Noelle Brown's passionate discussion on The Mother and Baby Home scandal moved viewers

During the most recent edition of the Late Late Show, Noelle Brown was a guest on the show as she powerfully spoke about the pain and hea...


During the most recent edition of the Late Late Show, Noelle Brown was a guest on the show as she powerfully spoke about the pain and heartbreak that has been reopened by the recent Mother and Baby report that was published on Tuesday.

Noelle Brown, born in the Bessborough mother and baby home, spoke at the “the end of a very, very long and hard week for anyone that was affected by this issue. The hardest I’ve experienced in terms of activism and the scale of what’s been released and finally realised in this country is huge, I apologise if I’m emotional tonight, I usually manage to put a lid on it,” she said at the start of the interview.

At this point, Tubridy interject and said “there’s no apologising for emotion in this country anymore. This has to change and we have to be open with our emotions, who we are and what was done to you.”

“The truth,” replied Mrs Brown.

At the start of the show, Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker lent her voice to a stirring animated tribute to the women and children that died in Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes.

The animation was made by filmmakers Éabha Bortolozzo and Jack Kirwan – it can be viewed here. Tubridy used the powerful animation a precursor to the discussion with Mrs Brown.



Brenda Fricker

“The animation was very triggering actually, it’s very beautiful and very on the nose. It says it all really. I think the more we see it, the more we understand it, acknowledge it, and stop pushing everything away and pretending that everything is ok. All things are coming to the surface this week and that’s a positive thing. It’s extremely painful for survivors, so painful, and I’ll say if anyone out there knows someone who’s affected by this issue, contact them and reach out because it’s a very difficult and lonely time for a lot of people,” said Brown.

At this point in the conversation, Mrs Brown noted how she had an issue with the fact that she and the other survivors didn’t get a hard copy of the report immediately because survivors were supposed to get a copy “as a courtesy” which didn’t happen.

“It was really upsetting, I think the most upsetting thing about it was the webinar I attended on the Tuesday when the report was released, it became apparent that with 500 people attending, the Taoiseach made a speech and Roderic O’Gorman spoke, but it came apparent very quickly that the phrases being used were “there is no evidence of,” including vaccine trials incarceration in Mother and Baby homes, abuse in Mother and Baby Homes.

“I think everyone’s heart as a survivor of Mother and Baby Homes sank because all those testimonies went in there as part of the Confidential Committee – I was one of those people – and they weren’t being taken on board. The evidence was there and they never drew the conclusions from the evidence and ten- times more horrific things are contained in our testimonies.”

“I wasn’t heard and all along the way, I was told that it would be a survivor-centred approach and that hasn’t happened. The opposite has happened, our testimonies have changed and they were altered. So many people had the same experience and in the end, we weren’t listened to. The report was about us, it was our stories and we’ve already had our identities and stories taken from us.”

“I got very angry and I’ve been very calm over the years. I was angry with the State and the Church. The collusion that happened to create this absolute horror and not just that, the fact that it was attempted to be hidden. It was tried to be kept a secret, tried to pretend it didn’t happen. That is the most offensive thing to survivors, that they’re not being believed. For people to give those testimonies and then say that there’s no evidence in these testimonies, that’s a re-traumatising of people. To do that to people is inhuman, we’ve already been traumatised by what’s happened to us and our treatment in terms of searching for our identities and mothers, sisters, and brothers searching for babies in mass graves.”

Ms Brown noted that Barnardos are running online support meetings for adopted adults and birth mothers over the coming weeks and if anyone is having a difficult time this week, further information can be found here.


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Since the segment aired, viewers were deeply moved by the conversation and Brown’s bravery.

“Heartbreaking listening to Noelle Brown. Layers of trauma heaped upon survivors this week – all that testimony given in good faith – this should have been an opportunity for healing – for believing women – it’s a travesty.”

“Well done Noelle Brown for being our voice. Thanks to the State & the Church I have a brother I’ll never get to know – heartless & shameless,” said one viewer while another person remarked, “Noelle Brown and Brenda Flicker – there’s hope we will get to the truth, shame on those that have stood by until now.”

“Appalling that these women and children are being “re-traumatised” by Church and State” commented while another person said “Noelle Brown, I was so moved by your interview on The Late Late Show. I am so sorry for happened to you and all those who were not given voice. Thank you. You deserve better.”



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Newsrust: Noelle Brown's passionate discussion on The Mother and Baby Home scandal moved viewers
Noelle Brown's passionate discussion on The Mother and Baby Home scandal moved viewers
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