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Thread: 800 Dead Babies Discovered in Septic Tank Of Home for Unwed Mothers

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Default 800 Dead Babies Discovered in Septic Tank Of Home for Unwed Mothers

    800 Dead Babies Discovered in Septic Tank Of Home for Unwed Mothers

    Mark Shrayber









    Police are investigating the discovery of 800 long-dead babies found in the septic tank at a home for unwed mothers in western Ireland. The Home (that is its actual name and, yes, it does sound freakishly ominous) housed thousands of pregnant and unwed — "fallen"— women between 1925 and 1961. The women left after they'd paid for their stay in indentured servitude. Their children, reports The Washington Post, may not have been so lucky.
    A housing development and playground now stand on the land where The Home once stood. And while many would like to forget the horrible things that went on there, the discovery of the 800 infants (and possibly more, once excavation starts) is dredging up many memories for the locals.
    "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."
    "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."
    There were many reasons children died at The Home. According to Corless, children died regularly of malnutrition and neglect. Others died "of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia." The survival rates of children at The Home were awful, and even if a child did survive, their existence was a painful one. Corless told The Washington Post that her research into The Home is a way to make amends for some of the ways the "Home Babies" were treated by their teachers and their classmates.
    "If you acted up in class, some nuns would threaten to seat you next to the Home Babies," she said. She said she recalled one instance in which an older schoolgirl wrapped a tiny stone in a bright candy wrapper and gave it to a Home Baby as a gift.
    "When the child opened it, she saw she'd been fooled," Corless told Irish Central. "Of course, I copied her later and I tried to play the joke on another little Home girl. I thought it was funny at the time…. Years after, I asked myself what did I do to that poor little girl that never saw a sweet? That has stuck with me all my life. A part of me wants to make up to them."
    Still, even Corless doesn't understand how the "Home Babies" who sometimes died at a rate of two per week were given such an awful end, stuffed into a septic tank and then left to be forgotten. Corless remembers that a group of teenagers stumbled upon the mass grave in 1995, and the pit they discovered, full to overflowing with skulls and limbs, gives them nightmares to this day.
    Locals who want to forget the whole grisly business will have a much harder time now that police are involved.
    "God knows who else is in the grave," one anonymous source told the Daily Mail. "It's been lying there for years, and no one knows the full extent of the total of bodies down there."
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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Like the Ideal Maternity Home in East Chester except they, at least, made attempts to bury the bodies. I wonder how many other homes there were around the world and how many thousands of bodies.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    Sweet jesus. fucking horror movie.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    god bless the catholic church. all babies are sacred all right, at least until they're born and it's about controlling women's bodies. after that, they can rot and die in a fucking sceptic tank.
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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    Horrendous. There are so many horror stories like this lurking in Ireland's history all related to the Catholic church. My old neighbour was deaf because she'd grown up in a home in Ireland run by nuns and when she cried because of earache they poured hot oil into her ears and destroyed her hearing. My dad and my auntie used to be beaten black and blue by the Irish nuns in their schools.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    Horrendous. There are so many horror stories like this lurking in Ireland's history all related to the Catholic church. My old neighbour was deaf because she'd grown up in a home in Ireland run by nuns and when she cried because of earache they poured hot oil into her ears and destroyed her hearing. My dad and my auntie used to be beaten black and blue by the Irish nuns in their schools.
    I don't think I ever said this before here, but one of the hardest smacks I ever took in my life was by a 3rd-grade nun - Sister Mary Blanche.

    I was already in trouble with her and made to sit next to her during some reading group. A couple minutes later, a girl was passing something out in class and said, "Who wants one?" I said, "I do." Next thing I know there is this dark shadow coming across my face at like 100 mph. Then, I literally saw stars out of one of my eyes for next couple of minutes.

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    Gold Member manningmsj's Avatar
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    ^^^^

    My father had a similarly bad experience as a child in a Catholic school. He was the "milk boy," in charge of collecting and replacing milk jugs in all the classrooms, and thus had keys to every room. He and a friend snuck in their Science class to take a peak at their grades and accidentally knocked over an incubator housing a bunch of chick eggs. So he did what any stupid ten year old would do and replaced the eggs with a carton from the market. When the teacher caught him, she literally hit him so hard he went through a door. I remember not believing this story as a child because by the time I was in school that behavior would have been grounds for arrest, but my aunts and uncles swore it really happened. He always makes sure to mention that the teacher felt so badly she actually came to his house and gave him a Christmas gift, but still. Doesn't really make up for throwing a child through a door. The glass broke and everything.

