Conflation Once Again


David Quinn, of the Iona Institute; Paul Redmond, of the Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors and author of The Adoption Machine (top)

Paul Redmond is chair of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors.

Paul was born in the Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home, before being transferred to St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home in Dublin and then adopted.

He has recently written a book called The Adoption Machine.

In the Irish Catholic, David Quinn, of the Iona Institute, wrote an article in which he refers to Paul’s book, finishing with the line:

“Perhaps one day an Irish person will feel compelled to write a book called The Abortion Machine.”

Further to this…

Paul writes:

I read David Quinn’s article in the Irish Catholic with great interest as he questions a potential ‘omission’ in my book The Adoption Machine: The Dark History of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes and the Inside Story of How Tuam 800 became a Global Scandal and, also in an article I wrote for the Sunday Independent.

Mr Quinn’s article was deeply disingenuous, ignored the main points of the book and instead focused on ‘proving’ that Mother and Baby Homes were not an Irish phenomenon.

That particular point is confirmed by me, several times throughout the book, widely known, and is hardly a revelation. What was unique to Ireland, however, was the sheer size and scale of the Mother and Baby Homes network here, as well as their institutional nature and inhumanely high infant mortality rates.

Indeed, from 1922, Ireland set the global gold standard for the gross mistreatment of single, pregnant women and girls aged 12 to 48 and illegitimate babies, as the vicious mortality rates clearly show.

Mr Quinn also ignores the indisputable evidence that the Irish Catholic version of Mother and Baby Homes was uniquely penal as opposed to the generally small and homely versions in Britain and other countries around the English-speaking world.

At present, Ireland seems to have had the largest Mother and Baby Homes in the world by a considerable margin. No doubt Mr Quinn has also searched for comparable infant mortality rates in other countries but he will not find them.

The Irish Catholic model was also distinctive in that the cold-blooded mortality rates that characterise them are several times higher than other Mother and Baby Homes worldwide.

St Patrick’s, Sean Ross Abbey and Bessboro are already confirmed as three Irish Mother and Baby Homes where mortality rates ran up to 50% and higher in various years from 1925 to 1947 and, up to a proven high of 82% in Bessboro.

Mr Quinn claims that the reason the mortality rates in the homes plummeted from 1945 to the early 1950s is not due to the several factors I highlighted in The Adoption Machine but, rather, due to the increased use of antibiotics and vaccinations.

I am fascinated by this assertion as I have never come across it during my many years of research into the subject.

The main issue with Quinn’s assertions is his implied claim that the illegitimate babies were actually included in the widespread use of these miracle drugs. Considering that the Mother and Baby Homes never employed doctors or nurses at the time, it seems odd to say the least. However, I presume Quinn can provide the evidence for his new claim or he would not have made it.

Mr Quinn further contradicts the Commission of Investigation’s public notice of March 3, 2017 that states:

“Test trenches were dug revealing two large structures. One structure appears to be a large sewage containment system or septic tank that had been decommissioned and filled with rubble and debris and then covered with top soil. The second structure is a long structure which is divided into 20 chambers. The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water.”

Quinn is suddenly claiming that “we now know this [that the babies and children are buried in a septic tank] is not the case”.

I assume Mr Quinn has met his legal obligations and handed his new evidence that the experts have got it wrong, over to the current Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes.

Mr Quinn further asserts that the money received from American couples who adopted the Irish babies was actually by the nuns on the babies still in their care, is also at odds with all known evidence.

The nuns pocketed the cash as ‘donations’ to their orders and did not spend it on the babies and children in their care.

As a concerned survivor, I have already contacted the Inquiry’s solicitor and informed them of Mr Quinn’s numerous pieces of new evidence.

Mr Quinn notes that the Catholic Church in Britain has apologised over adoption practices in the past but, fails to mention that the Catholic Church in Ireland has done no such thing despite requests from survivors for an acknowledgement and apology going back to 2012.

Quinn’s entire reason for writing this article seems to be part of his campaign for a ‘no’ vote in the forthcoming referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Mr Quinn clearly believes that hellhole, institutional, Catholic Mother and Baby Homes are a superior option to abortion.

I will not dignify his belief with a response except to note the pain he has caused to the survivor community by conflating our issues with a matter that is completely separate from us. There is no hierarchy of pain or morality.

If David Quinn would care to publicly debate his bizarre and unproven new claims, I will meet him anywhere and anytime. I look forward to asking him to cite his sources and produce his accredited evidence.

If he cannot produce the proof that the babies are not buried in a septic tank and, that the living babies received vaccines and antibiotics from the late 1940s and, that ‘donations’ were spent on medicines for the babies, perhaps he might have the good grace and Christianity to apologise to the survivor community he has needlessly hurt.

