Associated Press Apologizes for Its Coverage of the Irish Orphanage Story

Associated Press Apologizes for Its Coverage of the Irish Orphanage Story June 20, 2014


Associated Press has issued an apology for its errant reporting regarding claims of a mass grave for children of unwed mothers on the grounds of Tuam Home, an Irish home for unwed mothers.

Since the disturbing story broke early this month regarding the Tuam Home for unwed mothers in Ireland, where 796 babies were purportedly “dumped into a septic tank”,  the Patheos bloggers have been on the case.

I had, early on, been concerned that the facts might not be as reported.  I didn’t blog about it here, but over on Facebook, we had a spirited discussion in which I encouraged people to relax and wait for facts:  Had the Irish Sisters been simply overwhelmed, with no one available to help them bury the bodies of the children who died?  Was the burial site, in fact, not a “septic tank” as AP reported, but a cylindrical brick burial chamber, common in Ireland at the time?  Were there really “no more than 20” babies buried at that site?

Pia de Solenni has followed the horror story and reported carefully.  Deacon Greg Kandra reported as the story began to evolve.  Frank Weathers helped to clarify, as new reports emanated from Ireland where Catherine Corless, local historian, took issue with some of the early reports.  Rebecca Hamilton called on Catholics and everyone to wait patiently for the facts to sift out.  

Today, though, was the big day:  Today, after being challenged by America Magazine, Associated Press issued an apology for its skewed reporting.  The Associated Press correction read:

DUBLIN (AP) — In stories published June 3 and June 8 about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

Now we wait.  Will Salon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, FoxNews and other media outlets which carried the incendiary reports follow suit and issue apologies and retractions?

Don’t hold your breath.

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  • Let this be a lesson. The main stream media is predisposed to portray Catholics and Catholoic values in the worst way.

    • well

      Interning and imprisoning young women and taking their children away is catholic values is it?

      • Iwishyouwell

        Yes. Oddly enough, however, so is having an abortion and then pretending you regret it layer – then you’re “brave” and get all kinds of praise. If you don’t abort your baby, you’re bad and dirty and subhuman. If you actually raise your baby, you’re “demonic”.

      • Kyle M

        The septic tank story was a disservice, yet where are the 796 children buried at? Where the memorial marker is? The death records, but not the burial records,for the 796 dead children have been procured. The burial records, then, are either in the possession of the Bon Secours sisters (the nuns who ran the St. mary’s Home) or the RCC has them. OR they don’t have them… If they don’t have them, then someone has some splainin’ to do.
        If a detective went looking for say even ten dead children, and got the death, but not burial records, yet was told that a lovely memorial marker marked the site where the ten dead children were all buried at —- you can bet that he, a prosecutor, or a gov’t entity would have that site exhumed to see if any, all or some were buried there.

    • 3Dunedain90

      Not just against Catholics, but the slant moves against established Christian representatives, Catholic or Protestant. Basically whoever stands staunchly for maintaining Christian doctrine or ethics is made to be seen as suspect, i.e., ignorant or irrelevant or malicious in some way.

      • Yes, that is true.

  • franciswithwolves

    I don’t see an “apology” anywhere – just a list of things they were wrong about. Am I the only one?

    • kathyschiffer

      Yep, I guess “correction” is more accurate.

      • franciswithwolves

        It just really seems like something you end by saying “the AP apologizes for these large errors.” I mean – “it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any.” If any?!? It goes from 800 to “if any” with no apology? That’s — I don’t even know where to go from that!

  • Catherine Miller

    Regardless, modern child protection services and foster care in Ireland (and elsewhere) have roughly the same number of child deaths per year. 22 per year for the orphanage using the originally reported dates of operation, compared to 19.8 per year for the government of Ireland’s child protection and foster care (HSE).

    • Tuam was government funded home, the nuns were contract workers.

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        All mother-baby homes in Ireland were government regulated and inspected, and received capitation grants equivalent to an industrial wage for each mother and child. Tuam, Trim and Limerick were only different in that they were local authority-held properties, but run by nuns. The others were former manor homes/estates or private residences either bequeathed or sold to religious orders, primarily the Sacred Heart order. The three Sacred Heart homes included large working farms, dairies and, in some cases, also took in local commercial laundry contracts. They sold their vegetables at local county markets and had women who were talented at sewing (like my mother) creating fancy embroidered tablecloths, blankets, etc. for the commercial market. Children like me who were trafficked to the US for adoption brought in huge donations that didn’t end once our parents received us – my parents and many others I know continued to make annual donations until my brother and I were out of high school. One wealthy Long Island family I know ‘donated’ $10,000 up front in 1958 for their daughter. So it begs the question: why were our mothers required to pay £100 to get out, or work in trade (often up to three years) until we were adopted? And by the way, none of those ‘adoption donations’, profit from various enterprises, or money paid in by fee-paying mothers went back to the government. Not one pence. It all rolled uphill to the various diocesan coffers. Have a look through the diocesan archives sometime – especially Galway. It might disavow you of the notion of nuns as government ‘contract workers’. Or save yourself the time, since those of us actually seeking the truth have already done it, and just wait for the report that results from Minister Flanagan’s Statutory Commission. This time, as opposed to Martin McAleese’s cursory glance at whatever books the nuns chose to give him (or he chose to document) and weak Magdalene report, there will be some judicial teeth to compel records.

    • fredx2

      If true, that is deeply shocking. If they have the same number of deaths today, when we have vaccines, antibiotics, etc, then the nuns were doing a fantastic job in the 30’s 40’s and 50’s when they did not have any of our modern medicines.

  • Millie_Woods

    When I see ‘AP’ leading any story, I immediately think of a septic tank and sewage.

    • Kyle M

      Where are the 796 children buried at then? Where the memorial marker is at?

      The death records, but not tangible, written burial records, have been produced by either the Bon Secours sisters (the nuns who ran the St. Mary’s Home) or by the RCC for the 796 dead children. If they have them, then turn them over…..

      If a detective went looking for death and burial records for even ten dead children, and procured the death records, but not the burial records — yet was told that a lovely memorial marker marked the site where they were buried — you can bet that either he, a prosecutor, or someone in gov’t would have that site exhumed to determine if any or all of the ten kids were indeed buried there.

  • paulmyoung

    I’m no forensic pathologist, but if you count the number of skulls, that should yield a fairly accurate number of remains, I would think. Not much an apology.

    • Iwishyouwell

      Yes, and witnesses attest to the fact there are some remains there, and police corroborated the story at the time, and locals set up a memorial as a result. A full investigation is underway and the exact number of confirmed remains will result. Everyone on all “sides” should wait until that investigation is complete until making definitive statements about the number of individuals’ remains at the site.

  • Shana This is what I keep hearing as I read this story.

    • Iwishyouwell

      Really? If you know everything reported so far is a lie, then, by all means, go on record with the truth. You seem to have factual information no one else has — should we put the authorities in touch with you?

      • Shana

        Yes, really. “KNOW” that everything reported in the story is a lie, not so much but more fair to say, I did Intuit that it is a lie, perhaps, since the media has shown itself time and time again to be exceedingly unreliable, on matters pertaining to the Church. I know what the Church teaches and I was reasonably certain that no religious order of sisters Irish or otherwise would just toss a dead baby unbaptized and into a septic tank because it was born out of wedlock, although a secular hospital will burn the bodies of aborted babies for fuel in our neat and tidy modern utilitarian days. It smelled like a lie to me and whatddaya know – it prolly is one by the account of the Associated Press semi-apology.

        • Mari Tatlow Steed

          You’re “reasonably certain,” but not 100% sure. So why not wait until the actual truth comes out in the Statutory Commission of Inquiry? Or would you prefer to just take my life and the lives of 60,000 adults who have actually lived this and just dismiss us as figments?

        • Iwishyouwell

          “Everything”reported in the story is a lie? Again, do you have proof that the eyewitnesses, local police and those who have tended the grave are lying?

          Sounds like you are doing exactly what you are accusing the AP of doing.

        • Mari Tatlow Steed

          You’d be purely amazed at what the Church was capable of doing to individuals because they were born out of wedlock. But I’m guessing that because you “KNOW” all this, you must have experienced it yourself, right? Prolly?

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Patheos and other apologist sites can’t go on record with the “truth” because they couldn’t be arsed to look into it. They’d rather hijack our lived narrative, the truth we’ve known and researched for years, and twist into something to fit their cognitive dissonance. The truth would send their belief system and world rocking, and they’re not ready for that. Although some progressive, rational-thinking Catholics are, and have in fact acknowledged that the past is painful and are bravely willing to face it. But in order to truly bring about healing, it must be dealt with if we are to move on and learn from it.

