18 children died of hunger at Tuam mother and baby home

June 15, 2014 Comments Off on 18 children died of hunger at Tuam mother and baby home

18 children died of hunger at Tuam mother and baby home


Details are emerging of the horrific stories behind some of the 796 deaths at the Tuam mother and baby home – where 18 children died of hunger.

12 of the 18 who starved were girls and there is a suspicion that some were mentally retarded.

One child wasn’t even given a name by the Bons Secours nuns who ran the Tuam home.

The youngest child to die was recorded as just ‘10 minutes old’ while the oldest was eight, a girl who had lived all her life in the home until measles killed her.

Bridget Agatha Kenny was two months old when she died as a result of marasmus, child malnutrition, on August 23, 1947. She is described as having been ‘mentally defective.’

She was one of 18 children whose cause of death was listed as child malnutrition or the official term “marasmus.”

Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition characterized by energy deficiency.

A child with marasmus looks utterly emaciated with ribs protruding.

Body weight is reduced to less than 60% of the normal body weight for the age….

The children were crammed into communal nurseries where contagious diseases ran unchecked according to the report….


800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.

June 8, 2014 Comments Off on 800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.

800 dead babies are probably just the beginning
The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.
By Martin Sixsmith June 6
Martin Sixsmith’s book, Philomena, published by Penguin Books, was adapted for the screen last year.

The discovery of a grave containing the remains of as many as 800 babies at a former home for unmarried mothers in Ireland is yet another problem for the Irish Catholic Church. The mother and baby home at Tuam in County Galway was run by the nuns of the Sisters of Bon Secours and operated between 1925 and 1961. It took in thousands of women who had committed the “mortal sin” of unwed pregnancy, delivered their babies and was charged with caring for them. But unsanitary conditions, poor food and a lack of medical care led to shockingly high rates of infant mortality. Babies’ bodies were deposited in a former sewage tank….

During 10 years of research into the Catholic Church’s treatment of “fallen women” — I wrote about one of them in my book, Philomena, later turned into a feature film starring Dame Judi Dench — I discovered that the girls were refused medical attention, including painkillers, during even the most difficult births; the nuns told them the pain was the penance they must pay for their sin. In the home where Philomena gave birth, an unkempt plot bears the names of babies and mothers, some as young as 15. There are undoubtedly many more there who have no memorial.

For those who survived, the psychological trauma has endured. Philomena and thousands like her were forced to look after their babies for up to four years, bonding with them before they were taken away to be adopted. Many went to families in the United States in return for substantial “donations”; lack of proper vetting meant some were handed over to abusive parents. The mothers were told they were moral degenerates, too sullied to keep their babies. The nuns said they would burn in hell if they spoke to anyone about their children or what had been done with them….

The warped code of honour behind the decades of silence had been inculcated by an all-powerful Catholic Church. For much of the late 20th century, the Irish civil authorities were in thrall to the hierarchy; Archbishop John Charles McQuaid threatened pulpit denunciations if the government contradicted his policies. So the state connived in the mother and baby homes, paying the nuns at Tuam and all the other homes a per capita rate for every inmate….

Mass grave at Galway home not the only one, 800 babies ‘in septic tank’

June 7, 2014 Comments Off on Mass grave at Galway home not the only one, 800 babies ‘in septic tank’

Mass grave at Galway home not the only one, says Irish leader Kenny 
Sheila Langan June 06,2014

The mass grave of 796 children at a former home for unwed mothers and children in Tuam, Co. Galway is likely not the only one of its kind in Ireland, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said.

A government investigation launched in wake of the shocking discovery will focus on all of the former so-called ‘mother and baby homes’ in Ireland, it was announced yesterday.

Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan is organizing a group of senior officials who will advise the government on the scope of investigation required and the best course of action at the end of the month.

Speaking from the US, where he is currently on a trade mission, Kenny said that Flanagan and his committee would determine “whether this is an isolated [incident] or whether there are others around the country that need to be looked at” and to “decide what is the best thing to do in the interests of dealing with another element of our country’s past.”….

Many other homes for unwed mothers, their “illegitimate” children and other orphans operated in Ireland throughout the 1900s. There was Bessborough in Co. Cork, Sean Ross in Tipperary (where Philomena Lee had her son), and Castlepollard in Westmeath – all run by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The mortality rates at these homes were far higher than the national average, the Irish Examiner recently reported, ranging from 30% – 50% between 1930 and 1945.

There were Protestant mother and baby homes too, such as the Bethany Home in Dublin, where a similar scandal took place. Between 1922 and 1949, close to 220 children died and were buried in an unmarked grave at Dublin’s Mount Jerome Cemetery. They were memorialized in 2010…..

Ireland shock over 800 babies ‘in septic tank’
Friday 06 June 2014
Ireland has been rocked this week as another horrific scandal linked to the Catholic church emerges in Galway, where a mass grave with the bodies of 800 children was uncovered.

….This week it was revealed that the site contained the remains of hundreds of children who died in the care of Bon Secours nuns between 1925 and 1961 and was not a famine grave as originally claims in the 70s.

The babies are believed to have been secretly buried at the home for unwed mothers, dubbed “fallen women”, which had an extraordinarily high infant mortality rates – with children dying of TB, pneumonia, measles and gastorenteritis.

A report from the institution in 1944 revealed emaciated childen, mothers suffering with mental health issues and overcrowding.

The Bon Secours sisters, a Roman Catholic organisation, began providing healthcare in Ireland in the 19th century and is now the country’s largest private healthcare provider.

The sisters said they were shocked and saddened by the reports, they ran 10 similar homes across Ireland and three of the others are believed to have plots with the remains of 3,200 babies and infants….

