Tag Archives: Bon Secours

At the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam; Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; Sr Marie Ryan, of the Bon Secours in Ireland

Yesterday.

Right to Know journalist Ken Foxe published a “strictly private and confidential” letter sent from the leader of the Bon Secours in Ireland Sr Marie Ryan  to the Minister of Children Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone last August.

The letter concerned the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway, where the State issued 796 death certificates for children but burial records only for two.

The home closed in 1961.

The letter to the minister was written in response to Ms Zappone asking to meet with members of the order so they could discuss the Tuam home and how the order could share, with the State, the “cost implications” of the current investigations at the home after “significant quantities of human remains” were confirmed to have been found at the home two years ago.

Sr Ryan, on behalf of the nuns, told Ms Zappone they were surprised she asked to meet with them while the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is ongoing.

The nun then went on to firmly state that the Tuam home was operated on behalf of the Irish Government.

Sr Ryan wrote:

“This was an institution created and operated by the Irish state.”

“Given the passage of time, it certainly appears to us, that the Home was not only under the stewardship of the Sisters at that time but under the supervision, direction and inspection of the local authority Galway County Council and also the Department of Health.”

She also said after the home closed in 1961, the nuns sent “all documentation” and “official Home Records” to Galway County Council and that the nuns haven’t had “full and open access” to these records which are now with the commission.

She said it seems Galway County Council were involved in paying for a doctor and a chaplain at the home and that Department of Health inspectors inspected the home.

Sr Ryan added:

“The deaths of the infants were registered at that time and it would seem to us that it would follow that Galway County Council, the Department of Health and the doctor employed by the local authority for the Home would have been fully aware of the fact of these deaths and no doubt then would have been aware that burial arrangements would have to be made for the remains.”

Mr Foxe tweeted the following on the correspondence:

Right To Know

Previously: The Wages Of Spin

Our Worst Fears

bon secour

Minister for Finance and Limerick TD Michael Noonan (centre) launching the Bon Secours hospital

Good timing.

Via People Before Profit

Michael Noonan launched Bon Secours in Limerick yesterdayy. This in the wake of the Tuam bodies. The Bon Secours order own a series of private hospitals.

Maybe he was letting the board of Bon Secours know the Fine Gael government would do nothing to the order or their private profits.

Bon Secours made €2.3 million in profit last year and have over €70 million in accumulated profits as of the end of 2016.

People Before Profit have called for vigils at all Bon Secours hospitals for 6pm this Friday.

People Before Profit

Bon Secours group invests €21m in Limerick after Barringtons takeover (Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader)

Pic Andrew Downes

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[The grounds where the unmarked mass grave apparently containing the remains of up to 800 infants who died at the Bon Secours mother-and-baby home in Tuam Co Galway from 1925-1961 rest].

“The treatment of these babies is in stark contrast to that of the deceased members of the Bon Secours order buried near this site. When the order moved away from Co. Galway, the nuns’ remains were moved to a well-tended and attractive plot in Knock, Co. Mayo.
The Tuam babies were left with no memorial…”

We need to dig ‘babies graves’: Ground Penetrating Radar reveals two ‘anomalies’ beneath Tuam Home site (Irish Mail On Sunday)

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

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The grounds of the former Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway where it’s believed 796 infants may have been buried in a mass grave. Middle: Catherine Corless and, above, today’s coverage in the irish Times.

“Corless writes in her article about hearing of boys who “came upon a sort of crypt in the ground, and on peering in they saw several small skulls. I’m told they ran for their lives and relayed their find to their parents.”

From Rosita Boland’s Tuam mother and baby home: the trouble with the septic tank story piece in today’s Irish Times and  picked up by a number of Catholic websites today.

From the accompanying video Catherine Corless says:

So it was only in my research when I was talking to people in the area, they said ‘Do you know there’s a little graveyard at the back?’  The older residents in the area – now, before these new houses went up – they had the story that two little boys were playing in the area back in the early 70s/late 60s and they came across a huge hollow in the ground. Then they went further and saw there was a slab – a few slabs going across this hollow and so the lads tried to peer in to see what was in there, and they got some stones and broke open more. They said when they cracked open the slab – he said he was just doing this – it was full, full to the brim with skulls and bones. I said ‘Were they big or small?’ ‘Oh’, he said ‘they were little ones, all little ones’ he said.