  • No admission of anticatholicism though, a correction with no appology.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      That’s okay…we’re still waiting for an official apology from the four religious orders who ran Magdalene Laundries, as well as participation in the ex gratia scheme to compensate for the wages and pensions not paid by the nuns to survivors. So my guess is you’ll see an apology from the AP about the same time as one from the Church and its orders. Which is never. Quid pro quo, apologists.

      • What if those stories are as false as the Tuam Home story.

        • Mari Tatlow Steed

          They’re not, rest assured. I’ve got over 700 pages of testimonies not included by Senator Martin McAleese in his Magdalene Laundries report that say otherwise. And those are not just the testimonies of survivors like my late mother (who suffered in both a Magdalene Laundry for ten years, and in a mother-baby home for two with me, all for the ‘crime’ of being born out of wedlock herself), but of paid workers, medical professionals, police, outside vendors, etc. But you’re welcome to look the other way and disbelieve if you wish. Millions of Germans did, too.

          • Then we certainly do have sufficient documentation for peonage. Now, can you document malice? Or was this just trying to find a way to pay for these homes?

          • Iwishyouwell

            And just what debt were they working off? How dare you imply that these women somehow owed the Catholic Church something for their incarceration!

          • “And just what debt were they working off?”

            Food, clothing, shelter, medical care. Things that NOBODY else in Ireland would give them at that time.

            I’m no fan of capitalism. But the rule under capitalism is that you are born in debt, and you leave debt to your heirs, no matter who you are. If you’re lucky, there’s a man in the situation working his ass off to earn the money to pay that debt- a father, as well as a mother. If you aren’t; somebody else has to pay for this stuff.

            This is as big of an indictment as it sounds; the basic maslow needs of humanity should be right, not luxury. But under our system, they are indeed luxuries; having enough food to eat and a roof over our heads is something that most of humanity is NOT guaranteed. Even worse yet, we are not guaranteed a free entry into this world, and we all start out in debt to somebody- whether born in or out of wedlock makes NO difference in that at all, other than at that time in Ireland, in wedlock it was the man who has to work to pay for it.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Things that others were not giving them because of the way the Catholic Church in Ireland at that time was presenting their twisted version of Christianity. So, the Church in Ireland teaches parents to toss their daughters on the streets, then scoops up those daughters and profits from their slave labor and from selling their children.

            The only indictment to be handed out here is directly to the Catholic Church and the Irish government who were clearly — this is documented — in cahoots in running these slave labor facilities, which targeted women exclusively.

            If the Catholic Church in Ireland was teaching the TRUE message of Christ, the result would not have been slavery and abuse. The result would have been true compassion and mercy.

            Also, when Christ told us to feed, clothe and shelter the needy, he most certainly did not tell us to charge the needy for those things, much less to enslave them (for decades, even entire lifetimes, in some cases) in order to pay back their debt.

            What happened in Tuam, what happened in the Laundries, and what happened in the Mother and Baby Homes is the direct opposite of what Christ taught. What happened in those places was absolutely Satanic, from beginning to end.

          • Which is what I said. I’m sorry if I used too big of words for you.

          • Iwishyouwell

            No, it’s not what you said and, no, you’re hardly anyone’s intellectual superior. You’re just crazy.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Theo’s not crazy – he’s just too lazy to be arsed to do his own research and requires us to spell it out for him. So arguably, no, he’s no one’s intellectual superior. All the materials, books, references, links, etc. I’ve posted above have been online for years, and freely available to anyone with a computer or a library card. Which brings us around full circle to the whole point (or lack thereof) of Ms. Schiffer’s blogpost: the particular readers/posters of this segment of Patheos (which is only one of many – Patheos actually has some good blogs/sections, so don’t judge all of Patheos by this one blogger) seem stuck on the AP/Mail/WaPo coverage of Tuam. I have tried, with some patience, to point readers in the direction of the wider story and truths that have already been uncovered. I try to remember that the US is woefully unaware of the rich archival material already existing on these issues in Ireland (and even to some extent in the US, such as James Smith’s work, or Patricia Boyle Haberstroh at LaSalle University, Philadelphia, who has also done tremendous work on women in Ireland). They don’t understand the long history or evolution on Ireland’s ‘architecture of containment’ and how it differed vastly from similar Catholic-run institutions in the US. My only agenda is to get the wider truth out there, and help US readers understand that the story doesn’t begin or end with some lurid AP headline.

          • What part of:
            “I’m no fan of capitalism. But the rule under capitalism is that you are born in debt, and you leave debt to your heirs, no matter who you are. If you’re lucky, there’s a man in the situation working his ass off to earn the money to pay that debt- a father, as well as a mother. If you aren’t; somebody else has to pay for this stuff.”

            Did you not understand?

          • kathyschiffer

            Without the unwed mothers to be cared for, there would have been no NEED for labor to keep the place up. The women were sharing in the upkeep of the only home that welcomed them. You can blame their parents, if you will–but why the nuns who took them in?

          • Iwishyouwell

            They were not “sharing in the upkeep”. They were slave labor. Read the existing documentation of life in those homes. You do not know what you are talking about and glossing over the horrific violation of basic human rights suffered by those women at the hands of your Church only violates them further.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            “Welcomed”? Clearly you understand nothing of the history of the Irish mother-baby homes. Please stop commenting on what you don’t know, it just makes you look foolish. These women and girls weren’t “welcomed”. That would imply they had some sort of choice to go elsewhere and be similarly “welcomed,” which was just not the case. And stop with the “blaming” nonsense. Society in Ireland at the time was under the moral authority and imperative of the Church. The Church taught Irish society to shame and shun their daughters. Blame is a collective in Ireland – Church, State and society. You’d need to have a far better understanding of the Brehon law existant in Ireland before the ascendancy of the Church and how women and non-marital children were treated (which was fairly and with equality), juxtaposed against 19th-20th c Catholic Ireland, where women and non-marital children were considered so much flotsam (actual words used by Taoiseach Enda Kenny only last week were “they were treated as a sub-species”). So when you’ve completed your years of study on Irish history and the Church’s role in it, then do please come back and we can debate this from a level playing field.

          • Where in Canon Law does it say that a daughter must be shunned and shamed without cause?

          • Dennis Mahon

            Because Ms. Steed believes in collective guilt – not individual responsibility.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Because you know what I believe and know me personally. Right.

          • Dennis Mahon

            Don’t need to know you personally – just have to read what you wrote.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Funny you should mention NOBODY else would give it to them. There were of course the Protestants, who would certainly have given the women refuge (and many did, privately). They also famously ran soup kitchens during An Gorta Mor, but Catholics were forbidden to take the soup, lest they be shunned and outcast, and labeled a ‘souper’. The overwhelming climate was one of fear – fear of the Church. So it was a very rare, few brave families, or even strangers, helped their own daughters to escape to England, gave them food and shelter, etc. You clearly do not understand the abject and absolute fist with which the Church ruled its congregants at that time in Ireland.

          • “There were of course the Protestants, who would certainly have given the women refuge (and many did, privately).”

            Then maybe they should have done it publicly. But thanks for admitting the problem went a lot further than just Catholicism- it covered all of society.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Sorry, when I said ”privately’, I mean as in they didn’t announce it to the Irish Times. Must be more specific Theodore, as your inference skills aren’t that keen. We have recently gathered testimonies for the new Commission of Inquiry from some local families (Catholic, CoI and Quaker) who did aid pregnant women and help them escape to the UK, US or Canada.

          • Gord

            Hey Mari I think here is where you reveal your own motivations. This issue is complicated enough without bringing in Protestant vs Catholic, esp in Ireland. The church is for sinners and all Churches have well meaning members who have committed atrocities in the name of religion. God Bless you in your faith. It is interesting you mention the famine as England was partially responsible. Ireland exported food all through the famine.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            I have no motivations other than truth, Gord. I am simply pointing out that there were a very few people (and some of them were Protestants) who helped these girls. The An Gorta Mor analogy is simply to show that non-Catholics (as well as Catholics helped starving families). If it were a group of atheists who so abysmally treated women and children, I’d be jumping on them just as hard. In fact, in our submission to the new Commission, we are very much including secular or government-run local county homes, where women and children were treated equally badly. So don’t imply bias where there is none. Straw men serve no purpose here.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Being locked in (women were dragged back by the gardai if they tried to escape); performing commercial labour with no pay/pensions; punishments including beatings, hair shaving, being made to lie prone on floors for hours, force-marched in wet bed sheets; denied their names and any free discourse among themselves – all are defined by the UN as torture, or as you call it, ‘malice’. I’d suggest you look no further than the Stanford Prison Experiment if you want to understand how good, holy brides of Christ could view the humanity they took such ‘care’ of as subhuman. Or perhaps you were in a Laundry yourself? No? I didn’t think so.

