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….
http://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/cahirodoherty/Galway-historian-reveals-truth-behind-800-orphans-in-mass-grave.html

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