History of the Miscarriage Association of Ireland

With the dedication of its former and current committee members the Miscarriage Association of Ireland has gone from strength to strength, marking its 30th Anniversary in September 2018. New volunteers have come on board over the years and given their much appreciated time and ideas to the Asssociation, helping to make it what it is today. The core supports of telephone, email and meetings continue to be provided.

“The Miscarriage Association of Ireland
For 30 years and many more
Supports your saddened hearts
Remembers your precious babies
Loves those cherished pearls of innocence & beauty
For with whom we have a lifetime bond”

by Deirdre Pierce-McDonnell

Our History Timeline

1988 to 1998

The Association was founded in September 1988 by Hilary Frazer from the southside of Dublin. Hilary left hospital with “nothing” following a miscarriage and she found this so traumatic and heartbreaking that she placed an advertisement in the paper. Stephanie Blandford from the northside of Dublin answered the ad and this was the beginning of the Miscarriage Association of Ireland. Meetings were held in Hilary’s sitting room. She set up a telephone support helpline and managed this herself.

Now The Miscarriage Association of Ireland holds monthly support meetings in Buswells Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 on the first Thursday of every month. The telephone support line is operated by a team of volunteers.

In 1998 The Book of Remembrance was officially launched by Frances Fitzgerald TD in the College of Surgeons. This is an unofficial register for babies lost through Miscarriage. It is a beautiful, leather-bound Book and holds special memories of our precious little babies who only got the opportunity to share our lives for a short time. “Their time was short, yet very precious”.


In 1999, The Miscarriage Association of Ireland placed its first Memorial Stone in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin. Our Memorial Stones give all those people, who never got an opportunity to bury their babies, a place to go on those special dates, anniversaries, due dates, etc.

In November 1999, The Miscarriage Association of Ireland held its very own Service of Remembrance in St. Theresa’s Church, Donore Avenue, South Circular Road, Dublin 8, and our Service of Remembrance continues to be held every year in November. Prior to this, the Service was held with ISANDS (The Irish Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) – now known as a Little Lifetime Foundation. ISANDS now hold their own Service every year in December.


In 2000, The Miscarriage Association of Ireland placed two granite benches near the Memorial Stone in Glasnevin Cemetery, to allow those visiting a place to rest with their thoughts.


In September 2006, The Miscarriage Association of Ireland was proud to launch this website.


In the last two years The Miscarriage Association of Ireland has been delighted to be able to assist new volunteers in Cork and Galway set up support meetings in those counties.
The first support group meeting in Galway took place in November 2016.


The first support group meeting in Cork took place in July 2017.


We now have placed 15 Memorial stones around the country and our aim is to have one in every county in Ireland.

The names and cherished thoughts and memories of little lives gone too soon have filled four volumes of our Books of Remembrance and Volumes five and six are currently being filled.

Committee members organise the Annual Service of Remembrance in Dublin and this year the first service was held in Galway on the same date and time which was poignant given that the Miscarriage Association of Ireland is marking its 30th anniversary.

In addition, we organised a Remembrance Walk in Galway in 2017 and 2018 and a tree planting ceremony took place in Corkagh Park , Co Dublin in April 2018.


In 2019 The Miscarriage Association of Ireland provided much needed support to women and their partners.  Our meetings in Cork, Dublin and Galway are continuing to be a vital component of this support.

We now have 16 memorial stones in place.  The latest stone was placed in Donaghcumper Cemetery in Celbridge Co Kildare in November 2019.

Committee members represented the Miscarriage Association of Ireland at many events over the course of the year which helps to ensure that people know that there is support available.

Events attended were: The Irish Hospice Foundation “Living with Loss” events in Cork and Dublin, Services of Remembrance for the Rotunda Hospital, the National Maternity Hospital, the Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital & CUMH and an Ectopic Pregnancy Information Evening organised by ULMH.

In an effort to promote the awareness of the impact of miscarriage as a topic of conversation on-line and on air, committee members gave radio interviews on Cork 98FM, Red FM, the Ray Darcy radio show, Galway Bay FM and Newstalk.  A TV interview also took place on Ireland AM.

Our Information book was revised and updated and has proven to be a useful source of information and a comfort to women and men who have experienced the heartbreak of losing their baby through miscarriage.

Our Miscarriage Teddy Bear was commissioned – a beautiful cream teddy bear wearing a white t-shirt bearing our logo of the family tree with the falling leaf representing our little babies gone too soon. The teddy bear was given out as a gift at our annual service of remembrance and is now available to purchase.

A record number of people attended our annual service of remembrance in November 2019. Renee Dilworth from the Coombe Hospital and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke very movingly about the depth of grief and loss that miscarriage can have on women and their families.  The Service of Remembrance continues to be an annual source of comfort and a space for people to join together in remembering the little lives gone too soon.