          • How is this different than the indentured servitude all Irish men labored under at that time?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            In 1930, Ireland passed Anti-Slavery legislation, Theodore. This would have abolished all forms of slavery/indentured servitude in Ireland. Except that at that time and up until 1996, Magdalene women were still enslaved. The 1930 Act was bolstered by the 1955 Factories & Inspections Act, which would have further regulated such issues as pay, hours worked, conditions, etc. I believe you may be confusing Colonial-era enslavement/indentured servitude of Irish citizens elsewhere, in the southern US and Caribbean. There was no indentured servitude as a practise in the Republic of Ireland during the time period of the Laundries. And you are still somehow assuming the women entered voluntarily or were somehow willing to go into a Laundry to fulfill some ‘debt’ they owed to society. Only 8.1% of women admitted to Magdalene Laundries came through the criminal justice system (i.e., as an alternative to a prison sentence for a petty crime).

          • Where did the other 92% come from?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Industrial schools, mother-baby homes, their parents, hostel organisations like Regina Coeli, the St Vincent de Paul society – you can read the various routes of entry (as recorded by Senator McAleese in his report, although with the caveat that his numbers are incomplete):, page 5 (PDF)/161 (of entire report).

          • By that very study, 1,319 16.4%- came voluntarily of their own accord, the largest percentage of any route of entry. How do you account for that?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Again, I added the caveat that this was from the McAleese report, which was incomplete (he missed or ignored many local archives, data provided by local HSE FOI officers, etc.), and the only archival evidence of women who are listed as ‘voluntary admissions’ were from the four religious orders’ records. But because the McAleese investigation had no statutory power to compel or retain records from the nuns, there are deep questions as to the authenticity of those numbers (and for the record – I’m not the only one with those questions: the UN and several Irish law firms have similarly questioned the report).

            To give you a better first-person example, we recently had a woman who as part of her application filing to the Magdalene Redress process, was forced to obtain record of her own 77-day stay in High Park, Dublin, in the 1960’s. As it turned out, she was pregnant and being taken by a local social worker to the Ard Mhuire, Dunboyne mother-baby home. For reasons unknown to the woman or even noted in the nuns’ records, the social worker dropped her off at High Park ‘en route’ to Dunboyne (despite that the woman was from Mayo, and High Park would hardly be ‘en route’ to Dunboyne), and it was supposed to only be an overnight stay. High Park records indicate she was ‘voluntarily admitted’, which was not the case, as she was underage and unable to give consent, nor were her parents present, and she remained there for 77 days until taken to Dunboyne.

            And finally, as UN CAT Vice chairwoman Felice Gaer pointed out in her reply to Irish Dept of Justice representative Sean Aylward in 2011, “I think ‘voluntary’ means that one makes a choice; I think that ‘voluntary’ means that one is informed; I think that ‘voluntary’ means that one is then free to leave. I think it means that there is nothing coercive in this context.” (see video link at

          • I think ‘voluntary’ means that one makes a choice; I think that ‘voluntary’ means that one is informed; I think that ‘voluntary’ means that one is then free to leave. I think it means that there is nothing coercive in this context.”

            By that rule, no human being was voluntary until the 1990s, anywhere on the planet, for anything.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            I also don’t believe that simply because my own mother was born outside of wedlock qualifies her as ‘owing a debt’ to the Church or State.

          • Who paid for her birth?

            I hate to say it, because I hate the system we are under. But everything costs somebody something, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

            This is as big of an indictment as it sounds; the basic maslow needs of humanity should be right, not luxury. But under our system, they are indeed luxuries; having enough food to eat and a roof over our heads is something that most of humanity is NOT guaranteed. Even worse yet, we are not guaranteed a free entry into this world, and we all start out in debt to somebody- whether born in or out of wedlock makes NO difference in that at all, other than at that time in Ireland, in wedlock it was the man who has to work to pay for it.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            She and her mother paid for her birth, and my own. As well as my adoptive parents. My mother was born in the County Home in Wexford, where her mother had to work to earn out her ‘keep’ (although the government was also funding the county homes). My mother remained at the Bessboro’ mother-baby home in Cork with me until I was adopted to the US in 1961. During that time, she did commercial sewing for the nuns to earn her ‘keep,’ again noting that Bessboro was receiving a capitation grant for each mother and child, roughly £762 per annum at that time, or £14,000 in today’s sums. My adoptive parents freely acknowledge they sent a donation of $100 every Christmas from the time I was adopted (1961) until I turned 18. So given $100 was equal to roughly $800 in 1961, a low-estimate average would put the total sum ‘donated’ at nearly $10,000. The Church shamed these women into their ‘refuges’ in the first place, leaving them no other options, so having registered Adoption Societies, which were also licensed ‘charities’ in Ireland expect a debt to be worked off is disingenuous at best. Do you see the problem here? You can waffle on about capitalism and food, clothing and shelter. But if you are a registered charity in Ireland (or I daresay in the US), you don’t typically expect those in your care to pay for that charity, especially when you’re receiving government money that was more than capable of sustaining a mother and child.

          • kathyschiffer

            My children had to earn their “keep”, too, although their father and I brought in money, because it’s what people do–they accept responsibility for their home and try to make a contribution to life there. Are you saying that your mother and these other women should have sat around eating bonbons at taxpayer expense, and should NOT have been asked to do anything?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            You’re not serious, are you? You’re comparing raising your own children to my being taken away from my mother and trying to draw an analogy to ‘earning our keep’? Wow, that’s one of the most incredibly inane things I’ve ever read. Talk about apples and oranges!

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Victim-blaming is all they’ve got, IWYW. Didn’t you know it’s the Christian/Catholic thing to do? I know, certainly not what Jesus would do…but hey, what can you do? They so fiercely defend their institutional Church that they forget about the one Jesus bequeathed to Peter. I have a sneaking suspicion Pope Francis is trying to steer it back to something more closely resembling Jesus’ original architecture (a “poor Church”), but he won’t succeed with dunderheads like Kathy Schiffer and the lamentable Bill Donohue filling its pews and attempting to speak on “behalf” of the Church. It’s really kind of sad, because I frequently round-table with so many good Catholics, including priests and nuns in the US, on these issues in Ireland. And every one of them agrees it needs to be addressed, faced honestly and corrected.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Iwishyouwell – please do post your comment again, without the ‘obscene’ language (Kathy may not understand that the f-bomb is not considered the same in Ireland as it is in the US).

          • kathyschiffer

            Mari, perhaps you missed my earlier post. Name-calling (“Dunderheads”) also will not be tolerated. I’m growing increasingly impatient with the tenor of this conversation. You may criticize ideas, not people.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Kathy, my mother and thousands like her hardly ate bon-bons. It is well documented that their diets, even while pregnant, were subsistence: tea, toast, porridge (oatmeal), thin potato soup. Conversely, the nuns dined on meat regularly, fresh vegetables, poultry, pork, etc. Many of the mother-baby homes had working farms (see my previous post on produce, etc. being sold in local markets), but the mothers and children rarely enjoyed the “fruits” of those farms. I suggest you start with Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s (UCD School of History & Archives) excellent book ‘Mother and Child: Maternity and child welfare in Dublin, 1922-60’ ( and then work backward through equally excellent works like BC Prof. James Smith’s ‘Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment’ (ND Press), ‘Suffer the Little Children’ by the late Mary Raftery and Eoin O’Sullivan, and Maria Luddy’s excellent early work (

          • Iwishyouwell

            Who paid for her birth? Are you serious? Do you even hear yourself? Are you even human…?

            Many of those women gave birth under appalling circumstances, circumstances that would warrant a serious negligence suit and a hefty settlement or reward, if you want to put this in the monetary terms your cold, dead heart seems to understand the best.

            But even adjusted for inflation, the delivery of a child shouldn’t cost a woman a lifetime of slavery.

            Seriously — you’re just nuts.

          • I agree, it shouldn’t. It should cost the FATHER a lifetime of work.

            The men shirked their duty to marry these women to begin with. They are the ones who should earn your ire, but they don’t. Why?

          • Iwishyouwell

            They do. But the Church enabled them and profited from their failures. The Church was supposed to be better than that, and they failed utterly to answer Christ’s call – not just failed, but knowingly, willingly, systematically engaged in the dehumanization of thousands of women and their children.

