 2018

Statement by Galway County Council

Galway County Council at the request of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs is currently facilitating an independent consultation process on the five possible options identified by the Expert Technical Group for responding to the discovery of infant remains at the site of the former Mother & Baby Home, Tuam.  These options have regard to internationally accepted best practice and will help to make more informed decisions about the future of the site.

The key objective of this consultation process is to offer those with an interest an opportunity to express their opinion on the five options identified by the Expert Technical Group and to collate this information. The submission template developed for this purpose does not represent a voting process.  It has been developed based on the five possible options identified by the Expert Technical Group for the sole purpose of ensuring that there is clarity and certainty in relation to the preferred option of each respondent in order that this information can be recorded and made available to the Inter-Departmental Group, which has an oversight role for the project.

In addition to the opportunity to make a written submission on the five options, all parties have also been afforded the opportunity to attend independently facilitate consultation events.  These events held in Dublin and Tuam will be independently facilitated by Restorative Dialogue Facilitators, Ms. Catherine O’Connell of the Edward Kennedy Institute of Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University and Ms. Barbara Walsh, chair of the Board of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.  Members of the Expert Technical Group will also be in attendance at each of the consultation events to present and address questions relating to their report on the five Options and Appropriate Courses of Action available at the site of the former Mother & Baby Home, Tuam.

The report on the consultation events and submissions received will be prepared by the Restorative Dialogue Facilitators and will be a factual account of the consultation process.  The report will not  contain any recommendations.  The report will be submitted directly to the Inter-Departmental Group and it will be matter for this Group to consider the report and recommend a course of action to the Government.


Restorative Dialogue Facilitators:   

Ms. Catherine O’Connell is an experienced and accredited Mediator, Restorative Dialogue Facilitator, CINERGY™ Conflict Management Coach and Trainer and is a communications and conflict management consultant.

She is an accredited mediator with the Mediators Institute of Ireland (MII) and has an M.A. in Mediation and Conflict Resolution. Currently Catherine is assistant to the academic programme coordinator at the

Edward Kennedy Institute of Conflict Intervention at Maynooth University. She lectures in Mediation, Restorative Practice and Conflict Coaching for the Masters, Diploma and Certificate programmes run by the

Institute at Maynooth University. She also has been engaged in various peace building projects run by the Edward Kennedy Institute. She works as a Restorative Justice Facilitator in a number of settings including

communities, organisations and families. She and Barbara Walshe have been approved to deliver specialist training in Restorative Justice to Mediators by the Mediators Institute of Ireland.

Ms. Barbara Walsh has been chair of the Board of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation since October 2014. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in research, advocacy, training, broadcasting, project management, community development, poverty and deprivation, peace building and restorative justice roles – both in Ireland (north and south) and internationally. A trained restorative facilitator, Barbara worked on the development of restorative initiatives with inmates in Green Bay maximum security prison in Wisconsin, USA in 2013. Prior to that, she spent time as a Peace Envoy in Israel/Palestine.   Barbara’s qualifications include an MA in Community Development (NUI Galway), MA Reconciliation and Conflict Transformation, (Trinity College Dublin, Belfast based) and a BA in English, History and Sociology.

Consultation Events

A consultation event was held in Dublin on Monday (5th March 2018). Further consultation events are being held in Tuam including a further consultation event for former residents of the Home and/or their families and relatives to be held at 2pm on Thursday (8th March 2018).  A consultation event for local residents to be held at 10 am on Friday (9th March 2018) and a final consultation event for members of the public to be held at 2 pm on Friday (9th March 2018).


The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4pm on Friday, 16th March 2018.







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