800 babies buried in septic tank at catholic home for unmarried mothers
Posted by Mr DoctorE on June 5, 2014
Dublin (AFP) – Almost 800 babies and children were buried in a mass grave in Ireland near a home for unmarried mothers run by nuns, according to new research Wednesday which throws more light on the Irish Catholic Church’s troubled past.
Death records suggest 796 children, from newborns to eight-year-olds, were deposited in a grave near a Catholic-run home for unmarried mothers during the 35 years it operated from 1925 to 1961.
Historian Catherine Corless, who made the discovery, says her study of death records for the St Mary’s home in Tuam in County Galway suggests that a former septic tank near the home was a mass grave.
The septic tank, full to the brim with bones, was discovered in 1975 by locals when concrete slabs covering the tank broke up.
Until now, locals believed the bones mainly stemmed from the Great Irish famine of the 1840s when hundreds of thousands perished.
Thousands of unmarried pregnant women — labelled at the time as ‘fallen women’ — were sent to the homes to have their babies.
Steve Humphries’ Sex in a Cold Climate , a documentary denouncing the Magdalene Asylums, which were operated by Catholic nuns in Ireland for over 100 years, caused an uproar when it was televised in England in March 1998 as part of Channel Four’s Witness series. An estimated three million people watched the documentary, one of the highest figures ever recorded for the series. A help line was set up, which received calls from almost 450 women who had experienced abuse and trauma through the Magdalene Asylums and the Catholic Church. The documentary was blacklisted by the Irish network RTE and to this date has never been officially aired in Ireland.