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Macabre Discovery At Old Home For Unwed Mothers in Ireland

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Kitkat
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Macabre Discovery At Old Home For Unwed Mothers in Ireland

Post by Kitkat on Wed 04 Jun 2014, 00:36

Following the relatively recent closure of the last of the notorious church/convent-run work laundries* in Ireland, another harrowing revelation only just discovered in a small town over in the west of Ireland.
The people who lived outside of this high-walled 'Home' had no idea of the horrors that were going on...
until now ............   Evil or Very Mad  Sad 

An Irish community recently discovered the bodies of hundreds of children in a septic tank behind a former home for unmarried mothers. The home, located in the town of Tuam near Galway city, had been run by the Bon Secours nuns between 1925 and 1961.

The Irish Mail, drawing on documents provided to it by local historian Catherine Corless, reported Sunday that as many as 796 children may be interred in the mass grave. The newspaper continues:

"Inspection reports unearthed from files of the local health board show that the home housed hundreds of children many of whom suffered deformities, malnutrition and neglect. Causes of death included malnutrition, measles, convulsions, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.
"The babies were usually buried in a plain shroud without a coffin ... no memorial was erected to the dead children and the grave was left unmarked. The site is now surrounded by a housing estate."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/03/318545130/in-ireland-a-macabre-discovery-at-old-home-for-unwed-mothers


and a report from Australia - where the Inquiry is now ongoing:

http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/skeletons-of-800-babies-infants-believed-to-be-buried-at-bon-secours-sisters-site/story-fnh81p7g-1226939959324

Anybody who suggests the nuns were doing their best ... they were not doing their best. They tendered for this business (and) wanted this business.
“They got a headage payment for every mother and child in their so-called care, which was greater at the time than the average industrial wage.”
The Home was closed in the 1960 and two boys playing discovered partially broken concrete slabs covering a hollow — a disused septic tank — “filled to the brim with bones”.
A housing estate was then built where The Home was and a local couple tended to the plot of dead babies and infants for 35 years, trimming the grass and planting flowers.
A police investigation has been launched into missing death certificates at The Home.




*  (See The Magdalene Sisters - http://spiritlove.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3279 )
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Kitkat
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Ireland confronts past treatment of unmarried mothers

Post by Kitkat on Wed 16 Jul 2014, 14:07

Ireland is to hold an inquiry into the homes for children born outside marriage and their mothers run by religious institutions for most of the last century. In June, researchers discovered the remains of nearly 800 babies in a septic tank at a convent-run mother-and-baby home in County Galway. The BBC's Fergal Keane considers what the inquiry might mean for survivors, and for Ireland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28298236

Some of the issues the commission of inquiry may look at include:

  •  The high mortality rates in mother-and-baby homes: Bessborough was closed for a period in the 1950s by public health authorities because of concerns over the health of babies
  •  The circumstances and location of the burial of babies who died in the homes
  •  The use of infants in clinical drugs trials at some homes: Glaxo Smith Kline, whose predecessors ran the trials, has promised full co-operation with any inquiry
  •  The number and manner of adoptions from the homes: thousands were adopted and hundreds were sent to America. The inquiry will want to know whether legal guidelines were followed



Related Stories:

   Field of secrets - 23 June 2014
   Archbishop's Tuam grave inquiry call - 08 June 2014
   Child bodies: Church has no records - 05 June 2014

  Magdalene laundries: Four religious orders refuse to pay into fund - 16 July 2013
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Kitkat
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Re: Macabre Discovery At Old Home For Unwed Mothers in Ireland

Post by Kitkat on Wed 16 Jul 2014, 23:09

The reporting of this story is a prime example of how things can get twisted and fabricated; how easily speculation and journalistic agenda can turn a thing into something that it is not - and highlights the importance of checking out sources - and investigating things from every angle.
Things are not always as they seem, and depending on where you are standing, the story may be very different coming from or looking to a different direction.

