Stolen tells the story of how women who had the misfortune to fall pregnant ‘out of wedlock’ were treated in an Ireland that was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church.
Over 80,000 unmarried mothers were incarcerated in mother and baby institutions run by religious orders from 1922 to 1998. Most were cruelly separated from their babies after birth. Many of the children were adopted within Ireland and abroad – rendered untraceable and unaware of their birth story. Others were fostered out as cheap farm labour from the age of six, often in circumstances abysmally devoid of care and love. 9,000 infants died in these institutions from 1922 to 1998, a rate that, on occasion, was five times the national average infant mortality rate.
Survivors reveal the shocking details of their treatment in a scandal that sparked a government inquiry into the fate of unmarried women who fell pregnant in 20th-century Ireland.
There will be a Q&A after the film with the filmmakers Margo Harkin and Martha O’Neill, hosted by Dr. Phil Scraton.
Photo credit: Chris Hill