This Associated Press video says about itself:
March to site of mass grave of babies who died at Catholic-run home in Ireland
(26 Aug 2018) Hundreds of people have marched through the town of Tuam, Ireland, reading aloud the names of an estimated 800 babies who died at a Catholic Church-run orphanage and home for unmarried mothers and were buried in a mass grave near a sewage area on the grounds.
The somber protesters read out: “Elizabeth Murphy, 4 months. Annie Tyne, 3 months. John Joseph Murphy, 10 months” and on and on.
They lit candles and placed hundreds of pairs of tiny shoes around a tiny white coffin to honour the babies.
Peter Mulryan lived at the orphanage for four years. He said that he didn’t know until recent years that he had a sister, who is probably buried in the mass grave.
Mulryan and Tuam survivors are seeking an apology from the pope, as well as a decision to exhume the children’s remains to give them a proper church burial.
Annette McKay, who organized Sunday’s march in the town of Tuam, said that her mother was born in Galway, Ireland, and that she got pregnant whe nshe was 17 years old.
She came to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, where she gave birth to a girl in 1942, but the baby died after six months of whooping coughs and measles.
Her mother didn’t tell her the story until she was 70 years old. She died two years ago without ever knowing the whereabouts of her dead baby girl.
The demonstrators were hoping to draw attention to the plight of the Tuam babies as Pope Francis visited a shrine town on Sunday.
“We’ve got nothing to say to the Catholic Church. We wanted it to be a silent rebuke, said McKay. “‘You should be here. But you’re not here. But we are here.”
Irish government-appointed investigators reported last year that DNA analysis of selected remains confirmed the ages of the dead ranged from 35 weeks to 3 years old and were buried chiefly in the 1950s. The Tuam home closed in 1961.
An amateur Irish historian, Catherine Corless, led to the discovery of the grave after she tracked down death certificates for nearly 800 children who had died as residents of the facility, but could find a burial record for only one child.
Another video from Ireland used to say about itself:
Tuam babies: Excavation of children’s burial ground to go ahead
3 March 2017
Memorial: site of the mass grave in Tuam; there are many other burial grounds in Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson.
A test excavation is set to take place at the site of a children’s burial ground in Tuam, Co Galway.The excavation was announced today by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation which is currently probing how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 18 State-linked religious institutions.
Excavation work will begin from tomorrow and last for approximately five weeks, it said. A sample of the site will be excavated by a team of specialist archaelogists lead by a Forensic Archaelogist. Works are taking place with the full co-operation of An Garda Sochna, the Commission stated.
It said the purpose of the excavation is to resolve a number of queries that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has in relation to the interment of human remains at this location. This excavation will focus on timeline and stratigraphy. A fraction of the site will be excavated through test trenches, the location of which have been informed by a Geophysical Survey carried out at the site in October 2015, it said.
An excavation team has been engaged by the Commission under the conditions of confidentiality and will not answer any queries on this work or any other aspects of the Commission’s work. Residents and local groups are being informed of the impact of the planned excavation with assistance from Tuam Garda Station.
The Commission is grateful to the Garda and Galway County Council, the owners of the site, for their assistance. Neither is in a position to answer questions on this or any other aspects of the Commission’s work, it added.
Speaking at the site today, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said the work carried out by Catherine Corless on the Tuam home had been significant is setting up the inquiry. She said she had met the Commission on a number of occasions and had received an interim report into the matter. I have met the Commission a couple of times now and I do believe they have taken a very very serious approach to their work, she said.
Referencing the large number of people who have come forward to give evidence, Ms Zappone said: I do feel in terms of the job they were given its much bigger than they had anticipated but in terms of my meetings with them they are the people who bring the experience with them in order to do the best job possible, she said. Minister Zappone said the Commission had clearly explained it was on target to deliver the final report by February 2018.
Next time right-wing Roman Catholics attack women’s reproductive rights, claiming to be ‘pro-life’ …
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Mass grave of children discovered at former Irish home
In Ireland, forensic investigators have found ‘a large amount’ of remains of infants on the site of a former Roman Catholic home for unwed mothers.
The government in Dublin ordered three years ago to investigate the soil around the former home in the western Irish city Tuam, after a historian had found evidence of a mass grave. She investigated the birth and death records. A remarkable number of very young children in the home died between 1925 and 1961; probably about 800 children.
The remains found are of fetuses from 35 weeks old to three-year-olds, possibly victims of neglect. They were in twenty subterranean rooms of the home which at that time was run by nuns of the Order of Bon Secours.
The official slogan of that religious order is ‘Good Help to Those in Need’. It seems to have been mostly helping babies to early deaths.
Irish girls and women who got pregnant while unmarried were sent then to such homes to give birth there. In strict Catholic Ireland it was a disgrace to the woman and her family if she had become pregnant outside of marriage. Biological fathers may also have been better off with the mothers out of sight.
In the thirties, forties and fifties of the last century, the mortality rate among children of unwed mothers was more than five times as high as among children of married parents. On average one in four children born outside marriage died.
At the first indications of the mass grave in 2014, the Archbishop of Dublin said that “if something happened” in Tuam, then that was also likely to apply to a number of other mother-and-child homes from that era. The committee which was set up by the government is also investigating seventeen other institutions run by the Catholic Church.
The Irish Roman Catholic Church had to deal in recent years with a long series of scandals involving child abuse and neglect in the past.
The Irish Minister for Youth Affairs Zappone has called the news about the mass grave “sad and disturbing”. The inquiry will consult with local authorities what to do with the remains.
SECRECY REMAINS OVER IRELAND’S MOTHER AND BABY HOMES The day after Michael O’Flaherty was born, his mother tried to see him. But, she told him, she was stopped by a nun who told her, ‘Go mind your own business, your baby is gone.’ The nuns didn’t forbid O’Flaherty’s mother from seeing her newborn son again, they just didn’t tell her who her baby was, or that he was in the same building. [CNN]
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