Update March 5, 2017: After the story first broke in 2014, many reports, including this report and two stories two stories published by The Washington Post claimed that the bodies of 800 babies had been discovered in a septic tank, however at that time, the number of bodies found had no actual count, The Washington Post reported. According to The Daily Mail, a statement issued March 3, 2017 from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission said that “significant quantities of human remains have been discovered in at least 17 of the 20 underground chambers which were examined earlier this year.” Almost 800 children had died there between 1925 and 1961, according to records, but there was only one burial record for just one child.
Additionally, the earlier version of this article from 2014 has been corrected to omit probable inaccuracies from an invalid source.
June 4, 2014 article: Inquisitr reported Tuesday about the discovery of nearly 800 bodies found “in a septic tank” on the property of a former Catholic “mother and baby home.”
Known by locals as “The Home,” it operated between the years 1925 and 1961. Records kept by the Sisters of Bon Secours reportedly noted deaths of 796 children aged from 2-days-old to 9-years-old. The diocese explained that the records of the nearly 800 children that died were all turned over long ago to the government, and are no longer accessible to the Catholic Church, Irish Times reported.
“The bones are still there,” local historian and discoverer of the nearly 800 babies’ remains Catherine Corless told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “The children who died in the Home, this was them.”
The records kept by the Catholic nuns said causes of death included TB, undernourishment, pneumonia, and causes indicating neglect. The public is outraged, and demands answers.
800 babies buried in septic tank at Irish home for unmarried mothers via @YahooNews
— DC IRISH MUSEUM (@DCIRISHMUSEUM) June 4, 2014
As many as 35,000 unmarried pregnant women may have been sent to one of ten homes such as the home in Tuam. If a baby survived childbirth, they were separated from the children born from wedlock. If they died, they were not given a Christian burial.
Dichotomy is still a major concern for the Catholic Church now. During the era when the home was in operation, the Catholic Church ran most of Ireland’s social service programs.
Sgt. Brian Whelan, of Ireland’s national police, told CNN that police are not investigating the 800 bodies found in a mass grave outside the Catholic women’s home, but he did say that the bodies were not found in a septic tank, but in a mass graveyard on the grounds.
Still, according to The Telegraph, Children’s Minister Charlie Flanagan said on Wednesday in a statement, “Many of the revelations are deeply disturbing and a shocking reminder of a darker past in Ireland when our children were not cherished as they should have been.”
Members of Parliament have called for an immediate investigation into the 800 bodies found in the mass grave at the abandoned Catholic facility for unwed mothers. A petition has been started imploring the Irish Prime Minister for Justice and Equality to launch a full investigation into the mass grave containing nearly 800 children or babies in the backyard of the Catholic children’s home in Tuam, Co Galway.
— Visual Culture Blog (@MarcoBohr) June 4, 2014