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Published on Nov 11, 2013
My video footage of my visit to Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea in Ireland which was run by the Sacred Heart Sisters. The film Philomena starring Dame Judi Dench was inspired by the experiences of Philomena Lee who spent time living there and giving birth there. Hundreds of unmarried and single mothers were housed in its Mother and Baby Home. Their children were often adopted by wealthy American and Irish families. It is believed that as many as 438 babies were taken to the United States.
Perhaps the best known mother to live at Sean Ross Abbey was Philomena Lee whose story was told by former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith in his book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. Her son Anthony was adopted by an American couple and renamed Michael A Hess. He became a successful lawyer and worked for the Reagan administration. His memorial grave at Sean Ross Abbey can be seen in this video. Her story has been turned into a film called Philomena in which Dame Judi Dench plays her. Some of the Abbey's unmarked graves and those of its nuns also feature in this video.
This video is dedicated to the many mothers and children who spent time at Sean Ross Abbey.