The Home Babies, 25 years since the Good Friday Agreement & Dancing at Lughnasa

April 7, 2023

On a trip to Dublin last month we saw a very powerful and moving exhibition in the National Museum in Collins Barracks, which opened back in 2019. (A) Dressing Our Hidden Truths is glass artist Alison Lowry's response to some hidden & painful parts of Ireland’s history including Magdalene Laundries, Mother & Baby Homes and Industrial Schools. The image shows one of a series of suspended sand-cast pâte de verre christening robes, Lowry's commentary on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home revelations. You can find out more about the exhibition here.

There's so many articles, podcasts and films on this distressing subject - we happened to listen recently to this one on the BBC. 'The Home Babies' is from 2018, so not totally up to date but still a powerful listen.

There have been lots of interesting articles and programmes in the run up to the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement yesterday. One that caught our eye was the Dictionary of Irish Biography's feature of key figures who contributed to the peace process - here they profile Father Alec Reid. The original document has just returned from the UK National Archives to Northern Ireland for the first time since it was signed, and is on display at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland until 12 April. Find out more here. Also this from the Art Newspaper on how Northern Ireland's museums and galleries are reflecting on the Troubles.

And finally, to coincide with the National Theatre in London reviving Brian Friel’s play Dancing at Lughnasa, Festival contributor Breandán Mac Suibhne looked at the lives of the women on whom the characters are based, in this article in the Irish Times.