"THE MEMORY OF JESUS IS BOTH SACRED AND SUBVERSIVE"
Thursday, 9 March 2017
Mother and baby homes commission Uncovering a dark legacy
THE POOR CHILDREN OF THE TUAM BABY HOMES
Confirmation that the remains of a significant number of babies and infants up to three years of age, probably in their hundreds, have been found on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, has prompted profound upset. It follows an investigation by the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes which carried out planned excavations there in 2015. The commission’s admission that it was “shocked” by the scale of the discovery reflects the disturbing circumstances of what has the hallmarks of inhuman burial.
Test trenches were dug revealing two large structures. The fact that one structure appears to be a sewage containment system or septic tank that had been decommissioned and filled with rubble adds to the distress of those trying to come to terms with this dark episode. The second connected structure is divided into 20 chambers; 17 of which contained remains. These related to individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to two to three years. Radiocarbon testing suggests they date from the time frame relevant to the operation of the home, from 1925 to 1961. This was not (as suggested by some) a Famine grave from the mid 19th century when mass burial became the norm in desperate times.
Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has acknowledged the “very sad and disturbing” but not unexpected news. Her department has brought together key departments and agencies to seek greater accountability. The commission is also correctly focusing on postmortem practices and procedures, and reporting and burial arrangements for residents of mother and baby homes. Unacceptably high mortality rates in these homes tell their own story of poor care.
There is a collective responsibility for an inhuman regime conducted for decades in secrecy behind high walls and not talked about by a submissive society. Culpability lies with the State; the Catholic Church, notably the Sisters of the Bon Secours order which ran the institution and at one point denied the existence of a mass grave, and those in the wider community who facilitated burials in such an undignified manner.
There is every likelihood of many more locations where the marginalised were buried in similar circumstances; not just from mother and baby homes and county homes but also Magdalene laundries, orphanages, industrial schools and workhouses. The commission is tasked with investigating allegations of abuse at 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes between 1922 and 1998. Given what its work has exposed in Tuam, with the considerable help of local historian Catherine Corless and backed by the testimony of relatives of those who lived in the home and some who lived nearby, the limitation of its remit suggests it will only provide a summary of our dark history.
We all realuse now that there will have to be a FULL NATIONAL INVESTIGATION into child and vulnerabke care in Ireland from 1922 to the present day.
The early Irish state handed the care of children and vulnerable adults over to the churches.
The RC church being the church of the majority was the major supplier.
It is quite obvious that tge church in so many cases failed those in their care and sometimes neglected, abused and even murdered them.
This is nothing short of CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY.
Those responsible and still living should be prosecuted.
The church made a fortune from its care work.
That money in some cases was PROCEEDS OF CRIME.
Those who are living on it and its invedtment interest should have it taken from them by the CRIMINAL ASSETS BUREAU.
Justice needs to be done.
Justice should be seen to done.
BAD TIMING !!!
MINISTER LAUNCHES BON SECOURS HOSPITAL LIMERICK AT BARRINGTONS
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan formally launched Bon Secours Hospital Limerick at Barringtons today following its purchase by Bon Secours Health System.
The addition of Barringtons Hospital to the largest private hospital group in Ireland increases staff numbers to 3,000, making the Bon Secours Health System a significant employer in the country and in the region.
Bon Secours Health System is Ireland’s largest independent Hospital Group and incorporates five modern acute hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Tralee and now Limerick and also a Care Village in Cork. With over 3,000 staff, 876 beds, 400 consultants, Bon Secours treats approximately 250,000 patients a year.
As part of the Bon Secours Health System’s “2020 Plan” the Hospital Group is currently investing €150m in capital investment in an effort to enhance Advanced Medicine Exceptional Care across all its hospital sites in the regions.
Welcoming the news today, Minister Noonan said, "Barringtons hospital boasts modern facilities with highly trained staff and strong links with LIT and UL providing a training outlet for students, employment opportunities for graduates and ensures that cutting edge medicine is engrained in the services of the hospital."
He added, "Barringtons has served the people of Limerick well for many years, it's now time for it to enter a new phase in its history but also, continue the tradition of healing and helping that Limerick has come to depend on."