Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bodies of 800 Children Found in Septic tank at Former Home for Unwed Mothers - Catholic Church Responds

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The Catholic Church have now responded to the grim discovery of the remains of up to 800 unidentified children buried in an unmarked plot beside a notorious Mother and Baby Home in Ireland, claiming that the mass grave was a temporary solution and the infants remains are “just resting” there. I find this response disingenous and heartless.

The bodies of nearly 800 babies are believed to have been interred in a concrete tank beside a former home for unmarried mothers. The dead babies are thought to have been secretly buried beside a home for single mothers and their children in County Galway, Ireland, over a period of 36 years.

It is suspected that 796 children were interred on unconsecrated ground without headstones or coffins next to the home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam between 1925 and 1961. Newly unearthed reports show that they suffered malnutrition and neglect, which caused the deaths of many, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.

Monsignor Sean Green, spokesperson for the Irish branch of the Catholic Church Scandal Containment Unit, said;
There’s a lot of speculation as to what went on in The Home following these recent revelations. People seem to believe that because these children were born to unmarried mothers the church at the time considered them sinful and unworthy of a decent Catholic burial, so basically threw their little remains into the nearest hole they could find.

But trust me, that wasn’t the case; I assure you, those bodies are just resting in that mass grave. Cover up the mistreatment of children? Not at all. We’ve always planned to exhume them and bury them properly, and we’re going to get right on it really soon.

The babies were usually buried in a plain shroud without a coffin in a plot that had housed a water tank attached to the workhouse that preceded the mother and child home.

No memorial was erected to the dead children and the grave was left unmarked.

The site is now surrounded by a housing estate. But a missing persons' report just filed to Irish police, gardai, means that the burial site may now be excavated.

A relative of one boy who lived there, William Joseph Dolan, has made a formal complaint to gardai after she failed to find his death certificate, despite records in the home stating that he had died.

A source close to the investigation said: 'No one knows the total number of babies in the grave.

There are 796 death records but they are only the ones we know of.

'God knows who else is in the grave. It's been lying there for years and no one knows the full extent or total of bodies down there.'

The existence of the grave was uncovered by local woman Catherine Corless, who compiled the records of 796 babies who died at the home. She has established a group called the Children's Home Graveyard Committee to erect a memorial.

Read more - Washington Post, DailyMail, WWN, Irish Central

Image - Children’s Home, Dublin Road, Tuam, Ireland circa 1950. (Courtesy of Catherine Corless/Tuam Historical Society)


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