            That’s evil. It ain’t anything else, no matter how hard you try to sweep it under the rug.

          • “They do”

            No they don’t, they blame the nuns instead of the fathers. They blame the church for the sins of those men. The primary sin is that of the fathers of these unwed mothers, always has been and always will be.

            EVERYTHING that happened to these women, happened because of the lust of those men.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            See link to testimonies in my above reply.

          • Gord

            Excellent please produce them and also the interview process. Thanks

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Happy to. The public redacted testimonies may be found in our Principal Submission to the gov’t and UNCAT at Testimonies were gathered from many voluntary participants, comprised of Magdalene survivors, paid workers, outside vendors, medical professionals, children of Magdalene survivors, etc. We used strict ethical protocols in gathering testimonies, based on existing international human rights protocols for testimony- and oral history-gathering, and with legal advice and oversight. A consent form was completed and signed by each participant. All unredacted testimonies (the 700+ pages) were submitted to Senator Martin McAleese. The link provided here is the public version of that submission, and we again sought explicit consent from each participant as to whether or not they wished to be included in the public version, and whether that inclusion was anonymous, redacted or as-is. We asked Senator McAleese and his team if he wished these testimonies to be sworn; he replied that it wasn’t necessary.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            I’d also be happy to provide you with the consent forms, but they’re in Word format and not posted online. You may e-mail me at if you wish a copy of those. We are using the same ethical protocols for gathering testimonies for the forthcoming Flanagan Commission of Inquiy.

  • JimmyChonga

    We all know who pulls the strings behind the scenes of modernism: L U C I
    F E R. You have only to glance at the target to know the source of the
    evil that emanates.

    • Princess of all Saiyans

      Wow, blaming the Devil for people actually doing some research and wiping away the bright shiny facade of the Catholic Church? You know, the reason these news stories are coming to light is because these events actually happened, and people are starting to actually care what goes on behind Church doors. Religion doesn’t get a free pass any more, so immoral actions such as what happened to these poor children here. If you fancy doing some actual work yourself, you would find that the names, ages and causes of death have actually been released for most of the children in question (and the number of 798 is not really in much question at this time).

      Also, as a student of Irish Ethnology and folk history, as well as being Irish myself, I can attest that “cylindrical brick burial chambers” were not a thing at any point in history. Not even converted septic or water tanks were used, and in the 20th Century, when these events took place, there were systems in place for the burial of children, even unbaptised ones. The fact of the matter is that these Mother-Baby homes were a diabolical place, and this is not the only tragedy that has been documented at them. Stop hiding behind your cross and Bible and actually partake in some critical thinking, it might just do you some good.

  • Mike

    The AP and a the rest of the MSM have once again met the expectations that I have for them. If anyone really expects that any Mainstream news outlet provides truthful and unbiased reporting, then I’ve got a bridge for you in Brooklyn.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      So I gather you’ve never considered the Irish Examiner, Times, Independent or Journal, all of whom have been reporting on this and the wider story for more than ten years?

      • Mike

        You would be gathering correctly.

        • Mari Tatlow Steed

          Pity. Because you may have learned more about the wider story behind Tuam, told truthfully and without the sensationalism.

  • Gina101

    “…the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any.”

    Even in their so-called apology they put forth their agenda that it’s POSSIBLE, there COULD be remains. Despicable.

    • mastaofdisasta

      How is that despicable?

      • Alec Leamas

        Shouldn’t they confirm that there are, in fact, human remains before the matter becomes a story? That’s how it’s supposed to work, no?

        • Iwishyouwell

          Witnesses did confirm there were remains there. The AP is refraining from adding their own confirmation at this time.

          Y’all are as bad as you accuse the AP of being.

          No one – not even the local diocese – denies there are remains there.

          But way to completely deny the humanity of inconvenient people by pretending they never even existed.

          • Alec Leamas

            Yes. That’s exactly my intent – to deny the existence of any and all human remains for all eternity. You caught me.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Isn’t it, though? Isn’t that the intent of all of you who are working overtime to paint this story as a hoax, as entirely made up, as a fiction?

            No — your intent is to deny the humanity of the women and children who were incarcerated in places such as the home in Tuam. To even deny their very existence, all to protect your chosen idol.

          • Alec Leamas

            Or, maybe I’d like the media to do the sort of due diligence before reporting matters as fact that they would extend to persons and institutions that they favor.

            Query: What is my “chosen idol” in your view?

          • Iwishyouwell

            The Catholic Church.

          • Alec Leamas

            So, the fact that I note that the AP (and you, yourself) was caught with its pants down in an effort to ascribe horrible behavior to the Catholic Church means that I worship the Catholic Church?

            You’re going to have to do better than that.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Actually, I never bought the original headlines because I was familiar with the story and knew what was on record and what wasn’t. So for you to now claim that I was caught with “my pants down” (why am I not surprised that a Catholic male would make such a vile comment to a woman?) is deliberately dishonest. All I said is that there are indeed remains at that site (which I never referred to as a septic tank), as is confirmed by eyewitnesses and the local police, as well as those who tended the site as a grave after the original reports of remains were made public.

            Yes, you worship the institution of the Church as a god unto itself.

            You just proved it by lying about what I said in order to protect your idol.

          • Alec Leamas

            I’m not sure that you can charge me with perfect knowledge of the contents of your little confused little mind other than the things you write on this blog (which is where I get my information about what you think). You did, however, seem to find the AP’s premature articulation warranted for reasons that you have yet to explain. There is no dishonesty on my part.

            “To be caught with [one’s] pants down” is idiomatic English meaning “to be caught unawares” or “to be caught having been unprepared.” I don’t really care if you want to make an issue of it, but your status as a faux victim of a “vile” attack (leveled at the AP as well!) isn’t going to convince anyone.

            Once again, I don’t know or care what you said or believed except for what you have written here, and I have given a fair account of that. You are lying, however, when you make accusations of my worshiping the Church as “a god unto itself.”

          • Iwishyouwell

            No, I think their (and other outlets’) headlines and treatment of the story this month were typically sensationalist and lurid, and I expressed as much at the time and now. You claim I said here that there were 800 dead babies in a septic tank, which I never said at all. You’re the one who is clearly confused. And dishonest.

            You do worship the institution of the Church as a god unto itself. Of course you’ll deny it. No surprise there.

          • Alec Leamas

            I’ll give you a lollipop if you can quote me writing that you said or wrote that there are 800 dead babies in a septic tank.

            Proposing that the AP should, you know, do a modicum of fact checking before defaming a person or institution is now somehow idol worship, you say.

            Maybe you worship the “Whore of Babylon” too? I mean, you’ll deny it, won’t you? And that’s just more proof of the fact according to you.

          • Iwishyouwell

            “So, the fact that I note that the AP (and you, yourself) was caught with its pants down in an effort to ascribe horrible behavior to the Catholic Church means that I worship the Catholic Church?”

            I did not use the words the AP used at all. I never claimed there were 800 babies anywhere, nor have I ever even entertained the thought that the gravesite in Tuam was a septic tank.

            When I originally responded to you, I was pointing out that the fact that there are indeed remains at that site is not in dispute.

            As for my own story, no, it is not a lie.

            Your insistance that I am lying and that I said things I did not say is a clear indication that protecting the reputation of an organization is more important to you than actual human life.

            Again, not surprised. You’ve already shown me who you are. You really don’t have to keep convincing me. I believe you.

          • Alec Leamas

            You didn’t use the words that the AP used, but you objected to my objection that the AP should not have printed a story without doing the appropriate fact-checking. You, apparently, believe that it is appropriate for the AP to rush to print false and defamatory information because you hate the Church.

            Once again – quote my words – a lollipop hangs in the balance.

            “I did not say is a clear indication that protecting the reputation of an organization is more important to you than actual human life.”

            Is there any indication in any (reliable) published news accounts that the remains were of children and/or women who were the victims of foul play? You (of course) want to jump to the conclusion that Satanic nuns murdered fallen women and babies and cast them into the bog to do the bidding of evil old men in mitres for laughs without facts or evidence in support. Do you understand that until the late 1980s the ROI and its predecessor states were as impoverished as many third world nations? That malnutrition and disease were as common as one would expect to find in other third world nations? I resided in Dublin as a child in the 1990s and those facts about Irish poverty and deprivation were common knowledge.

          • Iwishyouwell

            No — some nutjob claimed that it was “despicible” for the AP to have written pretty much anything at all, and I pointed out that some stuff is known and not everything they reported was in dispute. I don’t think anyone should rush to print speculation as fact, but I don’t think we should ignore actual facts because some things in the headline or article were not accurate.

