Artist Ambroise Donnelle explores the nation's dark mother and baby home history in exhibition 'Reborn'

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Ambroise Donnelle Art Exhibition

Anne and Ambroise Donnelle at the launch of 'Reborn' at Longford Co Library


There was a great turnout at Longford Co Library last night for the launch of artist Ambroise Donnelle’s art exhibition ‘Reborn’.

Mr Donnelle’s mother, Anne was was born 1950 at the mother and baby home in Castlepollard, and this latest exhibition from the well established artist explores the country’s dark history in respect of all this.

Speaking last night Mr Donnelle said it was important not to lay all the blame with the religious orders because the families that sent their daughters into those institutions in the first instance also bore responsibility.

“I’m not standing here this evening to solely hold all the blame on the nuns and mother superiors of the mother and baby homes,” he said.

“But it was also a time in Catholic Ireland in the last centuries that families allowed their daughters to be part of these institutions, so they are to be held accountable also.

“Forced into adoption and severely malnourished, my mother survived this place she was born into, but unfortunately there are so many infants who never got to share this.”

For more on this story as well as an interview with Anne Donnelle, see next week’s Longford Leader, on sale Wednesday.