Gruesome find at Catholic home for unmarried mothers

Gruesome find at Catholic home for unmarried mothers March 3, 2017

Ireland’s Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone TD, above, has described the find of ‘significant quantities’ of human remains at a former Catholic institution in Tuam, Co Galway, as ‘very sad and disturbing news’.
Zappone said in this report:

It was not unexpected as there were claims about human remains on the site over the last number of years. Up to now we had rumours. Now we have confirmation that the remains are there, and that they date back to the time of the mother and baby home, which operated in Tuam from 1925 to 1961.

The Minister urged a sensitive and respectful response to the discovery.
A commission set up to investigate alleged abuse at religious-run so-called mother and baby homes has been carrying out an excavation at the site of the home. It said it was “shocked” by the discovery of “significant quantities of human remains” in at least 17 of 20 underground chambers excavated in recent weeks.
The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes said:

A small number of remains were recovered for the purpose of analysis. These remains involved a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to 2-3 years.

Radiocarbon dating of the samples recovered suggest that the remains date from the time frame relevant to the operation of the mother and baby home.
A number of the samples are likely to date from the 1950s, according to the commission, which said in a statement:

The Commission is shocked by this discovery and is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way. Meanwhile, the commission has asked that the relevant State authorities take responsibility for the appropriate treatment of the remains.

The commission was set up two years ago by the Irish Government to probe state sanctioned, religious-run institutions used to house pregnant mothers. It was charged with investigating high mortality rates at mother and baby homes across several decades of the 20th century, the burial practises at these sites and also secret and illegal adoptions and vaccine trials on children.

It is thought about 35,000 unmarried mothers spent time in one of 10 homes run by religious orders in Ireland.
An inquiry was ordered after massive national and international focus on the story of the Sisters of the Bon Secours in Tuam, where the remains of 796 infants are believed to be buried. Documents discovered by local historian Catherine Corless show the children may have died of starvation and neglect. It states the children died from malnutrition, measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.
Outside of Tuam, three other mother and baby homes have little angels plots believed to hold the remains of another 3,200 babies and infants.
Infant mortality rates ranged from 30-50 per cent in some of the homes in the 1930s and 1940s.
Joan Burton, Labour Party TD, said the findings at Tuam are:

Truly gruesome and no doubt deeply upsetting to anyone associated with the Tuam home.
The grim discovery also highlights the important work of local historian Catherine Corless in bringing this case to light. It now appears as though these children were interred in some kind of mass grave, possibly without normal funeral rights, and maybe even without their wider families having been made aware.
There have also been allegations that there may have been similar instances with other mother and baby homes around the country.
I believe the government should resource the commission so that all such allegations can be included.

Burton added:
It is now incumbent upon the Catholic Church to assist in whatever way they can, so that the truth should be set out in relation to these matters.
Hat tip: Angela_K & Matthew Carr

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  • Broga

    “It is now incumbent upon the Catholic Church to assist in whatever way they can, so that the truth should be set out in relation to these matters.”
    This is unlikely as the crimes were perpetrated by the RC Church and its agents. What is essential is that the murderers, presumably nuns, who are still alive be brought to justice, tried in a court and sentenced.

  • Paul’

    This is just like the report some time ago (can’t locate it – apologies) where a home run by nuns dumped into a septic tank babies and children they supposedly were looking after but neglected to die.
    And yes these were unmarried mothers’ babies and children, so illegitimate and devoid of humanity so likely deserved such a fitting place of rest.

  • StephenJP

    And “The Minister urged a sensitive and respectful response to the discovery”.
    Sensitive and respectful towards whom? One would hope towards the poor victims and their parents (to the extent that they are known ). Is it too cynical to suggest that the Minister wants to avoid pointing the finger in the direction of the RCC and its servants? I share Broga’s scepticism that the outcome of this investigation will lay the blame where it deserves to be.

  • John

    Is anyone truly surprised by this?

  • Johan

    Catholic Filth.

  • Robster

    Frank the pope along with his dodgy cabal of crook clergy are unlikely to behave properly as exampled at the Australian child rape (mainly by the religious) royal commission. Requested documents were denied for completely unreasonable reasons.

  • This is exactly what happened at the Conway Hall Ethical Center. That long-term secular site was discovered to be hiding the remains of many people, some of them children. This is exactly the same, except it never happened at Conway Hall Ethical Center and it happens regularly at Roman Catholic sites.
    It must be our lack of a moral compass that prevents atheists from raping children, kidnapping women and burying the bodies. If only we had the simple faith that the Roman Catholics have, we’d know what to do. Instead we just keep foolishly inventing cures for diseases instead of just praying, for instance.

  • 1859

    Just as the Germans have prosecuted geriatric camp guards well into their 90’s for what they enacted against the Jewish people, so should the Irish government prosecute those who did this appalling crime. The Nazis made racial murder socially respectable; these RC nuns perpetrated this crime in absolute secrecy, behind closed doors, while outwardly showing to the world a pious, ‘caring’ facade. Despicable.

