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Bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers
Washington Post ^ | 6-3-14 | Terrence McCoy

Posted on 06/03/2014 10:14:36 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

In a town in western Ireland, where castle ruins pepper green landscapes, there’s a six-foot stone wall that once surrounded a place called the Home. Between 1925 and 1961, thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the Home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam.

Many of the women, after paying a penance of indentured servitude for their out-of-wedlock pregnancy, left the Home for work and lives in other parts of Ireland and beyond. Some of their children were not so fortunate.

More than five decades after the Home was closed and destroyed — where a housing development and children’s playground now stands — what happened to nearly 800 of those abandoned children has now emerged: Their bodies were piled into a massive septic tank sitting in the back of the structure and forgotten, with neither gravestones nor coffins.

“The bones are still there,” local historian Catherine Corless, who uncovered the origins of the mass grave in a batch of never-before-released documents, told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “The children who died in the Home, this was them.”

The grim findings, which are being investigated by police, provide a glimpse into a particularly dark time for unmarried pregnant women in Ireland, where societal and religious mores stigmatized them. Without means to support themselves, women by the hundreds wound up at the Home. “When daughters became pregnant, they were ostracized completely,” Corless said. “Families would be afraid of neighbors finding out, because to get pregnant out of marriage was the worst thing on Earth. It was the worst crime a woman could commit, even though a lot of the time it had been because of a rape.”

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: babies; evil; forgotten; ireland; septictank; unmarkedgraves; unwed
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Shades of "Philomena"!


1 posted on 06/03/2014 10:14:36 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Stillborn?


2 posted on 06/03/2014 10:17:08 AM PDT by Bogey78O (We had a good run. Coulda been great still.)
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To: Bogey78O

No. Read the article. Deprived diet and poor health practices.


3 posted on 06/03/2014 10:19:01 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
"Of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb 11:38).
4 posted on 06/03/2014 10:20:50 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: afraidfortherepublic

So this is the Christian alternative to abortion. Hm. Can’t say it looks like much of an improvement.


5 posted on 06/03/2014 10:23:11 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Nope, never happened, Catholic bashing, NANANANANANA I CAN’T HEAR YOU NANANANANANAN


6 posted on 06/03/2014 10:23:43 AM PDT by DManA
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To: Alex Murphy; metmom; daniel1212
run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam.

IBTUCOCCASTS!

7 posted on 06/03/2014 10:23:47 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: A_perfect_lady
So this is the Christian Roman Catholic alternative to abortion. Hm. Can’t say it looks like much of an improvement.

______________________________________________________________________

Fixed it for ya.

8 posted on 06/03/2014 10:26:29 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I would like to hear from children from “the Home” and clergy who worked there before I pass judgement. Infant and childhood mortality was quite high during this time, so 800 dead over many decades does not seem so over the top. As most orphanages are underfunded, especially during the Great Depression and War, they may have simply not had the resources for coffins.


9 posted on 06/03/2014 10:27:47 AM PDT by LambSlave
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To: PapaNew

We recently watched the movie, Philomena, performed by Judy Dench.
It’s like watching a documentary, seriously done, and profoundly moving. The theatre was very quiet as people left.


10 posted on 06/03/2014 10:31:21 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Nothing new:

She swore by grass, she swore by corn
Her true love had never been born
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

He said to her you’re swearing wrong
Six fine children you’ve had born
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If you be a man of noble fame
You’ll tell to me the father of them
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

There’s one of them by your brother John
At the well below the valley-o
One of them by your Uncle Don
At the well below the valley-o
Two of them by your father dear
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If you be a man of noble fame
You’ll tell to me what did happen to them
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

There’s one of them buried beneath the tree
At the well below the valley-o
Another two buried beneath the stone
At the well below the valley-o
Two of them outside the graveyard wall
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o....


11 posted on 06/03/2014 10:31:40 AM PDT by proxy_user
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To: A_perfect_lady
Not “Christian,” Catholic. If you’re going to be self righteous about it at least be accurate. Millions of catholics support abortion today. You know Nancy Pelosi, right?
12 posted on 06/03/2014 10:31:58 AM PDT by subterfuge (Hey NSA snoop, get a real job you idiot!)
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To: Gamecock

Acts of individuals do not define doctrine.

Don’t be such a clod.


13 posted on 06/03/2014 10:33:08 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: A_perfect_lady

BTW. You could use a new nic after your last comment.


14 posted on 06/03/2014 10:34:06 AM PDT by subterfuge (Hey NSA snoop, get a real job you idiot!)
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To: LambSlave
As most orphanages are underfunded, especially during the Great Depression and War, they may have simply not had the resources for coffins.

Some might think that if a coffin can't be afforded, there are other options than throwing the body into a septic tank. Maybe not, though.

