Let’s all be dismayed and aghast,
At what happened back in the “dark past”,
It may be the worst,
But it isn’t the first,
So for now let’s pretend it’s the last.
“The Tuam home was one of 10 institutions in which about 35,000 unmarried pregnant women – so-called fallen women – are thought to have been sent.
The children of these women were denied baptism and segregated from others at school. If they died at such facilities, they were also denied a Christian burial.
County Galway death records showed that most of the children buried in the unmarked grave had died of sickness or disease”
“The Tuam historian Catherine Corless discovered the extent of the mass grave when she requested records of children’s deaths in the home. The registrar in Galway gave her almost 800. Shocked, she checked 100 of these against graveyard burials, and found only one little boy who had been returned to a family plot.
According to Corless, death rates for children in the Tuam mother and baby home, and in similar institutions, were four to five times that of the general population. A health board report from 1944 on the Tuam home describes emaciated, potbellied children, mentally unwell mothers and appalling overcrowding. But, as Corless points out, this was no different to other homes in Ireland. They all had the same mentality: that these women and children should be punished.”