            I never said the remains were anything but…remains. As was reported by the eyewitnesses and confirmed by local police.

            However, after researching the bigger story of the Church’s treatment of women and children in these homes, after combing through hundreds of pages of documents and eyewitness testimony, and knowing what I know from my own experience, yes, I personally believe things were not all hunky-dory in Tuam. That does not mean I believe — as you insist I do — that nuns were murdering women and children and dumping them in bogs (actually, I’ve never seen anyone but you, just now, say that).

            I’m aware of the situation in Ireland at the time. I’m aware of what the Catholic Church says it teaches. However, I’m also aware of the responsibility the Church bears for the way Christ’s message was twisted and perverted in Ireland (and elsewhere) during much of the 20th century, and how that twisted, perverse rendition of Christianity lead to hideous mistreatment of young women and their offspring.

            Only fat people with bad teeth eat lollipops, so you can keep it. All that sugar is bad for you.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            The media has done “due diligence” over the last twenty years on this issue (and continues to do so), stories you’ve clearly missed. Instead you all jump on Tuam as if it was some brand-new horror exposed. It’s far from it. We’ve known about mass graves at mother-baby homes and Magdalene Laundries for decades. Try to catch up.

          • Alec Leamas

            Tuam, if it is a horror, stands on its own facts. I’m not satisfied with the “well, you know how these people are, wink, wink” of the AP.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Then read something other than the AP’s wink-wink coverage. There’s tons out there.

          • Alec Leamas

            Twenty truths do not drown out one lie.

    • Iwishyouwell

      Witnesses did indeed see skeletal remains there, and the police agree there are remains there – plus, even Catholic sources note that a shrine/memorial was created there because of the remains that are there.

      AP is merely refraining at this point from confirming ANY remains until the full investigation is complete.

  • Mark

    This disgusts me. Not the AP or their reporting – but the ‘report’ing of supposedly good and faithful Catholics.

    I am hearing stories on a daily basis on radio here about the way women were treated.

    I was abused by a Catholic priest and it did a lot of damage to my life. I will live with some of those consequences till the day I die.

    And they tried very hard to cover it up. Willing to pay for it too with the signing of a document.

    I have forgiven the man for what he did. I am still a practicing Catholic.

    What hurt more than anything the priest did was the way the ‘faithful’ behaved, or rather didn’t behave but should have.

    You can’t sugarcoat crap. So stop trying.

    If you are asking honesty – then for God’s sake and everyone else’s – BE HONEST !!! Bloody hypocrites.

    Thank God for the press or the truth would never. EVER have come out. Then where would we all be.

    Shameful. Truly shameful.

    • waltinseattle

      poorly documented lurid stories tend to help dismiss the real suffering like you experienced. This is why I do not like exaggerations.. “worst case of xxx ever” etc.

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Yet sometimes they lead to better, more accurate reporting of a wider, even more ugly, truth.

        • Gord

          Could specify even one case where this is true? Even if poor reporting could lead to improvements why not just skip to honest reporting. The priest abuse scandal lead to better accountability but I think the gentleman above would have preferred, and I agree, that his sacrifice should not have been necessary.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            There are certainly many examples of stories that broke luridly, where the truth behind them turned out to be even more horrifying, or at least validated the initial sensational outbreak. The Joseph Kony story, the 200 girls taken in Africa…they are legion, and captured worldwide attention. Try Google, I hear it works very well as an engine to find such stories. I’m sure you can handle it. For myself, I have done interviews in the follow-up to Tuam, with reputable journalists and TV who have covered the wider truth more sensitively and honestly. You can Google those as well, and I’ve already mentioned some of the Irish papers of note who did a better job covering this issue.

    • fredx2

      Nobody is saying the truth shouldn’t come out – in fact everybody wants that especially Catholics. If anything bad happened as a result of our religion we want it to come out, and be dealt with, and those harmed comforted and helped. I hope you got whatever help you needed.
      However, I think everyone can agree that this story started out with a great deal of lying about what the Catholic church teaches. and lying about children cruelly not being baptized, and lying about 800 babies being found in a septic tank.
      Remember that the Magdalen laundries were assumed to be hellholes, but the government investigation found they actually were better than most places and that the whole thing was mostly a media invention.
      So,if they have a real story to tell, tell it. They are not entitled to publish vast amounts of lies in order to reveal other truths.

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Actually, you are Fred. By continuing to copy/paste excerpts from the patently flawed Magdalene report, and talking about issues you have no direct knowledge of, you obfuscate the truth and willfully deceive people worse than any misguided AP or Mail story.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      Thank you, Mark. This is the attitude any rational, reasonable Catholic should have. It does no one any good to deny the truth of what happened in Ireland (and elsewhere, including the US). The only way to reform the Church and set it back on its original Christ-like path is to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, give justice to the victims, heal and move forward. But some here would prefer to deny it, keep their heads firmly in the sand and roll victims under the bus.

  • D.A. Howard

    Worry not. The Lord will soon vindicate Catholics and put the Seculars to shame.

    • Jim Robertson

      Really? What’s “The Lord” going to do?
      Remember he did nothing for those children who starved at Tuam. Let alone the children at Auschwitz.
      Will he show up with a heavenly host who carry torches and pitchforks? Or will it be you Christian soldiers marching as to war?
      Your need for “vindication” is pathetic and exactly what Jesus wouldn’t do.

      • fredx2

        We do not have any idea whether children “starved” at Tuam. We have a lot of overblown and sensational stories, from news media that have a track record of getting stories completely wrong. Medicine was scarce in those days, especially in the world war II days, and children often got gastroenteritis in those situations,this happened all over the world in orphanages at that time.
        Jesus would want the truth. Period.

        From the Magdalen investigation:

        “ii. Physical abuse
        33. A large majority of the women who shared their stories with the Committee said that they had neither experienced nor seen other girls or women suffer physical abuse in the Magdalen Laundries.
        34. In this regard, women who had in their earlier lives been in an industrial or reformatory school drew a clear distinction between their experiences there and in the Magdalen Laundries, stating clearly that the widespread brutality which they had witnessed and been subjected to in industrial and reformatory schools was not a feature of the Magdalen Laundries.”

        • Barbaranne

          Where were the Mr. Magdalens?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            In the Dáil, in rectories/bishop’s palaces, in shops, on farms and all over the land.

          • Nathanael

            Hopefully all recieve greater healing in Christ. Love always, in Christ.

        • Mari Tatlow Steed

          Actually, yes we do Fred. There are fourteen infants listed on the Tuam names list of infants whose death certs were pulled who died from marasmus (acute malnutrition) under the age of one year. Yes, Jesus would want the truth…certainly not you constantly quoting the flawed McAleese report.

  • bzelbub

    The line is “if it bleeds it leads”. It is always easier for news organizations to write a lurid by-line as opposed to print the facts, if you doubt that you haven’t watched any stories on FOX News or read any stories put out by the NRA in the last 10 years.
    Sometimes newscasters/news-print writers and the internet commentaries just point to the fact that the “NEWS” doesn’t always hire the brightest bulbs. You should probably wait a couple of weeks for a story to be sourced; before automatically believing all news outlets are automatically anti-catholic. It is easier to say a small prayer and wait for God, to deliver the correct answer.

    • fredx2

      So if they reported that you threw 800 babies into a septic tank (false) , and you enslaved thousand of girls at the Magdalen laundries (false) , and that Pope Pius XII was a Nazi supporter (false) , and that Pope Benedict XVI was a Hitler Youth (false) , and that you refused to baptize babies of unwed mothers (false) , and that you had a policy that unwed mothers babies could not be baptized (false) or they made a movie about you called Philomena that said that you stole babies from Irish mothers and sold them to rich americans, (false)

      You would say “That’s OK, let us wait a bit and see if they are really anti-bzelbub, because the news media does not hire the brightest people?

      After all, if it bleeds it leads, therefore it is OK for them to keep reporting false stories about you?

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Fred, see above comment. Thousands of girls and women WERE enslaved in Magdalene Laundries. Being held against your will, locked in, forced to endure punishments such as hair-shaving, and required to perform commercial work for no pay or pension are, by definition, both slavery and abuse. You really need to read beyond the very flawed McAleese report. Try the actual testimonies that weren’t included in his report at These are redacted (at survivors’/submitters’ request) and run 175 pages. The actual unredacted testimonies given to Senator McAleese ran over 700 pages.

  • TruthBeTold

    It doesn’t matter that they offered an apology because they succeeded in doing what they intended to do; smear the Catholic Church.

