The Stolen Skulls of Inishbofin. Photo, by Marie Coyne (2022) of Inishbofin Island off the coast of Galway in Ireland. The ruin of St Colman's Monastery provides a backdrop for the contemporary burial ground in the foreground. Haddon and Dixon stole thirteen crania (skulls without jaw bones) from the monastery in 1890, and gave the collection to Trinity College Dublin. Marie Coyne and Ciarán  Walsh began campaigning for their return in 2012.

Marie Coyne, 2022, St Colman’s Monastery and burial ground.

It is expected that the board of TCD will decide today (22 February 2023) to return to Inishbofin the ancestral remains Haddon and Dixon stole in 1890.

We were unable to achieve the return of the Árann and St Finian Bay remains as part of this deal, but there is now a procedure in place in TCD to submit claims in respect of these remains:

It should also be stressed that this document focuses specifically on the Inishbofin case though it has potential relevance for future requests from other communities of origin in Ireland seeking the return and reburial of other human remains in the Haddon/Dixon collection including those collected from Finian’s Bay, Co. Kerry and the Aran Islands as well as other human remains’ collections at TCD.

It’s been a long campaign (link to AJEC blog) that is now drawing to a close, and, on behalf of everyone involved, I thank you for all your support and work.

Ciarán Walsh,

circle of texture grey back ground with the words embossed on it. designed by Ciarán n Walsh