Evidence Of A Sewage System On The ‘Angel’s Plot’


In the second part of his investigation into Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes,  Aljazeera journalist Laurence Lee looked at Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, County Tipperary.

The abbey  was a mother and baby home from 1930 to 1970 run by Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Laurence says (from @13:25 )

‘In the mid 1980’s Michael Donovan was working as a gardener in Sean Ross Abbey when he was asked by the Nuns to help landscape an overgrown area of scrub.

Michael said:

“ The tractor drove down this way and turned over the sod and I just noticed lots of small bones”.

That area where Michael found the bones is now a carefully tended burial ground known as the Angel’s plot. But that plot is not all it seems.

Nine years ago the nuns admitted 269 babies died in Sean Ross, a number that could plausibly be buried in this plot but it is now clear that over 1,000 babies died here.

So where are they?

This Photograph (above) was taken in 1974 not long after the Nuns closed the Home, but there is no obvious sign of the Angel’s plot which the nuns now claim was a consecrated graveyard where they buried babies in individual coffins.

However, we’ve established that the area above this hedge (green line) which takes up the top third of the claimed angel’s plot actually contains a pit used by the Nuns for the mass burial of unbaptised babies and stillborns.

Toni Maguire, an archaeologist and anthropologist who specialises in the location and excavation of unmarked graves, says:

“They have no death certificates for these infants and those infants are not included in the 1000 plus babies for Sean Ross Abbey.”

With that area unavailable for the thousand burials, it is even clearer that the remaining area cannot be the true extent for the graveyard.

The most probable scenario is that it in reality extends to a faintly visible pathway (above) on the 1974 picture right up to the walled garden (at left).

And that is a cause of deep concern because of something else we discovered.

This plan produced by Tipperary Town Council was submitted to the Commission. A copy has found its way to us.

It describes a sewage pipe installed in the late 90’s which runs from an inspection hatch directly beside the current Angel’s plot to another inspection hatch at the other end and beyond,

But as we have established that plan is wrong in several important respects.

The inspection hatches are actually situated above  (marked in blue) and between them in a project apparently agreed between the Nuns and the council a sewage system has been constructed on land which may well contain child burials.

Our investigation suggests that the system above includes a settlement tank, an overflow pipe here and a sewage outlet pipe cutting through the probable burial grounds and emptying into another tank constructed within the current angel’s plot.

Disturbingly around the same time the sewage system was installed yet more damage was done to the potential burial grounds when they were planted with fast growing conifers.

Toni Maguire says

“what they’ve done they have not planted the trees over the area where the pipes been laid, the roots obviously damaged the pipes and would do exactly the same thing to any burials that may be included in that land as well.”

In early 2019, the Commission ordered a ground penetrating radar survey of the plot followed by test excavations

They still have not said what they found but we can reveal the survey confirmed existence of a tank within the Angel’s plot.’

Part 1 here

Previously~: Sean Ross Abbey on Broadsheet

Thanks Breeda Murphy

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17 thoughts on “Evidence Of A Sewage System On The ‘Angel’s Plot’

  1. bisted

    …if this was Cambodia, Rwanda or Bosnia the forensic archaeologists would have been called in immediately…those evil nuns and their collaborators would be in jail…

  2. Operatick

    This makes me sick to my stomach. Pure evil. How they claim to have moral authority over anything is beyond me. Absolutely sickening.

  3. Cian

    When the sewage pipe was installed in the late 90’s it would have involved digging a deep hole (deeper than a tractor turning the sod would). Were any bones uncovered then?

    – they found bones (so the burial ground is crossed by the pipe) ; when happened did they ignore the bones? or is anyone saying bones were actually found in the 90s?
    – they didn’t find bones: ergo, the pipe doesn’t cross a burial ground.

    Since nobody had mentioned that any bones were discovered in during he digging of the sewage pipe – I’d think the pipe doesn’t cross a burial ground.

    1. Barry the Hatchet

      Agreed Cian.

      Also the above contains a lot of speculation that the graveyard must in fact be bigger and must extend in a particular direction, without much explanation as to why this is the case. I haven’t watched the video yet so perhaps that contains more information.

    2. GiggidyGoo

      I’m reading it as the plan which mentioned 1990 – “But as we have established that plan is wrong in several important respects.”

      How deep would bodies be buried? A sewerage pipe wouldn’t necessarily have to be laid as deep?

      The question is why the full results of the survey haven’t been released.

      1. Cian

        In the article it says a tractor turning the sod was uncovering bones – which isn’t that deep.

        The top of a pipe should be between 2 and 4 feet deep – so the hole would be 3-5 feet deep (these are guestimates – as it depends on the size of the pipe.) but you need to bury a pipe deep enough so that when the ground freezes it won’t freeze the pipe.

  4. H

    As one born at Sean Ross Abbey I had to give up reading half way through because my blood was boiling, Martin Sixsmith got it right when he called them ‘The Sisters of Little Mercy’ bunch of – what I want to say will not get past the moderator so insert your absolute worst expletives here

      1. Vanessanelle

        You don’t do them justice LiamDel

        + Criminals, slave traders, child abusers, money launderers, liars, fraudsters and con artists

        And all members of the biggest, and most successful criminal organisation the World will ever know

  5. one username please tw


    The premature dead/stillborn babies if they were born out of wedlock or out of christ were not given a christian burial, they were disposed of as waste. That’s as clear as the nose on your face. You would not get a catholic burial in a consecrated burial ground if you were not a catholic, I am sure newsjustin can confirm this.

    Why would you? At the time you could not marry in a catholic church either if you were not a catholic? Why do people here think you would get other sacraments.

    Also I don’t know when the waste disposal acts and licensing came into force (maybe the Old Boy or another lawyer can comment) but I am sure mass burial sites were common all over the world, and all over Ireland.
    What about hospitals> does anyone ask them what they do with dead babies and fetuses? Grow up

    What is awful is if families of the deceased were not given access to records or if they were simply stone-walled. Even from a point of view of common courtesy we can all accept this is deplorable. But you must remember the times again. The orders at that time were like Politburo, completely unaccountable, ‘brides of Christ’. A lot of them still carry on like that to this day.

    In the fullness of time they will be re-evaluated as flawed feminists, wait till you see. Just wait till Critical Gender Studies get a hold of this story. Strong women making an independent stance on child burial in a pre-abortion era. Musha god help it must be awful on the poor oul divils to carry those poor womens burden etc

    As for the sewage story – it’s Al-Jazeera folks. That is all.

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