15 posted on 06/03/2014 10:36:13 AM PDT by Bubba Ho-Tep ("The rat always knows when he's in with weasels"-- Tom Waits)
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To: DManA
Nope, never happened, Catholic bashing, NANANANANANA I CAN’T HEAR YOU NANANANANANAN

LOL

16 posted on 06/03/2014 10:38:24 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: A_perfect_lady

What did you think the Christian alternative to abortion was yesterday, before this bizarre and shocking and rare story from Europe?


17 posted on 06/03/2014 10:38:28 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: A_perfect_lady

The infant death rate in Ireland in the 30s was well over 20%. Given a troubled population, I woudn’t be surprised that in a well-run orphanage, it wasn’t far more than that. And Ireland was hardly exceptional. You’ll note that the estimate was not gotten through sorting through the bones, but by contacting the local authorities. You’ll also note most of these children were eventually adopted.

As a Catholic, the sickening thing to me was the disposal of the bodies: the poor treatment of the bodies despite Catholic beliefs makes it very easy to believe that their souls weren’t cared for while they were alive.


18 posted on 06/03/2014 10:38:44 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Alex Murphy

Your laughing in such a context is duly noted.


19 posted on 06/03/2014 10:39:30 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Ray76
We have long ago learned there is what Rome teaches and what Rome does.

Don’t be naive.

20 posted on 06/03/2014 10:39:42 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
My guess is infanticide.
21 posted on 06/03/2014 10:42:40 AM PDT by freerepublicchat
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To: A_perfect_lady

Seems as vicious as anything the primitive muslims do.


22 posted on 06/03/2014 10:43:53 AM PDT by Veto! (OpInions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: Gamecock

This is such a horror that it transcends sectarian bickering, but please recall that the Calvinists were WHY the Irish were in such destitution. To them, Swift’s “Modest Proposal” made lots of sense, because God hated them anyway.

Or did you forget that the potato famine was caused by the fact that the Irish had to rely on root vegetables because their Calvinist oppressors would burn everything that grew above ground? It’s not natural to be a one-crop people, but the Irish had only one crop they could survive on.


23 posted on 06/03/2014 10:43:59 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Gamecock

There’s no naivety in pointing out the obvious fallacy in your obnoxious comment.


24 posted on 06/03/2014 10:44:24 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

22 deaths a year. I do not know how many children were born or living there.

Articles states that 2 a week died. Not true according to these stats.


25 posted on 06/03/2014 10:52:07 AM PDT by Chickensoup (Leftist totalitarian fascism is on the move.)
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To: dangus

“I do blame the Catholic Church,” says Corless. “I blame the families as well but people were afraid of the parish priest. I think they were brainwashed. I suppose the lesson is not to be hiding things. To face up to reality.

“My fear is that if things aren’t faced now it’s very easy to slide back into this kind of cover-up again. I want the truth out there. If you give people too much power it’s dangerous.”

Living and dying in a culture of shame and silence for decades, the Home Babies’ very existence was considered an affront to Ireland and God.

It was a different time, some defenders argued this week, omitting to mention that the stigmatizing silence that surrounded The Home was fostered by clerics. Indeed the religious orders were so successful at silencing their critics that for decades even to speak of The Home was to risk contagion.

And now that terrifying era of shame and silence is finally lifting, we are left to ask what all their lonesome suffering was in aid of, and what did it actually achieve?

To donate to the memorial for the mothers and babies of The Home, contact Catherine Corless at catherinecorless@hotmail.com.

The quote, above, is from article. Is this the consequence of eating too many potatoes?


26 posted on 06/03/2014 10:58:39 AM PDT by WestwardHo
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To: Ray76
YOU WANT OBNOXIOUS?!? Here.

Deal with it.

27 posted on 06/03/2014 11:07:54 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: dangus

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. These girls were simply given over to reprobation and were obviously merely fulfilling the will of God.

Perhaps some folks here are under the delusion these Romanists had free will or something?

*cough cough*


28 posted on 06/03/2014 11:10:18 AM PDT by Claud
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To: Gamecock

You’re not worth the time, little man.


29 posted on 06/03/2014 11:11:18 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: Ray76

Whatever.

Go take the side of baby murderers.


30 posted on 06/03/2014 11:14:05 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

So much of Ireland’s history is such a sad tale....

Wow..


31 posted on 06/03/2014 11:15:27 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: WestwardHo

First, before I get accused of shifting blame, let me reiterate my first post, written before I read the Calvinist bilge:

“As a Catholic, the sickening thing to me was the disposal of the bodies: the poor treatment of the bodies despite Catholic beliefs makes it very easy to believe that their souls weren’t cared for while they were alive.”

But to answer your question:

Yes, actually, as a matter of fact, spending years eating only potatoes interspersed with nearly starving to death repeatedly does things to completely mess up your mind. Ireland is bonkers, less so than a few generations ago, but the spiritual and social damage done by the extreme poverty and oppression takes many generations to undo.

You think the shame and silence of Ireland comes from the Catholic Church? You haven’t been to Italy. It comes from not knowing what to say when you figure out that Uncle Tim and Aunt Mary probably ate Cousin Andrew because they had been driven mad with hunger... and yet you can’t really judge them because you know damned well the fact that Dad fed you well has more than a little to do with other people in your extended family dying.