  • Ron Cooper

    The RCC should be made to pay for every cent spent on this case, the investigation work, the police time and effort, the forensic testing, the burial costs and anything else involved in this dreadful case. The RCC practised this sort of thing time and time again, it should be banned by every civilised nation!

  • Broga

    Apart from the murders – and yes they were murders of babies and children – there was also the decades of suffering inflicted on the mothers. These twisted, perverted, sadistic nuns had total power over young women who were indoctrinated with the fiction that they were sinners. That power was exercised to the ultimate i.e. killing.
    “Treated with sensitivity and respect.” The only sensitivity and respect will occur when the prating, preaching, posturing nuns are brought to justice and sentenced.

  • Broga

    “Treated with sensitivity and respect.” The only sensitivity and respect will occur when these prating, preaching, posturing nuns are brought to a court and given long sentences.
    They killed babies and children. And they inflicted decades of guilt and suffering on young women over whom they exercised total power. These young women were indoctrinated into the belief that they were sinful. What an irony when the nuns were abusers and killers.
    So what action is going to be taken to bring them to justice? Not a hell of a lot, I suspect.

  • barriejohn

    Hold your horses, everybody. This is just more “Fake News”!

  • tonye

    As others have already noticed when I read the line ‘The Minister urged a sensitive and respectful response to the discovery,’ the first thing I thought was here is yet another cover up.
    Disgusting, but do we actually expect any better?

  • Paul

    This is just like the report some time ago (can’t locate it – apologies) where a home run by nuns dumped into a septic tank babies and children they supposedly were looking after but neglected to die.
    And yes these were unmarried mothers’ babies and children, so illegitimate and devoid of humanity so likely deserved such a fitting place of rest.

  • barriejohn

    Paul: It featured the same home, at Tuam. This is an ongoing investigation. Other cases have also been found:
    How Donohue can deny all of this evidence I have no idea!

  • Paul

    Thank you – yes this is the same then.
    As to the physical evidence :
    Glad the Rcc spitefulspokesman has managed to disabuse us of the truth. There are very easy ways to find out the truth and tests are very simple in modern science on bodies or body parts.
    As To the physical abuse :
    When a religious group has as a doctrine of hate against many people it deems worthy of hate, who are not normal people’ (that society cannot look after), the religious step in and provide what it thinks is care but the reality due to their awful doctrines becomes abuse.

  • remigius

    With these mass graves and abuse investigations it is obviously an embarrassing time for the Catholic church. It might be prudent if they take a break from killing and raping children for a while – just until this blows over.

  • Brian Jordan

    This reminds me of the story from a few years back of a tunned being found between a nunnery and a monastery. It contained infant skeletons.
    I’m not sure where I read it, but the story is recounted here complete with diagram.
    Unfortunately, the link to the alleged priestly source is dead and it’s supposed to have taken place in the 1930’s from when I couldn’t possibly have remembered it!

  • remigius

    Apologies to Mr Donohue for my use of the phrase ‘mass graves’. I should, of course, have used the correct term ‘multiple occupancy infant burial sewers’

  • barriejohn

    Remigius: Your’e right. No “mass graves” have been found – just lots of bodies!
    Brian Jordan: I’ve had several friend at Bishop’s Waltham since I was a boy, and there have always been stories about babies’ bodies being found buried in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace. I can’t think that this is all coincidence.

  • remigius

    “…just lots of bodies!”
    Wrong again, barriejohn. The report makes no mention of any ‘bodies’. All it says is ‘significant quantities of human remains’ were discovered.
    How you make the leap from ‘human remains’ to ‘bodies’ is beyond me. Donohue is right – it’s a non-story.

  • barriejohn

    It’s the same with evolution; they split hairs over some minor point and then say, “There you are – it’s a load of lies!”. I came across that all the time.

  • 1859

    Just read the ‘fake news’ article. WTF is the semantic difference between ‘mass graves’ and ‘burial sewers’!?. It’s almost as if they are saying – ‘Well, a mass grave would be an awful thing, wouldn’t it? But burial sewers – that’s OK really, we can accept these.’
    Every single RC institution in Ireland and beyond that supposedly ‘cared’ for pregnant women and their children, should be thoroughly investigated and their ‘sewers’ inspected.

  • Prior

    regimus … and? and what? please explain.
    The catholics are guilty of murder and conspiracy to protect their guilty from law … regardless of bj’s lack of literary precision.

  • barriejohn

    I think it was irony regarding Donohue’s use of semantics. Tuam is by no means a unique case, either:

  • remigius

    Prior. Are you are you referring to my use of satiric imitation to emphasise Donohue’s absurd apologetics?
    What about it would you like me to explain?

  • Cali Ron

    Prior: Literary precision? WTF