Episode Thirty Four - The Kavanagh Sisters Skip to content

Episode Thirty Four


Barbara Scanlon (Spokesperson) & Anna Kavanagh (Founder)

Alliance of Birth Mothers Campaigning for Justice (ABC)

Trigger Warning’ if you or someone you know has been affected by sexual abuse please remember the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 24-hour Helpline is open 1800 77 8888.

In today’s podcast (episode 34) we will be talking to Barbara Scanlon (Spokesperson) and Anna Kavanagh (Activist) of Alliance of Birth Mothers Campaigning for Justice.  ABC was established in June 2019 by birth mothers who have difficulties in their engagement with The Child and Family Agency (Tusla), the Gardai and the Family Law Courts. They are now seeking major reforms of Tusla, Family Law Courts and the Gardai.

Barbara and Anna talk opening and honestly about the ongoing difficulty the mothers they represent have, when it comes to anything to do with Tusla. They describe Tuslas complete incompetence and mismanagement of the children in their care. The increased powers that they have been given as a result of covid and how Government Minsters that have been approached by ABC fail to act on the behalf of these mothers regardless of the mounting evidence gathered.

We also discuss the growing difficulties experienced by women that no longer trust rape crisis and domestic violence centres since they have moved under the umbrella of Tusla and who also provides the majority of their funding.

The women speak about how time and time again they speak to mothers who are suicidal because social workers can come and take their children without their permission. The numerous times that mothers are forced by Tusla to hand over children to a parent that is abusing that child regardless of the evidence of that abuse.  They also speak about the rule of in-camera that silences these mothers and the coercion by social workers that make mothers sign their child into care with the threat that if they do not do this voluntarily the social worker will ensure that these mother will not see their child again until the child turns eighteen and no longer under care from Tusla.

This was a disturbing podcast but one that we feel needs to be heard. Tusla is growing in power and influence and they appear to be unaccountable to anyone. The women firmly believe that just like the scandals of the past involving mother and babies home Tusla’s incompetence and mistreatment of children will cost Ireland dearly as these children will never forgive us for turning a blind eye to what is happening.

Take care

Joyce, June and Paula

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