From 1925-1961, the Home, in Tuam, Ireland, was where thousands of unwed mothers and their “illegitimate” children were sent to pay a penance for their out-of-wedlock pregnancies in the form of indentured servitude overseen by Catholic nuns. Like the Magdalene Laundries, which were also run by the Catholic Church, the Home’s treatment of these women/girls and their babies was abusive, with moms and children often kept separate from each other and ostracized by the surrounding community. Now, five decades after the Home was shut down and destroyed, the remains of 800 hundred babies, the children of those women whose only crime was getting pregnant out of wedlock, have been discovered in a septic tank on the property.
“The bones are still there,” Catherine Corless, a local historian 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.”
According to Corless, the found documents suggest that malnutrition and neglect killed many of the children, while others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. According to Irish Central, a 1944 local health board report described the Home’s children as “emaciated,” “pot-bellied,” “fragile” and with “flesh hanging loosely on limbs.” When these innocent children perished, their bodies were dumped like trash, without gravestones or coffins. And, to remind you, those responsible were Catholic nuns, working on behalf of the Catholic Church, which stigmatized unwed mothers and their children as ruined. What would Jesus Christ think?