The case follows a series of scandals over abuse at institutions entrusted to the Catholic church in Ireland.

The Artane Industrial school case revealed how Christian brothers systematically neglected and abused orphans and boys from single parent families put into “state care” for decades.

Magdalen asylums, known as Magdalene laundries, ran in Ireland until 1996 with as many as 30,000 “fallen women” incarcerated, stripped of their identities and forced to carry out forced labour.

Women were locked up in abusive laundries for being sexually active outside marriage, having “illegitimate children” and some simply to safeguard their “moral purity”….

It found the entire system had treated children as prisoners and slaves, ignoring their rights and noted that some religious officials had encouraged ritual beatings – while protecting their own with a culture of secrecy.

Manslaughter claim in deaths of 800 children in Galway Home, Neglect and death, Bodies of 800 Babies Reportedly Found in Sewer Tank in Ireland

June 6, 2014 Comments Off on Manslaughter claim in deaths of 800 children in Galway Home, Neglect and death, Bodies of 800 Babies Reportedly Found in Sewer Tank in Ireland

Manslaughter claim in deaths of 800 children in Galway Home (VIDEO)
Cahir O’Doherty June 05,2014

An Irish politician has called what happened with the deaths of 800 children at a religious-run unmarried mothers home in Tuam in Galway between 1925 and 1961 “manslaughter.”

Hildegarde Naughton, a Fine Gael Senator from Galway, claimed in the Irish Senate that what had occurred at the mothers and babies home was in fact criminal.

The shocking revelation that 796 babies died and were buried in an unmarked grave in a septic tank in the mother and baby home in Tuam, County Galway continues to reverberate.

Calls for a full historical inquiry have now reached the higher echelons of the church.

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said the order of the Bon Secours sisters needed to address the issue, stating the archdiocese had nothing to do with the home when it was open…. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Manslaughter-claim-in-deaths-of-800-children-in-Galway-unwed-mothers-Home-VIDEO.html

Neglect and death of 800 kids in Galway happened in plain sight
Sheila Langan June 04,2014

The 796 infants and children buried in an unmarked mass grave in the septic tank behind St. Mary’s Mother and Baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway made headlines around the world after their shocking story broke last week.

But this is not the first time the Home and the ‘Home babies,’ as locals call them, have been in the news.

Following early reports on the research of Tuam historian Catherine Corless, who brought the story to light, Liam Hogan, a Limerick-based historian and librarian, began uncovering a trail of damning news clips dating from before the Home’s founding in 1925 to after its closure in 1961.

The articles show that the Home was very much a matter of both public and governmental knowledge. And the way in which they discuss the Home’s occupants (or “inmates” as they are more often referred to) makes clear the totally normalized disdain with which all the “illegitimate children” and “fallen women” were held.

The Tuam Children’s Home, it turns out, is a scandal that emerged from an even earlier scandal – The Glenamaddy Children’s Home, less than 20 miles away.

A June 1, 1924 article from the Connacht Tribune speaks of the ‘dire conditions’ at the Glenamaddy Home, a former workhouse that began housing orphans and unwed mothers in 1921, under the supervision of the Bon Secours nuns…. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/The-Home-babies-in-the-news-A-timeline-of-neglect-in-plain-sight.html

Bodies of 800 Babies Reportedly Found in Sewer Tank in Ireland
Thursday, Jun 5, 2014
New research suggests that some 796 children were secretly buried in the sewage tank of a home run by nuns in Tuam, Ireland, where unmarried pregnant women were sent to give birth in an attempt to preserve the country’s devout Catholic image, NBC News reported. People who lived near the home– run by nuns from the Bon Secours Sisters congregation between 1925 and 1961 — said they have known about the unmarked mass grave for decades, but a fresh investigation was sparked this week after research by a local historian purportedly showed that of the hundreds of children who died at the home, only one was buried at a cemetery. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/261955901.html

Galway historian reveals truth behind 800 orphans in mass grave

June 2, 2014 Comments Off on Galway historian reveals truth behind 800 orphans in mass grave

Galway historian reveals truth behind 800 orphans in mass grave 
Cahir O’Doherty June 01,2014
There is a growing international scandal around the history of The Home, a grim 1840’sa workhouse in Tuam in Galway built on seven acres that was taken over in 1925 by the Bon Secours sisters, who turned it into a Mother and Baby home for “fallen women.”

The long abandoned site made headlines around the world this week when it was revealed that a nearby septic tank contained the bodies of up to eight hundred infants and children, secretly buried without coffins or headstones on unconsecrated ground between 1925 and 1961.

Now a local historian has stepped forward to outline the terrible circumstances around so many lost little lives.

Catherine Corless, the local historian and genealogist, remembers the Home Babies well. “They were always segregated to the side of regular classrooms,” Corless tells IrishCentral. “By doing this the nuns telegraphed the message that they were different and that we should keep away from them….

Surrounded by an eight-foot high wall, Tuam, County Galway locals say that they saw little to nothing of the daily life of The Home or of the pregnant young mothers who arrived and left it without a word over the decades….

A local health board inspection report from April 1944 recorded 271 children and 61 single mothers in residence, a total of 333 in a building that had a capacity for 243.

The report described the children as “emaciated,” “pot-bellied,” “fragile” with “flesh hanging loosely on limbs.” The report noted that 31 children in the “sun room and balcony” were “poor, emaciated and not thriving.” The effects of long term neglect and malnutrition were observed repeatedly.

Children died at The Home at the rate of one a fortnight for almost 40 years, one report claims. Another appears to claim that 300 children died between 1943 and 1946, which would mean two deaths a week in the isolated institution….

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