The International Literature Festival Dublin and the National Concert Hall present

Breaking the Silence

Saturday 29th MAy 2021


New creative responses to Ireland’s dark legacy, featuring survivors, writers & artists 

Featuring Elaine Feeney, Loah, Terri Harrison, The Mary Wallopers, Majella Moynihan, Noelle Brown, Phil Mullen, Jess Kav, Alison Lowry, Caelainn Hogan & more.

This special evening of words and song broadcast from the stage of the National Concert Hall presents personal responses from a range of leading Irish writers, musicians and artists to the ongoing legacy of Ireland’s mother and baby home institutions.

Until alarmingly recently, religious orders and the Irish state operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of women called 'fallen' and 'offenders', a secretive system that forcibly separated families.

Through breaking silences and sharing testimonies, survivors of Ireland's religious-run institutions have become catalysts of change. In the search for answers, their voices must continue to be heard. 
Working with generational survivors of the institutions, this one-off live event is curated by acclaimed author of Republic of Shame, Caelainn Hogan.

Elaine Feeney
Poet, novelist, playwright and Creative at the Tuam Oral History Project

Terri Harrison
Musician and survivor who was forcibly separated from her son through the religious-run institutions.

Sallay Matu Garnett, an artist and performer of Irish and Sierra Leonean origins who starred as Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

Noelle Brown
Actor, writer and adoption rights activist who co-wrote and performed in the play Postscript about searching for her origins.

Jess Kav
Singer, writer and poet who speaks about the generational impact of the institutions.

The Mary Wallopers
Folk group from Dundalk who have travelled Ireland singing and collecting songs.

Philomena Mullen
Writer and academic who grew up in Ireland's institutional system and is working on a book for Skein Press.

Majella Moynihan
Author of A Guarded Life and was forced to give her son up for adoption, charged with breaching Garda regulations for being pregnant outside of marriage.

Alison Lowry
Award-winning and internationally-renowned glass artist from Co. Down. She uses an ancient technique called 'pate de verre', casting antique christening robes to recreate them in glass

More artists to be announced.

Presented by the International Literature Festival Dublin and the National Concert Hall.

Image: Artwork by Alison Lowry