And when you have priests listening to confessions like, “I murdered my little brother. I couldn’t control myself: I hate a whole potato; I had no idea he had a fever” you get a little bit of a thick skin to calling things evil. And thus, as the bible teaches, evil is handed down from generation unto generation.


32 posted on 06/03/2014 11:16:52 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

They were Calvinist oppressors by chance. By purpose they were the royal houses of Great Britain, who sought to end any chance of a Royal Irish challenge to their claims of total authority - as well as their claims of rightful authority.


33 posted on 06/03/2014 11:16:59 AM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

Largely true. I emphasized their Calvinism chiefly to refute the notion that evil belongs to one denomination or another. Although I find the notion that Calvinism has that Catholics are not Christians, and non-Christians deserve whatever terrible things happen to them tends to lead to many horrible forms of self-justification.


34 posted on 06/03/2014 11:22:00 AM PDT by dangus
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To: A_perfect_lady

Go look under the Vatican, then report back.


35 posted on 06/03/2014 11:24:49 AM PDT by Bulwyf
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To: A_perfect_lady

>> So this is the Christian alternative to abortion.

Existence is intrinsically evil — the Atheist provides no alternative.


36 posted on 06/03/2014 11:25:25 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gamecock

Yes, it’s no secret that under RC abbeys and churches and the Vatican are many remains of keeping the ruse of the celibacy of the priests and nuns. They just buried the evidence.


37 posted on 06/03/2014 11:25:57 AM PDT by Bulwyf
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The butter box babies of Nova Scotia: http://www.canadiancrc.com/Butterbox_babies.aspx

There is no depths to which the depraved human mind will not dig. On that, Calvin was correct!


38 posted on 06/03/2014 11:27:08 AM PDT by A Formerly Proud Canadian (I once was blind but now I see...)
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To: Chickensoup
Just go with the sensationalism.

Ignore facts like:

(1) Ireland, especially western Ireland, was grindingly poor from 1925-1961. Very few Irish were "well-nourished" by modern standards in those years.

(2) Infant mortality and childhood diseases were higher and more devastating now that they were then. There were no antibiotics. There was diphtheria, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever, and influenza, and whooping cough.

(3) Tuam was a rural area without electricity, modern plumbing, good roads, or modern health facilities.

(4) These children were abandoned by their families and raised in an understaffed orphanage for all intents and purposes.

Yet the reaction of people on this thread is: "Yo, why couldn't one of the sisters just pick up her iPhone and call the free clinic? All she needed to do was Uber an ambulance! And she should have gotten of FreshDirect and had some of those superhealthy Michelle Obama meals delivered!"

My great aunt grew up in Connaught in the 1930s. It was a third world country.

39 posted on 06/03/2014 11:27:59 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Gamecock
>> So this is the Christian Roman Catholic alternative to abortion

Sharing your unsolicited genius, I see.

40 posted on 06/03/2014 11:28:32 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gene Eric
Some people need it spelled out for them.
41 posted on 06/03/2014 11:30:17 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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To: Bulwyf

Really, Doctor of Medieval Archaeology? Pray, tell us which abbeys and churches hold such remains then. Sounds like you have a nice list of ‘em!


42 posted on 06/03/2014 11:30:59 AM PDT by Claud
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To: afraidfortherepublic

This is SO SAD! Humans are capable of such evil!


43 posted on 06/03/2014 11:34:15 AM PDT by buffyt (It is not a CHOICE, it is a CHILD OF GOD!)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Man. What a revolting story. By comparison, Philomena was lucky.

If there's anyone still alive responsible for this atrocity, they ought to be brought to trial.

44 posted on 06/03/2014 11:41:32 AM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: A_perfect_lady

“So this is the Christian alternative to abortion.”

You’re on the wrong website, for many reasons.

And quite limited and depraved in intelligence, knowledge or analytical skills.


45 posted on 06/03/2014 11:48:19 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: DManA

While many Democrats are generationally Catholic, it’s the Democrat that supports abortion defying the Church.

Regarding crimes against humanity, it wasn’t the Catholics in Nazi Germany that escalated the horrors.


46 posted on 06/03/2014 11:49:14 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gamecock

Your shift of “blame” to Roman Catholics is near as pathetic as the response about the “Christian alternative”.

I expect better from people who post here.

So do most, I’m sure. That’s why we come here.


47 posted on 06/03/2014 11:50:41 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: LambSlave

Your rationality is, I’m sure, not appreciated by many.

But keep at it. And thanks for presenting voice of reason and diligence.


48 posted on 06/03/2014 11:52:06 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: WestwardHo

You really think it’s not propaganda?


49 posted on 06/03/2014 11:52:36 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: ifinnegan

Read the article.


50 posted on 06/03/2014 11:54:08 AM PDT by Gamecock (#BringTheAdultsBackToDC)
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