    Nuns and priests are evil and Abbyes and orphanages were nothing but covers for child abuse and child murders.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this news story was actually a tie in to the film “Philomena”.

    • Hey, that’s a pretty distinct avatar. It almost forces people to read your comment…lol.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      I can assure you there is no tie-in. But thanks for trying to besmirch the truth even further.


    Rod Dreher should apologize as well, for his usual hystericaly anti-catholic commentary of this bogus story.

    • Jim Kramer

      Fat chance. As much as I dislike Jonah Goldberg he nailed Rod Dreher’s emotionalism and status anxiety to a t in his review of crunchy cons.


        I’ll have to go back and look it up. I suspect that Goldberg’s motive may have more to do with the Crunchy’s anti-war proclivities.

  • Sygurd Jonfski

    When the Catholic Church is concerned, the media see no need to chase after the truth, they just fall into the easy anti-Catholic cliches. Don’t expect objective reporting in this area. In any case, the majority of the media don’t report anymore, they brainwash and indoctrinate.

  • Courdeleon02

    Anti Catholic Bigots at the AP.

    • fredx2

      Regarding the below video posted by Shawn:

      This appears to be one of the news stories about the Magdalen laundries. The government investigation on the Magdalen laundries found that:

      “ii. Physical abuse

      33. A large majority of the women who shared their stories with the Committee said that they had neither experienced nor seen other girls or women suffer physical abuse in the Magdalen Laundries.

      34. In this regard, women who had in their earlier lives been in an industrial or reformatory school drew a clear distinction between their experiences there and in the Magdalen Laundries, stating clearly that the widespread brutality which they had witnessed and been subjected to in industrial and reformatory schools was not a feature of the Magdalen Laundries.”

      Note that the church took these poor women in when society abandoned them. Rather than being “forced to give up their babies” as is alleged, they were, from the moment they entered the place, told that they would be giving the baby up for adoption. That was their choice, They could either pay 100 pounds for this, or work for a year. Remember this was a poor country during the depression and world war II. Times were hard, medicine was scarce. Since many were poor, they chose the work for a year option.

      Furthermore, it was not just a home for unwed mothers. 20% of the girls who went there had been convicted of a crime. Others came from reformatory schools. Some were psychiatric patients referred from other state agencies.

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Fred, that “government inquiry” was not a fully independent, statutory commission, as called for by the UN Committee Against Torture. It was led by Martin McAleese (a then-sitting Irish Senator), whose only remit was to find State complicity in the Laundries, which it did. Other evidence they collected was anecdotal, incomplete, not compelled under law and omitted vast amounts of actual testimony – not only from survivors, but from paid workers, medical professionals, police, outside vendors and others. McAleese’s report has and continues to be contested and critiqued (by the UN, other human rights orgs, and Irish law fims), and found sorely lacking. It is by no means a true narrative of what occurred in the Laundries. I would hardly hold that report up as a paragon of “truth”. The UN has made several follow-up attempts to urge the Irish government to conduct a fully statutory investigation. This latest Commission established by Minister Charlie Flanagan may actually address that. So again, I urge Patheos readers and bloggers to actually do a bit more investigative work, instead of relying on flawed reports and other blogs spouting similar opinions, rather than hard facts. You weren’t there, so it’s disingenuous at best to hijack and twist the narrative of actual survivors and others who witnessed their treatment.

        • Iwishyouwell

          He’s been copying and pasting that quoted section everywhere for weeks now. I doubt he could find Ireland on a map if his life depended on it.

          Typical bullying Patheos Catholic – no one is allow their experiences, their stories, if they don’t support the Patheos narrative. So much easier to ignore inconvenient people, so much easier to pretend they don ‘t exist, or to deny them their humanity, than to have their little bubble burst.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            Thanks, I hear you! But I cannot allow such copy/pasta to go unchallenged, however futile among Patheos apologists. So yes, hands up: how many of you here were actually born in Ireland, regularly read the Irish newspapers of note, and were aware of mother-baby homes before 2002?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            [Sound of crickets chirping]

            So I’ll take that as a resounding no – that no one posting here had any clue that mother-baby homes existed in Ireland until they read the Tuam coverage.

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        “Society abandoned them…” is a common, but incorrect, phrase we often hear from the uneducated on the topic. A society which had been conditioned and taught by the Catholic Church to shame and shun their daughters is more precise. Chicken/egg. It may interest you to know that before the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Brehon Law prevailed. And under that law, a non-marital child held the same rights as a marital child to inheritance, clan leadership, etc. Likewise, the mother of a non-marital child was required to be cared for by the father, for life. Women had no other choice, so to imply so is incredibly cruel and incorrect. Reproductive rights? Perish the thought. Birth control? Strictly prohibited by the Church. A choice to parent? Women in Ireland, right up until the 1970’s, could not let a flat or hold a decent job if they weren’t married and had a child. Go to England? Sure, and be dragged right back by the CPRSI, under a scheme in which the Irish and UK governments colluded to pay the boat fare for such women. Some choices, eh? Moreover, women like my mother, who had lived her entire life in the “care” of the nuns (she doesn’t describe it in such rosy terms), enduring the full trifecta of industrial school, Magdalene Laundry and mother-baby home, hadn’t a clue what sex was, let alone what a man was capable of. Many women were the victims of rape and incest. If it lets you sleep at night believing this nonsense, that women and their non-marital children were not marginalised members of Irish society, or as Taoiseach Enda Kenny rightly said just a week ago, ‘considered a sub-species’, then you go right on with your deluded self. The rest of us will try to make tomorrow better for our daughters and granddaughters, and maybe even improve the Church along the way. I believe that is what Jesus would want.

  • Shawn
  • Aaron Herald

    The almost gleeful willingness of of so many to accept the initial reporting at face value troubles me nearly as much as the libel itself.

    • fredx2

      Right now they are trying to get gay marriage passed in Ireland. So anything they can do to lower the moral authority of the church is being done.

  • waltinseattle

    “remains…IF ANY” somebody explain this to me: “without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any.”

  • Ray_Van_Dune

    It is also impossible to say how many truthful statements the AP utters per year, if any.

  • Don

    The rate of stillbirths at that time could easily account for any infant remains at the home. Unfortunately, many jumped to the worst possible interpretation of the evidence available. Let us pray for those who see evil where it does not exist while ignoring evil where it runs rampant.

    • Meg

      They were in a cyst pool. If they were natural deaths why a cyst pool? Would you dump your infant’s body in the sewer?

      • Matthew

        “Was the burial site, in fact, not a “septic tank” as AP reported, but a cylindrical brick burial chamber, common in Ireland at the time?”

        It was reported as a septic tank. It might not have been a septic tank and thus they weren’t “dumping the infant’s body in the sewer.”

      • Biff Spiff

        “without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any.” Furthermore, the structure might not have been a septic tank to begin with.

      • fredx2

        No, they were not in a cess pool. See how badly the media has misinformed you?

        They were in a large concrete container that at one time was used as a cess pool. They needed to put diseased bodies in a concrete enclosure at the time, because they thought that disease would get into the ground water if they did not. So, they CONVERTED the old cess pool into a burial vault. They were awfully poor, and did not have the luxuries we all now have. So they converted what they had.

        In fact, some news reports reported that it was an old, disused WATER tank that had been used.

        The only reason that some think that it was a septic tank is that they have old maps of the area, and some maps show that the old poorhouse that was there before the nuns took over had a large septic tank in that area. But no one really KNOWS anything at this point.

        So no, they were not in the sewer. But that is what the media wanted you to believe.

        • celticbro

          So what you’re trying to say is that it was a converted cesspit and somehow that makes it right?? You really are in complete denial of the facts.

