Tuam survivor ‘was abused at late TD’s home’, documentary alleges

Tuam survivor ‘was abused at late TD’s home’, documentary alleges

The feature-length documentary, Untold Secrets, sheds light on Anne Silke and her unspoken experiences and the disturbing allegations that are part of her testimony.

A documentary has revealed how a survivor of Tuam mother and baby home alleged severe physical and sexual abuse while living in the home of a founding member of Fianna Fáil.

The documentary, Untold Secrets, focuses on the life of Anne Silke, who was subjected to abuse in the Tuam institution before being fostered in the home of the late Galway TD Mark Killilea Sr.

The film, screened for the first time at the Galway Film Fleadh, sheds light on Ms Silke’s previously unaired experiences and allegations.

Ms Silke reveals cruelty in the Tuam institution, but also speaks of her experience of being fostered by a man, who she describes as a TD, and his wife, who had six of their own children who were already reared. 

She alleges she was treated like a “slave” in their home.

Documentation provided by Tusla shows that Ms Silke was fostered in 1958 by a “Mr and Mrs Killealea [sic]” and the documentary draws together testimony that the man who fostered her was former Galway TD Mark Killilea Sr, now deceased.

Before she died, Ms Silke said she was abused and exploited for labour as a child in the Killilea home.

She described being physically assaulted by one adult son — former TD Mark Killilea Jnr — in the house and said she was sexually abused by another adult son, Jarlath Killilea, who is also dead.

She was a child at the time of this sexual assault.

Mark Killilea Sr’s grandson, Galway county councillor Donagh Killilea, speaks in the documentary. 

He told the Irish Examiner the allegations made by Ms Silke were “unverified” and “inaccurate” but said: “Everyone involved in this has passed away and I’m very sorry for Anne’s family.”

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