Worse Than Tuam


This morning.

The Irish Daily Star (above) revealed the official death toll at Sean Ross Abbey (top) in Roscrea, County Tipperary.

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

Journalist Alison O’Reilly, who broke the Tuam story, says a total of 1024 children died at the home with 455 deaths listed as ‘heart failure‘ and  a further 128 children dying from severe malnutrition.

Last week, an Aljazeera investigation claimed a sewage system was built on the site where children are buried.

Last week; Evidence Of A Sewage System In The Angel’s Plot

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21 thoughts on “Worse Than Tuam

    1. Margaret eine

      Why would that matter, English/Irish irrelevant , what matters is that the story is true, as well many Irish people Who are survivors of Irish institution need to go outside Ireland to tell of the horrors they have lived and experience in Irish institutes.

  1. White Dove

    What was going on with these homes?

    Did these babies die, or were they sold on undocumented?

    If they died, how did they actually die and what was done with the corpses?

    Do we actually give a damn?

    Disgusted there isn’t more reaction to this – and that disgust extends to the lack of reaction from other Broadsheet commenters.

    What a bunch!

    1. Vanessanelle

      Get a grip on yourself

      Kevin Higgins Bog Lawyer and indeed myself, have done a lot more on these stories than just react
      In fact its a full time occupation for Kevin

      At that’s without any mention of the well funded organised harassment and online trolling we’ve had to endure
      Even the Cancel Culture carry on

      what a bunch!
      GFY with your indignation

      1. Mick

        Thank you from one of those who made it out of this place, and I read that we were also experimented on medically also if that wasn’t enough

      2. Garden_Weed

        Surely White Dove is referring to people who post comments online and not commentators ‘on the Telly’?

    2. Bebe

      @ White Dove; I think many people are horrified and saddened by this – it is so very recent and affects so many people. We are simply overwhelmed. It’s one shocking story after another.

      Broadsheet are to be applauded as one of the very few that has provided adequate coverage of the scandal of M & B Homes from the victim-survivor perspective with particular focus on Tuam, Sean Ross Abbey and Bessboro. Conall O’Fatharta has devoted more than a decade uncovering what went on at this home. Between 1950 and 1974, 438 children from Sean Ross were among the 1,962 babies sent abroad for adoption. Some never knew of their Irish heritage. I met them at Sean Ross memorial last year and they told stories of finding out as they grew up and learned a little as they attempted to retrace the journey taken as a baby to find their mother. Against the odds. Records were hard to find and every effort made to keep mum and now grown up child apart. For example Kevin Battle who learned his heritage following a DNA test. His mother was told by the Nuns he had died in an accident in NY while he too was informed after making inquiries that his mother had passed away. It’s similar to the story of Philomena who I met accompanied by her daughter Jane. Incredibly brave people who are attempting to have a truthful narrative replace the many lies told. Reclaiming the truth is not an easy task when it is so carefully buried.

      Kevin’s adopted family paid 1,000 dollars to the Order for him, which is not unique. Paid by way of ‘donation to the Order’ – a lot of money back then.

      This requires greater focus by investigative journalist. Two children passed away from heat exhaustion. No surprise really as children were left in their cots outside on the patio of the nursery. Little babies with no shelter from burning sun while their mothers toiled in the fields nearby but were forbidden to attend to the needs of their child.

      There’s so much untold. And until we have the truth, warts and all, how can we deliver any form of justice to those now in latter years who have waited decades for State, Church and Society to hold hands up and admit their many failures? Those children did nothing wrong. Nor did their mothers, one of whom was my beloved auntie. Her crime – She fell in love with a man who loved her too. One of the luckier ones she left with her child. She overstayed the twelve month requirement in order to do so. Harrowing stories one and all.

      Thank you for your support @white dove and Broadsheet. Keep shining the spotlight, otherwise they are forgotten.

  2. John

    Heart failure..Huh

    They had special rooms where babies were simply left to die, no food, no medicine and no contact.

    Because they were bastards or born out of wedlock and unwanted babies, deemed sinful in the eyes of the church and going straight to hell.

    Typical Roman Catholicism but.. Oh Irish nuns and priests really took it to another level didn’t they.

    I’m ashamed for my parents generation (their complacency to challenge this behaviour whilst we had a secular government is appalling, of course people knew what was going on.)

    The only thing they control now is school ownership (their idea to brainwash children at an early age) will hopefully be eradicated by the next generation.

    1. newsjustin

      “deemed sinful in the eyes of the church and going straight to hell.”

      For the record, at no stage in the history of the church have children been deemed sinful, because of who their parents were, or whether their parents were married.

      1. Cian

        “The Church” may not have.
        But many individual priests within “the Church” have.

        Canon law states that for a child to be baptized, there must be a realistic hope that he will be brought up in the Catholic religion. If such hope is lacking, the baptism is to be deferred […]. There are many instances where a priest has used this clause to not baptise a child (if the parents are unmarried they can’t possibly bring up a child in the Catholic religion). And, an unbaptized child will go to hell (or won’t go to heaven) as they still have original sin (the sins of the father…as it were).

        1. newsjustin

          The Code of Canon Law that you quote that from is from 1983 though. If anything, the Church baptised infants as a matter of course prior to that.

          “There are many instances where a priest has used this clause to not baptise a child.” Are there? Many?

          “If the parents are unmarried they can’t possibly bring up a child in the Catholic religion.”
          Thats simply not true. It is enough that one parent desire that the child be baptised, and will try to raise them in the faith. Parents being married isn’t a pass/fail.

          Your last point on original sin is why infants would have been baptised, upon birth, as a matter of course.

  3. Mary Jordan

    Wonderful article. I was born in Sean ross Abbey in 1959. Having made many visits there and spoken to the nuns, I always suspected that there were more deaths and burials there than they admitted to. Does anyone out there know if the Commission for Investigation into mother and baby homes has this new information?

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