      • Don

        Hi Meg, A burial chamber is an appropriate resting place for those who died at the home. It may look like a cess pool. Would it be just as shocking if the remains were found in graves somewhere on the grounds. Note that the Associated Press has recanted its rush to judgment. Why are AP readers so hungry for claims that cast blame on the Catholic Church. Does their willingness to quickly believe, reveal something about themselves that needs attention. God Bless,

        • TrustNoOne

          Because Christianity as a whole has to be destroyed. It is the only way that the west can work through the dissonance of its past.
          Sadly most of the dissonance they are feeling is actually false guilt anyway.
          That is comparative guilt. There is a silly side shuffle going on in belief of human nature. So much complexity yet it is all being made simple so people can deal with it.
          If you take the church away from history the belief is that the white men would have been pure and lovely like all the other pre western empire infected peoples were. The only reason any wars happen today are because of the western empires existence and that existence is, but remember at the same time not, a reflection, expression, and consequence of Christianity.
          Fascinating when you actually look at what is being believed, said and what reality is being worked out of.
          While denying any positive influence to human nature to the church or Christianity, they also claim that naturally human nature is pure. So the noble savage model proves.
          Buddhism is held in higher regard. The dali larma a hero. Yet the funniest thing is most people don’t even know the history of Buddhism.
          I find it fascinating that even the catholic church has preached that human nature is good. That is good in terms of Christianity, now mistakenly assumed to be the teachings, beliefs, and real practices, of eastern religions, noble savages and pagans.
          It is sad that the only empire in history that still exists has been more deconstructed than any other. Yet if one dared to do that same deconstruction to any other civilisation what would be the results?
          It is even sadder to know that the catholic church has foolishly played right into the hands of this propaganda. While trying to be relevant it has actually lost all relevancy. The current Pope is good. But not good enough so feminists say. The problem is that he, like those before him, brought into the whole human as good, angelic, unicorn rainbow farting model. Utopian ideals of progressive order of civilisation and the evolution of man towards a higher being. Now of course dismissed in science. But still the effects of that long taught scientific ideal has left its mark on the church and society as a whole. The church should never try and be relevant. That is not its function.

        • Iwishyouwell

          What does your need to cover up the truth and cast aspersions on those of us who lived these stories have to say about you? What are you hiding that you’re so afraid will be uncovered, eh?

      • Mari Tatlow Steed

        Meg, Fred’s reply is as correct as the “mainstream media” reports he so laments. You see, he is not Irish, has likely never set foot there or if he did, it was only as a ‘Plastic Paddy’ tourist, admiring the ‘Quiet Man’ site in Cong – not visiting Tuam, which would be mere kilometres away. Neither has he any personal experience or historical knowledge of the mother-baby homes. So in a way, he’s like poor, deluded Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, prattling away and writing “authoritatively” about things like the Magdalene Laundries or giving birth to a non-marital child in Ireland. You know, talking about things they know nothing about.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      Stillbirth deaths were not required to be registered in Ireland until the 1970’s. The Tuam death certs (796 of them) all involved children who were live births up through age 9. But sure, don’t be bothered to do any actual research or ask someone who has. The names, ages and causes of death were all published in three papers last week, with the approval of the General Records Office in Ireland (a publication I’m not personally or ethically comfortable with, but death records are public). Perhaps if you all weren’t whingeing about the AP and early reporting of the story, you’d more wisely spend your time in the more reasoned follow up and wider story behind Tuam.

  • giles23

    All news outlets worldwide get their ‘news’ from 2 sources alone; AP and Reuters. That’s it. Yes, even Fox and CNN and MSNBC and BBC…all of them. Question all ‘news’, it shouldn’t automatically assumed to be true.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      Do they, now? Funny, Al Jazeera, BBC and ABC directly contacted and interviewed those of us who have researched and documented the actual wider history of the mother-baby homes, and are continuing to follow the story. Still waiting for someone from Patheos to do the same…

  • ohio granny

    MSM never have to correct incorrect stories if they portray Christians/Catholics, Israel, conservatives or republicans in a bad light. That is why no one should believe much of what is printed or said by any of the major MSM organizations.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      Christians/Catholics, Israel, conservatives and Republicans do a pretty good job of hamstringing themselves, unfortunately. All that talk about ‘traditional family values’ and then they go do the exact opposite. Unfortunately, that hypocritical behaviour tends to land in the press. Don’t want it to? Then don’t preach “Christian values” while doing things that are distinctly not Christ-like. There’s your answer. Or as my mother would say, “Never do anything that would land you on the front page of the New York Times.”

  • fredx2

    Note the rampant Anti-Catholicism demonstrated by the things they got wrong – this reporter was a person with an agenda against the church – and his editors looked over his work and published it.

    He desperately wanted to prove that the Catholic church was a very, very mean organization that had no kindness at all and routinely treated people badly. And so, he reported, without any basis whatsoever:

    “…that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms”. He reported this because he wanted you to believe that Catholics are strict, mindless, heartless people who would treat unwed mothers as if they were dirt.

    “that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. ”

    Again, the whole reason he reported things this way was because he wanted us to believe the Church was heartless – any decent reporter or editor would have checked to find out what the beliefs of a church are before reporting on them.

    And they just printed what a researcher believed, not what actually happened. but they wanted to get in the part about it being a septic tank, because they wanted to drive home the supposed heartlessness of the church.

    This is politically motivated reporting. The editors should have caught it – both the reporter and editor would have been fired if this were the old days when news organizations had standars. They don’t anymore.

    • Barbaranne

      An Irish Sister of Mercy forced my underpants down at convent school when I was 5 years old.

      • TrustNoOne

        piss off

  • Mari Tatlow Steed

    And yet funny, no one from Patheos has reached out to talk to adoption rights advocacy orgs in Ireland about the wider, deeper truth behind Tuam and the dozens of other mother-baby homes that flourished in Ireland. It’s a truth we’ve lived, researched and promoted for more than twenty years. And it’s been well-covered by reputable journalists in the Irish Examiner, Times, Independent and others. Sure, perhaps the AP, Fox, Mail jumped the gun. But I certainly haven’t seen anyone from Patheos truly doing any digging. Just ad hominem discussion on Facebook? We’re waiting…

    • TrustNoOne

      They don’t need to make any truth statements. Innuendo, implication, and alarm is all that is needed to ruin someones reputation. Then just leave and claim you didn’t do anything but tell the ‘truth’. That is how any gossip works. Vindictive people. Or just people who have believed the rubbish. While the church sat silent in shame, and the west did that same, stil is doing the same. No more strength. No more reality. Just some sense of trying to be the unicorn who farts rainbows. The church and the west as a whole needs to wake up and, yes admit what went wrong, but that is a western notion, implicit to our thinking because of the church, ironic, but also to look at what is happening and stop allowing silly nonsense to pass for legit ideology or theology. While the church is trying to overcompensate for some sort of lack of compassion, the west is the same, and trying to hold to an ideal no other nation on earth has been required ot meet. That does not mean that people were not immensely hurt. But that hurt cannot destroy the world.

  • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

    We better pray and take these attacks against the Church seriously because they seem to be increasing and frankly I don’t see them declining.

    Catholics need to stand firm and to immediately correct any calumnies and vicious lies thrown against the Church and her Teachings.

    • Mari Tatlow Steed

      Attacks or exposing the truth? So you were there then, right? You had a mother who suffered in a Magdalene Laundry for ten years, or lost a child to be trafficked for adoption? Yes, pray that the Church finally wakes up to the errors of its ways, before it destroys itself. If it were so rock-solid, no amount of scurrilous reporting would cause rational-thinking Catholics to run screaming from the pews. But they are – in vast numbers. So good luck with all that praying and keeping your head firmly in the sand, and your fingers in your ears, screeching, “La la la la la…I can’t hear you!” as loudly as you can. Sure, that’ll save the Church.

      • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm


        • Iwishyouwell

          If you know this is a lie, then please, by all means, contact authorities in Ireland and hand over your evidence. Until then, the only one lying is you.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            WRONG AGAIN.

            It is you who needs to calm down and wait for all the evidence to come out before you point fingers and attack the Church.

          • Iwishyouwell

            I’m very calm, I am waiting for the investigations to be completed, and I am aware of the existing facts to date, as you clearly are not.

            You are telling Mari Tatlow Steed that she is lying. What is your evidence that her story is not true?

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            She is lying the Church will never destroy itself and neither will it be destroyed.
            Christ promised it.

            Many people exaggerate and lie about the Church, they have done the same thing with the sexual abuse cases.

            Many of the so called victims have been proven that they have lied.

            You say you are all calm down then prove it and shut up.

            You are picking fights and yet neither do you have any evidence to what Mari Tatlow Steed is saying is true.

            Not even the Media has got it right and the proof that they are lying is the headline of the article:

            “Associated Press Apologizes for Its Coverage of the Irish Orphanage Story”

          • Iwishyouwell

            Christ didn’t limit his church to the Catholic Church.

            Again, you make specious claims with no evidence. Please give us your evidence for what you assert. You claim people exaggerate and lie — if you know this to be a fact, what’s your evidence?

            You don’t get to silence people you don’t agree with. If you insist on silencing other people, you look like you have something to hide.

            The headline of this piece (it’s not an article, dear) is not proof of anything, and even the author herself admits _she_ got it wrong because the AP did not apologize at all.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            Christ founded ONE CHURCH NOT MANY CHURCHES.