Mother and baby homes: a hidden history (David Quinn, The Irish Catholic)

Previously: ‘They Exclude And Stall While We Die’


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57 thoughts on “Conflation Once Again

      1. italia'90

        inside an empty vessel with a Christianity label on it, but without the obligatory warning.

  1. scottser

    excellently written mr redmond. i don’t think i could have been so calm if i were in your shoes.

    1. emmy b

      Isn’t it, tho! I noted down a few key lines for future debates. I particularly liked: “I am fascinated by this assertion as I have never come across it during my many years of research into the subject”

  2. Daisy Chainsaw

    I would hate to be David Quinn because he always comes across so angry and judgemental. He seems deeply unhappy with the secular life he’s forced to live, perhaps he should become a hermit and devote his life to prayer and penance far, far away from the society he obviously despises.

    1. realPolithicks

      ” so angry and judgemental.”

      Just your average “christian” conservative then.

  3. Frilly Keane

    ye all give David Quinn far to much attention

    I give him about as much thought as I do the bird shyte on the windscreen
    less in fact
    it splotches in every so often
    is disgusting and uaggghhh
    mechanical wipers and auto windscreen spray
    with a bitta luck a good shower
    then it disappears

    I don’t even have to touch it

    after a bit


  4. david

    Lets see?
    If we had legal abortion in the 1950s many women would of died.
    The SCUnit is now in overdrive
    I was born in 1954 in a nursing home in Monkton
    My father w’s disowned by his family for marrying out of the Jewish religion
    My grandfather disowned my father he sat Shiva (a Prayer for the dead) over his son
    We had to leave Ireland and I swear to god my grandfather would of had us bad fruit aborted
    Such was religious bigotry
    To this day I can never forgive my grandfather and his family,
    If it was not for my mother we were toast
    So please those against abortion on demand are not all raving bigoted women haters
    We are talking about our constitution

      1. david

        Not anti Semitic
        How can a Jew be anti Semitic.
        I am talking about Ireland in the 1950s
        I do not want to see that in Ireland of the future.
        I want our laws to reflect protection for unborn ,but women that are victims of rape to have that termination if required or termination for incest and if the pregnancy endangers the health of the mothermm
        I do not want abortion on demand
        I cannot trust this government
        I simply cannot understand why what law is to replace the eight amendment cannot be put on the ballot paper so we know exactly what we are voting for
        Usually when its not stated ,what happens suits an agenda ,which could be the exact opposite.

        1. j9

          Dear David – You don’t need to trust politicians. You just need to trust women to make the right decisions for themselves. If you think it’s acceptable for women to have abortions in certain circumstances then you are not against abortions. Your issue is under what circumstances a woman becomes pregnant – and that is a moral judgement and a different issue. You are saying you believe that society should have the right to decide what women are deserving of an abortion. Would you really be in favour of re-traumatising a rape victim in order to prove they became pregnant as a result of a rape?. Contrary to what the anti-choice campaigners would like people to believe, abortion will not become mandatory if the 8th is repealed. Repeal of the 8th will mean that women who have an unwanted or unviable pregnancy will be treated with dignity and not criminalised.

    1. Zade

      David, you say if we had legal abortion in the 1950s many women would have died. But they would not. Legal abortion is generally safe, done in hygienic conditions by expert doctors.
      Your grandfather behaved like a bigot. He deprived himself of the joy of grandchildren and he deprived your family of the support of grandparents. But your parents gave birth to you. Availability or non-availability of abortion is nothing to do with this.
      The repeal of the 8th Amendment will make abortion available in Ireland as an option. Ireland currently has a rate of abortion equivalent to other countries. But Irish residents travel abroad – to Britain or the Netherlands or other European countries – for abortions, or use pills without medical supervision. Repeal will make it possible for them to access a doctor’s care in their own country.

      1. david

        IN THE 1950S medicine was backwards,hygeine practice was not great
        Medical science was primitive.
        Abortions were not safe.
        We are talking about attitudes, and lets face it look at our history of the state and religious run facilities of the day. Clerical abuse etc.
        We do not want abortion on demand which could be what they have planned.
        Different countries have different degrees of abortion
        Its not universal go in and before you can say bingo its done
        We need a law to protect the savita’s the rape victims the incest victims not to replace contraception.
        Those women can go abroad
        This must be on the ballot paper because government cannot be trusted

          1. david

            Its not black and white ,and many people supporting pro life would vote to end the eight, in it present form that caused savita’s death, if they knew on the ballot paper what abortion law is to replace repealing the eight ,and as a result see the unborn would be protected and its not abortion on demand., except the unborn that are the result of a reported rape incest and cases of fatal foetal abnormality.
            Sadly this referendum will fail as laws are open to abuse but constitutional laws require the consent of the people
            Nigel I can see post referendum the debate and the tears, the recriminations, and nothing changes.

        1. zip

          It’s demonstrably untrue that “those women will go abroad”. Savita died because she was refused a lifesaving abortion and so went into septic shock. With the 8th gone, her request could no longer be legally refused. Children and refugees have been refused permission – permission! – to travel abroad for abortions. A dead woman has been kept on life support and her children ushered in to say goodbye to her rotting body – because she was the vessel for a dying foetus with a heartbeat.

          And it’s not good enough to say “Let’s keep it illegal in Ireland – sure anyone who wants it can go and have it where it’s legal”.

          1. david

            You are correct it was the doctors and hospital policy
            The doctors used the eight amendment to justify their refusal to give her treatment.
            That is why if stated in our constitution the various exceptions that allow terminations in black and white, clear ,unambiguous .

    2. The Ghost of Starina

      *”would have” not “would of”.

      Also, David. If your ma wanted you, she would have kept you anyway. She went to the effort of leaving the country to keep you, I don’t see how the availability of reproductive care would have given your Granddad any more power over her.

      1. david

        Tell that to the girls in the Madeleine laundries
        And here we go again
        Grammar to put me down

        Explain the single mothers who ended up in these Irish concentration camps
        You cannot argue using to days advancements the times of the past
        Not only Catholics had unbending beliefs that led to what we hear now with the revelations about the sins of the churches
        Jews also protestants Muslims Hindus
        My grandfather was from that
        He even had his wife burying pans in the garden because of kosher beliefs
        And if my mother had given me up, imagine fruit of the christ killers under their care, with a protestant mother.
        By god I would of been handed around like a box of all sorts at a cinema screening

  5. jusayinlike

    Newsjustin would you to care to comment on how the Catholic Church can have any opinion on human life both born and unborn considering their treatment of mothers and babies in Tuam and Bessboro?

    1. gorugeen

      I was born in St Patrick’s on the navan road. 8 month pregnant down on their knees with a toothbrush to scrub the entire church floor. Wicked, cruel and entirely un-christain.

      1. jusayinlike

        But the Catholic Church and it’s Pro life shills seem to be infatuated with the idea of protecting the life of the unborn when its blata

        1. jusayinlike

          blatantly obvious they don’t care about the living or the dead adult or infant.

          I want to know their opinions on this..?

      2. david

        But we now live in another world another time
        Because these nuns abused dose not justify abortion on demand
        I am a classic case
        If abortion was available in the 50s and if it was not for my mother my grandfather (and he was not catholic or influenced by any pope )on my fathers side would of aborted me plus my brother and sister.
        Imagine how one feels about that one
        I am that unwanted bad fruit
        We forget the state was colluding with these homes and if the god fearing respectable doctors garda justices of the peace and social workers inspectors would of had humanity then these stories would not be
        Many suffered and to use this to justify killing the unborn by abortion on demand is as bad

        1. Sheik Yahbouti

          Get over yourself. If your story were to be believed ;-) you still can have no idea what your parents would or would not have done at the time. You say that they married – how was abortion an issue? Yeah.

          1. david

            Read the post
            Sad yah
            That was Ireland 1950s
            Still to this day government has refused to accept accountability
            You see state has police they have social services separate from church
            They turned their backs on these victims
            You cannot blame the church for the states collusion and you cannot use this to justify a agenda for abortion on demand.
            Paul Redmond mask has slipped with the words referring to David Quinn
            Stating he believes these homes were preferable to abortion
            Linking abortion to these homes
            Its disgusting using Ireland holocaust to justify abortion on demand
            Bit like me justifying the holocaust against my faith was because the Jews marched into the gas chamber

    2. newsjustin

      Hi jusayinlike.

      I’m not sure I fully understand your question. The Catholic Church has well over a billion people associated with it and hundreds of thousands of parishes, communities, orders, institutions and organisations. In Ireland alone there are likely to be over 100 religious orders, maybe 1,000 parishes, in addition to schools, colleges and clubs.
      So it’s not surprising that some or all of these (and the people that populate them) have views on human life born and unborn.
      If you’re asking why, say, the Pope or the Irish bishops have views on human life it’s because it’s an important aspect of the church’s social teaching.
      That terrible things happened to people in the past under the care or lack of care of certain Irish religious institutions does not mean Irish elements of the RCC or members, or leaders of the church can’t or shouldn’t have views on human life born and unborn.

      Of course, you’re free to ignore every word they or anyone else has to say on the matter.

      1. jusayinlike

        I’m ok with the RCC having it’s opinions however espousing them publicly or through teachings is bare faced hypocrisy.

        The fact that the RCC is single handedly propping up the disingenuous pro life racket whilst delaying and denying redress to survivors of their brutal care homes is a crime to humanity and they have no place lecturing anyone on ethics.

        newsjustin, until the RCC pays all its redress and actually apologises for its poor execution of its teachings it can never be taken seriously.

        I will remind you of this every time you claim the RCC cares for the life of the unborn.

        1. newsjustin


          You’ll find that, other than responding to direct questions such as yours, I very rarely mention any religious aspect to the abortion debate. As I’ve said before, being pro-life and against the abortion of human foetuses is simply Humanism 101. Religious debates just confuse matters because people have different religions and many have none.

          You keep dwelling on religion though, that’s clearly your thing. That’s fine.

        2. david

          Hypocrisy is the likes of Sinn feinn and their display on Easter Sunday.
          Supporting pro choice to kill the unborn however fits in with their past of killing humans to justify their cause.
          And the party with blood on its hands supporting women rights.
          You also forget the role of the state and its employees in the Irish holocaust.
          At least Jews saw those who collaborated and partook in their holocaust face trial and exposure
          Using the past sins of this nation and the church as justification for abortion on demand is pretty horrendous and obscene.
          And the state has learned nothing with the avalanche of cases of children abandoned to evil under care
          Tulsa reads like the record book of crimes against children.
          And any culprits given just punishment.?no
          Any of the faceless employees of state exposed publically.? No

          1. jusayinlike

            Hypocrisy is you shouting about the protection of life whilst simultaneously supporting a likud party up to its neck in very recent Palestinian blood, likud Nazi snipers over zealously murdering and ceaselessly expanding illegal settlements, your bias is wide open David.

          2. david

            Absolute bull
            I am Jewish and Israel is the Jewish state,i support Israel
            Imagine if the republic was under constant attack from the north
            Your views would be totally different.
            Israel is at war with Hamas and Fattah
            Every day they knife shoot and drive into Israelis to kill them and Israel takes steps to punish them
            Easy way for Palestinian Muslims
            Stop attacking and acts of terrorism and reprisals will stop
            As for the Palestinians who left their lands in 1947
            They should get them back provided all the 800 thousand Jews forced out of their homes all over the middle east get their lands back
            Its only fair and just
            But you have neither the intelligence or foresight to even put up a logical argument for that

  6. Sheik Yahbouti

    The ubiquitous Mr Quinn, again, peddling his obsessions no matter who is hurt by it.

  7. RuilleBuille

    Because of their religious fanaticism (akin to ISIS) they believe that their God allows them to lie, bully, deceive, use mental reservation, in fact do anything to win because their God demands it.

    1. david

      And as this happened agents of the state colluded in this holocaust
      Even today the present minister for children Catherine zaponne,is advocating a mass grave, not burying them individually.
      She was born in Canada
      The real reason why Ireland’s case is so shocking as Irish people we will dislike to hear it.
      Our government colluded with these organisations, the state could of put a stop to it but did not
      As a Jew I know exactly how that is when people stand back and allow also participate with evil.
      So was your grandfather one of these officials doctors garda?
      This dose not justify abortion on demand and shame on those for using this to push the agenda
      Again Leo’s little SCUnit’s scheme to use all to brainwash people vilify others who do not go along with the programme

    2. david

      And where was the Irish state?
      Where were he garda who could of stopped it?
      Where were the judges?
      Where were the inspectors?
      Where were the justices of the peace?
      Where were ones that could of stopped it?
      These were not the church
      Even to this day government has tried its best to ensure not one penny has been give to victims
      Look at the latest redress schemes?
      Look, at the 7 plus survivors from the Madeleine laundries that through news reports had died before receiving one red cent redress
      Nothing changes
      Look at our homeless families children living in B&Bs and not one cares enough to put an end to it
      Look at the abuse of children under care?
      Look at the abuse of the old in nursing homes?
      But yet more focus on a party girl who cries rape
      The outrage and the push for aborting on demand
      Seems Ireland is heading to a godless country

        1. david

          But there is
          There is also a devil and man is capable of good and evil
          Lets say both culprit and agent of the state which presided over this ,tried to cover it up, stalled any redress ,and turned their back as the taxpayer funded their wages and pensions are all evil as evil as those who carried it out

  8. Truth in the News

    David Quinn is entitled to his well known opinion’s on abortion but he would want to get his facts right on
    whole issue as to the treatment of pregnant mother’s and their children run by various institutions connected
    with the Catholic Church, in relation to the book authored by Paul Redmond could its distribution be
    be speeded up, as its not available in a good few book shops.

  9. frank o'shea

    That Quinn is riding on your coat tails. I bet he loves this bit where he gets his name out there.
    Remember; no such thing as bad advertising.
    Boycott is the better treatment for that guy.

    I to am right wing catholic and very anti-abortion but am no supporter of that Quinn or his ilk.

  10. ivan

    It’s a small thing, but perhaps Broadsheet could lead the way in putting the word after Iona into quote marks when referring to it?

    And/or referring to it as Lolek Ltd?

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