Do you love Irish writers? Join the IrishCentral Book Club each month as we introduce some of the best new Irish books and authors.

Welcome to the IrishCentral Monthly Book Club! Each month we will pick a new Irish book or a great book from an Irish author to recommend to our readers and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story.

With a new book announcement on the first day of the month, stay with us throughout the month as we talk to the authors and give you a chance to discuss some great Irish works. You’ll find our first recommendation for May, below.

Have any comments, questions for the author or recommendations for a future IrishCentral Book of the Month? You can email us at books@irishcentral.com.  

IrishCentral’s May Book of the Month: “My Name is Bridget: The Untold Story of Bridget Dolan and the Tuam Mother and Baby Home.”

Image: Gill Books

Image: Gill Books

Author: Alison O’Reilly

Publisher: Gill Books. (You can purchase the book here.)

Genre: Non-fiction

Synopsis: “Significant quantities of human remains have been discovered.” These eight harrowing words delivered by Minister Katherine Zappone on March 3, 2017, struck a horrified chord throughout the country and reverberated across the world, as news emerged that the remains of 796 babies were discovered in a septic tank on the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway.

For Anna Corrigan, this revelation came during her own heart-breaking search for her two unknown brothers. In 2012, eleven years after her mother’s death, Anna discovered that her mother, Bridget Dolan had given birth to two sons in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home before Anna was born.

"My Name is Bridget" pieces together the story of Bridget Dolan, who in 1946 at the age of twenty-six, entered The Tuam Mother and Baby Home, alone and eight months pregnant. Bridget gave birth to a boy, John, who died at the home in a horrendous state of neglect less than two years later. Tragically Bridget found herself back in the home in 1949, again alone and pregnant with no one to turn to. Her second child was once again delivered into the care of the nuns and was taken from her, never to be seen or heard from again.

To this day, there is no clear record as to the whereabouts of her two brothers. Anna believes the remains of her eldest brother John are amongst the 796 buried babies awaiting identification. With conflicting records from The Bons Secours Sisters for William’s date of birth, and with no official death certificate, she believes that William, like many other babies and young children at the time, was illegally adopted through the Catholic Church to America. She continues to search for him.

You can read more about the book here. 

About the author: Alison O’Reilly is an award-winning documentary-maker, broadcaster and journalist from Drogheda, Co. Louth. In 2014 Alison broke the story of the Tuam Babies burial scandal. Since then, Alison has written extensively about the Tuam Babies and has spoken to survivors and the families of the children who died there.

You can take part in the IrishCentral Book Club by purchasing “My Name is Bridget: The Untold Story of Bridget Dolan and the Tuam Mother and Baby Home” by Alison O’Reilly (Gill Books) at this link.

Have any comments, questions for the author or recommendations for a future IrishCentral Book of the Month? You can email us at books@irishcentral.com.  

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