Brendan O'Neill, from Spiked magazine has it summed up, in his article from 9th June 2014:

'The Tuam tank: another myth about evil Ireland'

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-tuam-tank-another-myth-about-evil-ireland/15140#.U8bwNLEmXQM

The obsession with Ireland’s dark past has officially become unhinged.

For proof of the maxim that ‘A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on’, look no further than the Tuam 800 dead babies story. Courtesy of a modern media that seems more interested in titillating readers with gorno than giving us cool facts, and thanks to a Twittermob constantly on the hunt for things it might feel ostentatiously outraged by, the story about babies being dumped in an old, out-of-use septic tank by nuns at a home for ‘fallen women’ in Tuam in Galway made waves in every corner of the globe. Then, a few days later, having finally strapped its boots on, the truth - or at least a more sober analysis of what might have really happened in Tuam - staggered on to the stage. And it was a very different story to the fact-lite, fury-heavy tale that had already gone round the world.

The speed with which the work of one local researcher in Tuam became a global story was amazing. Catherine Corless has been looking into the Mother and Baby Home run by nuns in Tuam for years. The home, which was active between 1925 and 1961, took in single women who were pregnant, which was considered a terribly sinful state to be in in early to mid-twentieth century Ireland. Corless discovered two things during her research: first, that between 1925 and 1961, the deaths of 796 children were registered by the nuns who ran the Tuam home; and secondly that in 1975 two boys in Tuam discovered an old septic tank on the grounds of the then-closed home, smashed through the concrete covering and saw skeletal remains inside. A fairly vague posting about these findings was put on to a Facebook page, and then all hell broke loose.

The media got a whiff of Corless’s findings and turned them into the stuff of nightmares. ‘Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers’, declared the Washington Post. ‘800 skeletons of babies found inside tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers’, said the New York Daily News. ‘Galway historian finds 800 babies in septic tank grave’, said the Boston Globe. ‘The bodies of 800 babies were found in the septic tank of a former home for unwed mothers in Ireland’, cried Buzzfeed. Commentators angrily demanded answers from the Catholic Church. ‘Tell us the truth about the children dumped in Galway’s mass graves’, said a writer for the Guardian, telling no-doubt outraged readers that ‘the bodies of 796 children… have been found in a disused sewage tank in Tuam, County Galway’. The blogosphere and Twitter hordes went even further than the mainstream media, with whispers about the 800 babies having been murdered by the nuns and demands for the UN to investigate ‘crimes against humanity’ in Tuam.

On almost every level, the news reports in respectable media outlets around the world were plain wrong. Most importantly, the constantly repeated line about the bodies of 800 babies having been found was pure mythmaking. The bodies of 800 babies had not been found, in the septic tank or anywhere else. Rather, Corless had speculated in her research that the 796 children who died at the home had been buried in unmarked plots (common practice for illegitimate children in Ireland in the early to mid-twentieth century) and that some might have been put in the tank in which two boys in 1975 saw human remains. The septic tank or the grounds of the former home have not been excavated. No babies have been ‘found in a septic tank’, as the Washington Post, Guardian and others claimed. The claim that the babies were ‘dumped’ into some kind of sewage system is wrong, too. Corless says the nuns ‘made a crypt out of the old septic tank’. She now says her research has been ‘widely misrepresented’ and that she ‘never used the word “dumped”’ to describe the possible placing of some dead children into a makeshift crypt (‘possible’ being the operative word).

More to the point, it’s actually not possible that all 800 dead babies are in this tank-cum-crypt, as pretty much every media outlet has claimed. Mainly because, as the Irish Times reports, the septic tank was still in use up to 1937, 12 years after the home opened, during which time 204 of the 796 deaths occurred - and ‘it seems impossible’, the paper says, ‘that more than 200 bodies could have been put in a working sewage tank’. Also, the Irish Times spoke to one of the men who in 1975, when he was 10 years old, disturbed the former septic tank and saw skeletal remains, and he says now that ‘there was no way there were 800 skeletons down that hole. Nothing like that number.’ He says there were ‘about 20’. Maybe his memory is fuzzy, but so far he is the only eyewitness we know of to this alleged pit of 800 dead babies in a tank in Tuam.

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