A couple weeks ago I posted info and links regarding a horrifying discovery in Ireland.  The remains of 800 children were reported as having been found at the site of a former home for children of unwed mothers.

The link that I initially read was from Hemant Mehta's Friendly Atheist website.  Yesterday, I read a retraction of that article

Here's another discussion of that story on npr.  The npr story extracts from the main source, on the AP news site.

"a researcher, Catherine Corless, spent years seeking records of all the children who died in the orphanage in County Galway during its years of operation from 1925 to 1961. She found 797 death records - and only one record that one of the youngsters had been buried alongside relatives in a Catholic cemetery.....   Ninety-one died in the 1920s, 247 in the 1930s, 388 in the 1940s, 70 in the 1950s, and one more child in 1960. The most common causes were flu, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis and whooping cough....only 18 children were recorded as suffering from severe malnutrition.....When Corless published her findings... she speculated to reporters that the resting place of most, if not all, could be inside a disused septic tank on the site. By the time Irish and British tabloids went to print in early June, that speculation had become a certainty, the word "disused" had disappeared, and U.S. newspapers picked up the report, inserting more errors, including one that claimed the researcher had found all 796 remains in a septic tank."

I truly admire Mehta for his honesty and humility.  I'm chagrined and angry about what constitutes news reporting in the internet era.  The Catholic church, priests, and nuns, have plenty to answer for, with a history of uncounted, massive abuses.  But we don't need to make up new stories to drive outrage and horror. 

I am certainly sorry to have passed on a fake article.  I've come to believe only a fraction of what I find even from legitimate news sources on the internet, and even then I try to research and site  multiple sources and try to find the original article, if I can. 

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These film clips offer compelling evidence that something happened that needs to be explained. Perhaps there was an exaggeration of the events as they unfolded in the news. Why were the bodies not buried? How many bodies were found? The description by the man of his boyhood discovery, the grief of a sister who tells of not know her sister had been in a home and adopted twice, illegally, as she claimed? Why did these homes exist? Because women were pregnant and not married. That is the real story and the one that we cannot ignore.  

Thanks for the 'heads up', Daniel. I, too, hold the press at arm's length and take them, not with a grain of salt, but a mineral block for cattle. Once they get a hold of a story with possible salacious details, they generally go with the 'salacious' as opposed to the 'details.' It sells advertising. More power to Mr. Mehta for his honesty.

At least mistakes here are clarified now, both by you and Hemant. Things like this happen and making it right makes everyone a more trustworthy source of imformation. Keep up the good work, Daniel.

I have to be much more careful about checking sources and finding original sources if I can. Thanks for the correction. I stand corrected as well. 

All that said," 91 died in the 1920s, 247 in the 1930s, 388 in the 1940s, 70 in the 1950s, and one more child in 1960." That is a terribly high number of children given the size of the home. 

The boys' ranches with which I was affiliated had no deaths in the 60 +- years they were in operation. 

"The most common causes were flu, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis and whooping cough...." These were the killers of those years and thankfully children can have protection from these diseases if properly vaccinated. Adults have to see to it that these protections are used. So many children died from these diseases before modern medicine intervened. Modern parents don't realize the unnecessary suffering they impose on their children if they believe the fear mongers. In my day, polio was the great fear of parents and children. 

"only 18 children were recorded as suffering from severe malnutrition...." This is an outrageous statement: "Only 18 children suffered from severe malnutrition"

If these were new arrivals coming into the home with severe malnutrition, that is one thing. How many died because of the lack of enough food while in the home? I would surely like to know the answer to that question! 

Joan, I agree with you the story is horrible no matter how they frame it.  It was still bad, and the evil still came from the Catholic so-called morality, the Catholic domination of the society, the mores that state it is better to abuse women, unmarried and pregnant, and take their children from them to abuse further, than to accept that young people are sexual, some are victims, and in both cases, sometimes pregnancy results.

Here is a recent brief BBC story on the topic.  I usually trust the veracity of BBC although one never knows.

Bill Donahue of Catholic League infamy stated that this story, as well as the reports of enslaved women of the Magdelene sisters, was a hoax and mass hysteria.    When stories are exaggerated, or mis-reported, those inaccuracies are exploited by people like Donahue, whose agenda is not truth, but "protection" of catholicism regardless of the lies he thinks will advance his cause.

This story is just heartbreaking! There is no way to excuse for the way unwed pregnant women and their children were treated. Barbaric is just simply barbaric, whether it was committed 2,000 years ago or this last century.

People often make the claim that we can't judge previous generations by modern morals! Who says? Who benefits? Who pays the price? Flourishing is what life is about! The religions of the world have no such goal in mind and are weapons of mass destruction of human minds, bodies and emotions. 

The whole anti-choice insanity punishes women in the most cruel of ways. I never met a woman contemplating abortion who took it lightly. There were most often tears, guilt, shame, and fear. Why put a woman through that if it makes no sense to force her to give birth to a child she does not want or cannot support? Myths, guilt, shame, retribution ... all instruments of the devil, if there were such a thing. No devil, no angels, no god, no christ. Get over it world. 

Using guilt on people who read the story or heard about it and were revulsed is just another strategy to keep people from telling the truth. Well, I was gullible and fell for the story, as did a lot of other caring people. It was not out of malice. It was out of compassion linked with the reality of known and proven atrocities in the past.

Yes, I have to be more careful! No, I do not want to be gullible. I will not remain silent in the face of what we do know about this case. The deaths, the unburied bodies, the memories of little children now grown into old age, all cry out to a world that brushes all of this evidence aside as easily as swatting a mosquito.  

I am proud of reacting to the story. There are too many other stories just as disgusting that go unnoticed. You can be proud, too, Daniel. You care in ways that far too many do not. 


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