A 70-year-old Mayo man is to undertake his fourth climb of the Reek tomorrow in memory of the Tuam babies who died in 1952 - the year he was born.
Seosamh Ó Maolchroin said he feels very fortunate to have survived the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, where he remained until 1959.
He will complete seven climbs in honour of each of the seven babies who died in 1952. The Aughagower man calls them "precious little angels" and said he feels great sadness for all 796 babies who are understood to be buried in a septic tank on the site of the former home.
"I'm not doing this for me. It’s for the babies who didn’t survive. I want to keep their memory alive and I’m doing each climb on their individual birthdays," Mr Ó Maolchroin said.
Mr Ó Maolchroin was reunited with his mother, Margaret, in 2003, shortly before she died. She was just 15-years-old when she gave birth to her son and had not wanted to give him up for adoption.
Margaret went on to work in a laundry in Dublin and used visit Seosamh once a year for his birthday until he was "boarded out" to a local family when he was seven-years-old and adopted when he was 14.
She settled in England, where she lived for the rest of her life. It was during a visit home to Aughagower that the two met for the first time, a reunion that Mr Ó Maolchroin said gave him great peace and some closure.
He completed his third climb of the Reek on Easter Sunday, accompanied by other survivors and supporters. Tomorrow's hike begins at 11am.