 

 

 

The full transcript of the video via Paul Moloney:

Catherine Corless: “I started out to do the history of the nuns and the children who went there and I wasn’t expecting the stories that came up. Because we never really knew the home babies as we called them. I kind of remember them going to school in the lower classes. I do remember that they came down in rows, down a double-row down to school. Everybody remembers the sound of the boots because they made a rattle when they came down because the girls and boys wore these hob-nail boots, big black hob-nail boots, summer and winter, and I do remember they were treated that little bit different than the rest of us. We always knew not to play with them and to keep away. This whole area was enclosed with an eight-foot wall right around an acre perimeter, and very few people could see in or out. If you were in there you couldn’t see what was going on in the outside word. A car would come and drop off a mother I suppose and she would go in and once they went in there they just didn’t see outside again until they left.

So it was only in my research when I was talking to people in the area, they said ‘Do you know there’s a little graveyard at the back?’ The older residents in the area – now, before these new houses went up – they had the story that two little boys were playing in the area back in the early 70s/late 60s and they came across a huge hollow in the ground. Then they went further and saw there was a slab – a few slabs going across this hollow and so the lads tried to peer in to see what was in there, and they got some stones and broke open more. They said when they cracked open the slab – he said he was just doing this – it was full, full to the brim with skulls and bones. I said ‘Were they big or small?’ ‘Oh’, he said ‘they were little ones, all little ones’ he said.

Rosita Boland?: “And do you believe him?”

Corless: “Well, it’s not just the boys talking, it’s from other people around the area if you talk to them. They say that a few people came to see what the fuss was about. Someone called the parish priest to come up and to look at the area and to bless it. It’s only in the last month or so that I found out that these boys – now men – were still around. I didn’t have their names until about a month ago.

Boland: “Do you believe that there are all of the children in that grave, do you think that that is possible?”

Corless: “I think it’s quite possible going from the boys’ explanation that it was full to the brim of bones. But still how children at the time, does it matter if it’s 500, 600? If there isn’t a full 796? 10 children in a septic tank? 20? Isn’t that horrific? Is it the numbers that makes it horrific?

Boland: “Would you welcome excavation in that spot?”

Corless: “I would welcome the truth, always, always. The evidence strongly suggests excavation is the only way, if anyone wants to do that. That wasn’t our intention, our intention was to name the children, have them remembered, put up a plaque. I’m thinking of the other mother and baby homes in Ireland, I’m thinking of the groups that are out there, desperately trying as we were, struggling to have children remembered. And if this investigation helps and pushes it forward, I would welcome it. It’s justice, justice to children, justice to the people who gave birth there.”

(Photocall Ireland)

Update:

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The grounds of the former Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway where it’s believed 796 infants may have been buried in a mass grave

RTÉ News is reporting that engineering firm, TST Engineering, has carried out a “subsurface radar examination” at the site of the former Bons Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway and that the results will be known within a few days.

The firm was hired by the Irish Mail on Sunday.

RTÉ reports:

“In a statement, the Irish Mail on Sunday confirmed the Ground Penetrating Radar analysis was conducted by TST Engineering.

‘Following consultation and ongoing co-operation with local historian Catherine Corless and the Children’s Home Graveyard Committee, the Irish Mail on Sunday commissioned a survey of the site of the alleged mass grave at the site of the former Tuam mother and baby home at the Dublin Road housing estate.’

‘The results will be analysed, and published in this Sunday’s edition of the Irish Mail on Sunday.’

“The newspaper said the results will also be ‘presented in full to the Committee, and made available in full to the Minister for Children if and when a state inquiry into the site is established’.”

Private firm conducts radar tests at Tuam site (RTÉ)

Previously: ‘The Septic Tank Was In This Location’

What About Dublin?

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland