Referred To The Gardai


The former mother and Baby Home at Bessborough, Blackrock, County Cork

Further to publication last week of a report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission which revealed that some 900 children died at the Bessborough home in Cork.

Via Conall Ó Fátharta in the Irish Examiner:

The report on burials practices in mother and baby homes is to be referred to An Garda Síochána to see if any of the issues raised warrant criminal investigation.

….The burial locations of more than 800 infants [at Bessborough] — including some 470 infants on the order’s own death register as revealed by the Irish Examiner — remain unknown.

…The commission was scathing in its criticism of the order that ran the institution — the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary — stating that the affidavit it supplied on burial arrangements was “in many respects, speculative, inaccurate, and misleading”.

Meanwhile, last month, without warning, workers ploughed up waste ground around a castle folly at Bessborough – where survivors believe the Bessborough babies are buried.

Bessborough Report Referred To Gardai (Irish Examiner)

Previously: Bessborough: ‘There Are 900 Bodies After Going Missing’

The Girls of Bessborough.

An illustrated, long-form essay by Deirdre Finnerty for the BBC World Service on the now grown women who were raised at Bessborough.

The Girls Of Bessborough (BBC)

Illustration: Charlotte Edey

Thanks Bebe

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9 thoughts on “Referred To The Gardai

  1. Mickey Twopints

    Every citizen should read that BBC essay.

    It is to our collective shame as a nation that faultless women and children were allowed to be treated with such utter contempt, with the full knowledge and tacit approval of society at large. When I read this, I am torn by the urge to go and scream at the graves of my grandparents and great-grandparents. They knew this was happening, and not only did they turn their backs on these poor women, they actively supported the evil cult of the Catholic church and enabled this disgusting abuse.

    1. phil

      Totally agree with you, however the same problems exist today , there is an invisible force trying to diminish this investigation , we know who they are but it seems again that they are still in control of this country … Im not sure what to do , but Id be happy to do something ….

    2. GiggidyGoo

      Think you’re a bit harsh on parents and grandparents. My view is that they were brainwashed. What news did they have? Radio One on a valve radio. The Sunday Independent (FG) and The Sunday Press (FF) and the pulpit. Strong stuff. It’s only since the 80s or even the 90s I think that they start copping on…Flapper Fortune, Eamon Casey, The singing Priest pervert and the rest in the news and the despicable acts finally got through the brainwashing.

      1. Mickey Twopints

        Giggidy, I see your point. However, brainwashing does not excuse the simple lack of humanity in that society. My aunt tells a story of when she was a girl, two “inmates” absconded from the Magdelene laundry in Limerick. They ran down through Pennywell towards the Dublin Road, and begged at every door to be let in to hide. Every door was slammed in their faces and they were eventually arrested by the Guards and returned to the wash house.

        Every hotel in Limerick, every fine house, every fine restaurant, every presbytery, sent their sheets, towels, tablecloths and napkins to be laundered at that place. Every one of those businesses and households knew exactly what the deal was.

        No, I cannot excuse my forbears for what they did. I cannot excuse those evil bastards in the “holy orders” for the way they treated the most vulnerable of children, our fellow citizens let me remind you. To put the value of a few coins ahead of the simple human decency required to give a dead child a wooden box and a modest marker to acknowledge their existence in this world isn’t even remotely in alignment with the Christian ethos that was rammed down our throats.

        If there is a hell, I hope they are burning in it tonight.

      2. Teresa Reynolds

        You’re absolutely right, the people were terrified of the Catholic Church and it’s cohorts

  2. Rebelbrowser

    Yup, it is easy not to read these things as you get immune. But everyone should read articles like this every now and again to remind ourselves. And we shouldn’t take the easy option of just blaming the catholic church. They were willingly enabled by pretty much the entire population – the catholic church at the time was the state and vice versa.

  3. eoin

    Thanks for the link to the BBC “essay”, it’s a nicely illustrated article on a place that many of us know little about.

    Do we know the name [family name, first name] of the Sisters of Mercy representative who produced the affidavit for the Mother and Baby Commission which was described as “speculative, inaccurate and misleading”

  4. Chris Batey

    A friend ,now dead,was a Hospital Almoner ,which ,in the late 50s ,early sixties was what she said social workers were called then.She worked in London.She told me about the pressure Irish girls were put under to return and to circumvent this,she and sympathetic doctors,who knew of the horrors of the these homes, would lie about the health of the girls saying they had very high blood pressure or similar things and that therefore they could not possibly travel etc.The idea was to give the girls a chance to stay in England and evidence with which to fend off demands they return.

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