    This story is awful. It's like the plot to a horror film. Almost too terrifying to believe.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manningmsj View Post
    ^^^^

    My father had a similarly bad experience as a child in a Catholic school. He was the "milk boy," in charge of collecting and replacing milk jugs in all the classrooms, and thus had keys to every room. He and a friend snuck in their Science class to take a peak at their grades and accidentally knocked over an incubator housing a bunch of chick eggs. So he did what any stupid ten year old would do and replaced the eggs with a carton from the market. When the teacher caught him, she literally hit him so hard he went through a door. I remember not believing this story as a child because by the time I was in school that behavior would have been grounds for arrest, but my aunts and uncles swore it really happened. He always makes sure to mention that the teacher felt so badly she actually came to his house and gave him a Christmas gift, but still. Doesn't really make up for throwing a child through a door. The glass broke and everything.

    This story is awful. It's like the plot to a horror film. Almost too terrifying to believe.
    We had a mix of progressive and kind of retrograde nuns. One nun was so attractive (and young) that all the boys in the class had crushes on her. Another one was so mean she would read your grade out in front of the class as she put it on your desk.

    My brother had this nun (started the year after I left) who was the meanest one of all of them. Like disturbed. He said that people from the booby hatch literally showed up in class to take her away. I need to go back and ask him more about that.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Those poor babies. This story is sickening.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    The catholic church has an especially horrible history in Ireland, even by it's own standards of brutality. Frank McCourt wrote about the 'particular joylesness' of Irish catholicism, and the history of Ireland really reflects that. The authority the Irish church had/has over people's lives is mind boggling. This story is like something from the middle ages, not 20th century Europe.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; June 3rd, 2014 at 07:22 PM.
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    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.

    In The Home’s 36 years of operation between 1926 and 1961 some locals told the press this week of unforgettable interactions with its emaciated children, who because of their “sinful” origins were considered socially radioactive and treated as such.

    One local said: “I remember some of them in class in the Mercy Convent in Tuam – they were treated marginally better than the traveler children. They were known locally as the “Home Babies.” For the most part the children were usually gone by school age – either adopted or dead.”

    Because of Corless’ efforts we now know the names and fates of up to 796 forgotten infants and children who died there, thanks to her discovery of their death records when researching The Home’s history.

    “First I contacted the Bon Secours sisters at their headquarters in Cork and they replied they no longer had files or information about The Home because they had left Tuam in 1961 and had handed all their records over to the Western Health Board.”

    Undaunted, Corless turned to The Western Health Board, who told her there was no general information on the daily running of the place.

    “Eventually I had the idea to contact the registry office in Galway. I remembered a law was enacted in 1932 to register every death in the country. My contact said give me a few weeks and I’ll let you know.”

    “A week later she got back to me and said do you really want all of these deaths? I said I do. She told me I would be charged for each record. Then she asked me did I realize the enormity of the numbers of deaths there?”

    The registrar came back with a list of 796 children. “I could not believe it. I was dumbfounded and deeply upset,” says Corless. “There and then I said this isn’t right. There’s nothing on the ground there to mark the grave, there’s nothing to say it’s a massive children’s graveyard. It’s laid abandoned like that since it was closed in 1961.”

    The certificates Corless received record each child’s age, name, date – and in some cases – cause of death. “I have the full list and it’s going up on a plaque for the site, which we’re fundraising for at the moment. We want it to be bronze so that it weathers better. We want to do it in honor of the children who were left there forgotten for all those years. It’s a scandal.”

    Corless believes that nothing was said or done to expose the truth because people believed illegitimate children didn’t matter. “That’s what really hurts and moved me to do something,” she explains.

    During its years of operation the children of The Home were referred to as “inmates” in the press. It was believed by the clergy that the harsh conditions there were in themselves a form of corrective penance. The state, the church and their families all failed these women, Corless contends.

    But even now the unexpected difficulty that the local committee Corless has joined to fundraise for a plaque to remember the dead children suggests that not everyone wants to confront the truth about the building's tragic past.

    “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
    Galway historian reveals truth behind 800 orphans in mass grave - IrishCentral.com






    Btw, it wasn't just Irish/catholics/the catholic church that treated unmarried mothers like this
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Yes, the US has its own horrible history of secular institutions, forced adoptions, and forced sterilizations.....it's fairly recent in the States as well, lasting until the 70's - the ' baby scoop' era. It's an awful part of our history. Good book if anyone's interested​- The Girls Who Went Away.
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    The UK has nothing to boast about either, but it's not my story to tell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    Yes, the US has its own horrible history of secular institutions, forced adoptions, and forced sterilizations.....it's fairly recent in the States as well, lasting until the 70's - the ' baby scoop' era. It's an awful part of our history. Good book if anyone's interested​- The Girls Who Went Away.
    In Canada as well, with residential schools, the 60s Scoop, etc. The last residential school closed in the mid-90s, and only now are all the deaths of children that occurred during that era being fully uncovered.
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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    Kind of like that movie Philomena I watched the other day...

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