            There is over 40,000 thousand Protestant sects ALL claiming to be the true Church Christ founded on earth.

            How ridiculous is that.

            Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus
            Fourth Lateran Council (1215): “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.”

            I told you to shut up because you said that you are calm.

            I don’t have to prove anything to you the truth always comes out and time and time again it has been proven that the Media and many who are enemies of the Catholic Church end up saying lies and calumnies about her.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Um, I’m not the one who is screaming at people, lol! That would be you.

            There are many followers of Christ all the world over. They’re not all Catholics.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            I am not screaming idiot!

            I love typing in caps because they are better to emphasize a point.

            You don’t go out much do you??

            Many people are using caps now, it doesn’t mean they are screaming.

            Yes they are many followers of Christ around the world BUT it doesn’t mean they are right in what they believe about him.
            Much less can they claimed they follow and do what he teaches.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Um, yeah, in comboxes, it means you’re screaming. And no one else uses caps. Just you. Plus, you call people “idiot”, which doesn’t really support your claim that you’re calm.

            No, not all who claim the name “Christian” follow Christ’s message. As is evidenced by the treatment of woman and children at the hands of Catholic clergy and religious all over this world. Thank you for making my point for me.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            I have never said I am calm BUT you were the one who said was calm.


            I called you idiot because that is what you are.

            I don’t follow combox rules many people don’t follow them either, so don’t make a big deal out of it.

            I am a Catholic and I do follow Christ that is why I confronted your lies. After all Christ died for the truth.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Honey, you’re the one accusing others of not being calm, telling them to shut up, calling them idiots and screaming at them in all-caps. That’s you. Not anyone else.

            You’re the one insisting that everyone else is lying, yet offering no evidence for your claims. You’re the one saying the title to a blog piece is “proof” of…something.

            That’s you. All you. 100% you. No one else.

            What lies? Again, you say you’ve confronted “my lies” — well, what lies, and what’s your evidence? You make a lot of specious claims, have lots ot childish tantrums and call names, but you have zero evidence of anything at all.

            Yes, Christ died for all of us. Not just you. Get over yourself and stop telling Christ who He’s allowed to have a relationshiop with. It’s not up to you.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            Who are you to ask me for evidence?????

            Even if I were to give you evidence and I have done research on different false claims and attacks against the Church, you still would not believe it.

            I have provided you with evidence and called you a liar because that is what you are Christ founded ONLY ONE CHURCH NOT MANY CHURCHES and you still don’t want to accept it.

            I have not denied that I called you an idiot I’ll say it again YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

            lt doesn’t make me a bad Christian calling what you truly are an idiot woman who is picking fights.
            Go find something useful to do instead.

            And yes Christ died for all of us BUT that doesn’t mean everyone will be saved or will accept His teaching.

            You don’t understand theology and yet you are here trying to teach me. You need help.

            And don’t call me honey instead go take your medication you need it.

          • Iwishyouwell

            Who am I to ask you for evidence? The person you are insisting is lying, is who.

            You’ve provided no evidence whatsover for anything at all. Please look up “evidence” in the dictionary.

            I suggest you familiarize yourself with John 10:16.

            Yep, there ya go screaming “idiot” at people and hyperventilating with all your doubletriplequadruple exclamation points, lol. You’re funny.

            Yeah, actually, your actions and words portray you as a particularly lousy Christian.

            And if you’re so concerned with my “picking fights”, then don’t respond to me. Duh. Do I really have to point that out to you?

            I understand all sorts of “theology”, lol. I’m not sure you even know what the word means.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            I have confronted your false statements and lies like I said Christ died for the truth as a follower of Christ I am confronting your lies.

            You are not seeing me then how can you say I am hyper ventilating? I am used to dealing with people like you who hate the Church and come up with all kinds of lies and then when confronted they do what you do they want evidence then the evidence is provided and they don’t accept it.

            Go ahead and think whatever you want you are a nobody and I don’t have to prove anything to you.

            In fact you are boring me.

          • Iwishyouwell

            What exactly are my “false statements and lies”?

            You’re just screaming more ignorant rants and claiming that this is what Catholicism teaches you to do — scream at people and call them names, and make specious claims you can’t back up. Okay. I’ll buy it. Not a surprise to me this is what the Church teaches, lol.

            Where’s this evidence you’ve presented? You keep saying this but you haven’t presented any evidence of anything at all. Where is it? Show me.

            i’m boring you? Good. Go away then. Walk your talk, for once. How refreshing that would be!

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            You are lying again I am not screaming.
            You are lying about the Church and about claims being made without there really being any proof of what happened in that orphanage and those babies.

            You are also lying about Christ teaching He ONLY FOUNDED ONE TRUE CHURCH NOT MANY.

            I owed you no explanations or evidence so stop asking for it go do your own research like I told you BEFORE I have provided evidence YOU STILL WILL NOT ACCEPT IT.

            Do you think I will waste my time giving you evidence so you come up with more absurdities??

            Get real people like you don’t want evidence you want to destroy and come up with another number of barbarities to say.

          • Iwishyouwell

            I didn’t claim anything as evident other than that there are remains at that site, based on eyewitness testimony and local police testimony. So I’m not the one lying here — you are.

            I’m not saying Christ said anything about founding any churches at all. Again, that’s all you. I’m saying that Christ’s church consists of those who follow Christ’s message.

            I have done my own research, which is why I know you’re just screaming nonsense at me.

            You keep screaming that you’ve given me evidence, yet there is no evidence of anything in any of your comments. Please quote them.

            You seem to have an awul lot of time to waste….just sayin’. But don’t let me keep you from something else.

            No, actually, I really, really, really would like some evidence. Seriously.

            Also, now you accuse me of saying barbarities, whatever that means. Explain your accusation and provide evidence for it, please.

          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            No I will not provide you with anything.
            You are wrong when you say Christ’s Church consist of those who follow His message.

            Christ founded only one Church and that is the Catholic Church and the only way to truly follow Him is to follow the Catholic Church and Her Teachings.

            So yes you are lying.


          • Iwishyouwell

            Well, I guess you’re not in agreement with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, then.


          • Deoacveritatimyfaithsustainsm

            Ohh I am in agreement with the Catechism of the Catholic Church alright BUT NOT with your interpretation of it.

          • Iwishyouwell

            No, you clearly don’t understand it, if you’ve even read it in the first place.

            You have shown me what you believe. You have shown me your interpretation of Christianity. It’s appalling.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            When you use all capital letters, that’s considered screaming on the interwebs. Bless your heart, I guess you haven’t been online long?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            You have still provided no evidence to refute what either I or Iwishyouwell have stated as truth – our truth. Please either do provide such evidence (or links to it if you’ve published it somewhere else), or stop giving out. You’ve simply screeched one ad hominem attack after another.

          • Jim Robertson

            The question is: Did Christ exist?

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            I never said “the Church will destroy itself”. I do suggest that it is doing itself great harm by not owning up to the truths of the past, or only owning up in lip service. To truly heal and build a stronger church, the past and its truths must be acknowledged and addressed. Please try reading for content. I am not lying about any historical facts.

          • Mari Tatlow Steed

            We already have evidence – evidence that will be submitted to Minister Flanagan for the Commission of Inquiry. You must live in some sort of vacuum if you truly believe many of us haven’t been gathering evidence over the last twenty or more years. See, this is what happens when people living outside of Ireland chime in on things they don’t understand.

  • Jimmy Mithcell

    Too late. Another Catholic bogeyman has been created by the media. One of these days the MSM will get lost in the woods hunting down these Catholic mythical beasts. I hope it’s sooner than later

  • kathyschiffer

    A LITTLE REMINDER, folks. I’ve just had to delete one comment and blacklist the individual for obscenity. You may disagree with me, but this is a Clean Language Zone.

  • joe

    The owners of the home, and the Bishops of Ireland should sue the AP for bad press.

  • Kyle M

    The septic tank story was a disservice, but where are the 796 children buried at? The memorial markler site? The death records for the 796 children were found at the Tuam registry office, but no tangible, written burial records for the 796 dead children. Either the Bon Secours sisters (the nuns who ran the St. Mary’s Home) or the RCC have the burial records. If they have the burial records, then turn them over……
    If a detective went looking for even ten dead children, was given the death records and was told that no written burial records existed (or was given none) – but was told that a lovely memorial site marked the spot where all ten were supposedly buried at – you can bet that he, a prosector or a gov’t entity would have that site exhumed to see if any, some or all of the children were indeed buried there.

  • paulmoloney

    A blog from the “researcher”‘s daughter denying her mother has “restracted” anything.