Clann Project Witness Statements

Between 2015 and 2018, over 50 lawyers and staff at Hogan Lovells spoke to 164 Clann Project witnesses for the purpose of compiling statements for submission to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation. These witness statements came from adopted people, mothers, relatives and others who experienced institutional abuse and/or the injustice of Ireland’s closed, secret, forced adoption system. In addition to being submitted individually to the Commission, these statements informed the 148-page Principal Submissions of the Clann Project to the Commission of Investigation in 2018.

The Clann Project has now begun the process of contacting witnesses to seek consent to publish anonymised versions of their statements and supporting documents on this website. All materials uploaded to this website will also be preserved permanently in a university archive – an arrangement that will soon be finalised.

A key purpose of the Clann Project was to help those directly affected by the matters under investigation, and related and ongoing abuses, to hold the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation and the Government to account. Justice for Magdalenes Research and Adoption Rights Alliance established the Clann Project in response to the fact that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation was operating wholly in private without any legal assistance for those affected, and was refusing to give people a copy of their testimony or any opportunity to comment on evidence being gathered from elsewhere. The Final Report of the Commission of Investigation revealed that the Commission destroyed the audio recordings of 550 people’s testimony without creating transcripts.

The vast majority of Clann Project witnesses contacted so far have generously consented to their anonymised statements and supporting documents being made available. We are extremely grateful to all of the witnesses who have shared their experiences. In doing so, they have made an invaluable contribution to our collective understanding of how girls and women who became pregnant outside marriage, and their children (now adults), were and are treated in Ireland.

The Clann Project operated under strict ethical protocols. In accordance with these protocols, all statements and documents have been anonymised prior to publication. In undertaking these anonymisations the Clann Project does not wish to perpetuate the shame and secrecy that surrounded the system. Rather, we wish to protect the confidentiality and privacy of witnesses. All witnesses are free to share their full statements with others and use them as they see fit.

The anonymised witness statements are available at the links below. Basic details about each witness and their statement are available on the attached cover sheets. Due to the ongoing Covid restrictions, some details (e.g., the date on which a statement was taken) may not be available for the moment as Hogan Lovells personnel are working remotely. Please note that we are not in a position to contact witnesses with media requests.

witness statements of litigants in High court judicial review of Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation’s procedures and findings

These witnesses have consented to waive their anonymity. Further statements will be added as they become available.

Philomena Lee_Witness Statement_Redacted

Mary Harney_Witness Statement_Redacted

Witness statements uploaded 3rd February, 2021

Witness No Status Link to Statement
Witness 12 Natural Mother WIT12_Statement & Documents
Witness 13 Boarded Out Person WIT13_Statement & Documents
Witness 14 Natural Father WIT14_Statement & Documents
Witness 17 County Home, Industrial School and Magdalene Laundry Survivor WIT17_Statement & Documents
Witness 18 Boarded Out Person WIT18_Statement & Documents
Witness 24 Adopted Person WIT24_Statement & Documents
Witness 29 Natural Relative  of Adopted Person WIT29_Statement & Documents
Witness 54 Adopted Person WIT54_Statement & Documents
Witness 70 Adopted Person WIT70_Statement Documents & Photos
Miseria Oizys [Pseudonym] Natural Mother Miseria Oizys_Statement