Block [header] not found!

The Black Children of Ulster

Books

Most will be aware of the past and present stigma attached to having children out of wedlock or to someone from a different ethnicity or culture.
Buy Book Here!
In the past here in Ireland the consequences for those mothers was great. Some women would have been ostracised from their families, forced into having back street abortions, some forced to put their children into orphanages, never to be seen again, some incarcerated in mental institutions or mother and baby homes.

Most would have been deeply traumatised, and might have developed mental health issues as a result. The children and the circumstances under which they were born, kept as family secrets. Many mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers and sisters will have gone to their graves with these secrets leaving behind children with little or no knowledge of their identity.

Some of you might be aware of the current investigation in relation to the Bon Secours mother and baby home for unwed mothers in Tuam down in Galway where the bodies of almost 800 babies and toddlers were discovered. The primary cause of death was reported to be from infectious disease and malnutrition. That should give you an indication of the circumstances under which they lived and died.

Amateur historian Catherine Corless published the article and the allegations are being investigated by the commission of investigation into mother and baby homes. The commission includes judge Yvonne Murphy (chair) Dr William Duncan (intern legal expert on cp and adoption) and Prof Mary E Daly (historian).

My mother was Ivy Gracey, later becoming Ivy Yellowe when she married my father Frank Peter Yellowe who was Nigerian.

My mother had several children out of wedlock and as you might be aware, most of us are of dual heritage. This being the case, she too was subjected to some of the appalling treatment I’ve just described.

My mother was well aware of the stigma and of the consequences and she told me many stories about such women and the appalling treatment they and their children were subjected to.

Her life might have been easier without us, however, we were brought up by my mother with support from my grandfather. We faced many challenges in our life including racism and neglect. Through it all, we were never apart from our mother and she kept us with her through good or ill. I can’t say if this was a good or a bad thing, just a fact.

Most are aware that my family and I grew up here in the 60’s which was during the troubles and the book I’ve written is about my journey here at that time.

For the Love of a Mother, The Black Children of Ulster.

In the book I describe what life was like for me as a little black girl exposed to sectarianism, racism, violence, poverty and neglect.

Having had to deal with these issues on a daily basis affected me very badly and I became depressed. When I tried to show or tell my family that I was depressed and why, they couldn’t understand and didn’t want to believe it. So I learned to hide it and I did a very good job.

That is until one night my hidden depression took a hold of me in such a way that nearly ended my life here on this earth.

The thought of death drove me to making some very positive life changing decisions which included moving to London.

I moved to London in 1986 and continued with my new life changes. I have wonderful friends and a questionable social life. During my time in London I had the nerve to enter the University of North London and I graduated with an honours degree in applied social science.

I’ve travelled half way around the world to places such as India, the Caribbean, Japan and Africa, where I was privileged to stand on the land of the Masai Mara and meet their people. Me…standing on a land I had only ever seen on TV…Me meeting people I had only ever heard about through David Attenborough…Me standing on the land of my ancestors in amazement.

When I first made trips from London back here, some told me…you’ve changed! They said that my accent was changing and they weren’t pleased I didn’t come home every weekend.

You forget where you come from!

I think when you read my book you will see that I certainly don’t forget where I came from. I tell you in great detail where I came from, where I went and where I’m still heading.

Where is that I hear you ask….when I was a little girl if I asked my mother where she was going..she would answer….I’m going to see a man about  dog!!!

To coin a phrase….you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.

Subscribe

Ohio IAN

Submit Article

Shop Locally

Ahern Catering
Brady Campbell School of Dance
Branches & Roots
Buffalo Irish Fest
Mona Burke Remax Realty SW Florida 239.634.1673
Casey's Irish Imports
Chamber’s Funeral Homes
Cincinnati irish Heritage Ctr
Cleveland International Film Festival
Cleveland's Irish Cultural Fest
Collins and Scanlon LLP
Competitive Title Agency
Michael Crawley Bagpipe Lessons
Dayton Celtic Fest

Dublin Irish Fest
Dworken Law
Flannery's irish Pub
Fiddler's Hearth - South Bend Indiana
Fitzgerald's Irish Bed & Breakfast
Fitzgerald's Tours
Gaelic Imports
Gandalf's Pub
Green Island  Restaurant  440.250.9086
Harp Irish Pub
Hermes
Hooley House
Hooligan’s Put-n-Bay
Irish American Archives Society
Irish American Club Eastside
Irish American News - Chicago
John Coleman ERA Rath Realtors
Kansas City Irish Fest
Kenneally Law - 440-333-8960
Lackey & Company
Little Bros & Sisters of the Eucharist Visitation Home
Logan's irish Pub
MadMacs Band
Mary's Lane
Mayo Society/Ball
McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio Funeral Homes
Michigan Irish Music Festival
Mike O'Malley Attorney 216-241-6868
Murphy Irish Arts
Music Box Supper Club
Nally Irish Dance
Next Day Signs
Northern Ohio Rose of Tralee
O'Bent (O'Brien enterprises)
Ohio Celtic Fest
Old Angle Tavern
PCS Auto Repair & Body Shop 216-251-4242
P J McIntyre's Irish Pub
Pittsburgh Irish Fest
Plank Road Tavern
RISE Foundation
RunOhio
Sheer Sound    216-533-2527
Sober St. Pat's
Stone Mad Pub & Restaurant & Bocce
Sully's Irish Pub
The Harp
Top o' the Towers
The Travel Connection
Tri-C
Treehouse Bar
The Unicorn Restaurant & Pub
Walk of Life (IAAS
West Side Irish American Club
West Park Massotherapy