Since the days of Thomas Davis and Michael Doheny, James Stephens and Charles Kickham, the adherents of Irish Republicanism have been the bêtes noires of the Roman Catholic Church. That is why the Vatican and its Irish hierarchy supported the counter-revolution of 1922-23 and the usurpation by the so-called Free State of the pluralist Republic established in the revolution of 1916 . Reading the Journal and its report on the discovery of a mass grave in a former children’s home controlled by an arm of the Catholic Church in Galway it is easy to see why:
“The death records for 796 children, ranging in age from newborn babies to children up to the age of nine, were discovered by local historian Catherine Corless who was researching the history of the home, which was run by the Bon Secours order of nuns from 1925 until 1961.
While the area was known locally as being a graveyard, the extent of how many children were placed in the former septic tank was only discovered by Corless during her research.
She found that the children died of malnutrition and neglect, as well as illnesses such as measles, tuberculosis and pneumonia.
…a “large number” of unidentified remains were discovered in a water tank close to the home in the 1970s.
The skeletons of the children were discovered by two boys who were playing in a field in 1995.
The dead children were not buried in coffins and no gravestones mark the place where they were buried. The home was closed in the 1960s and then demolished and a housing estate now stands in its place.
The mortality rate at the home was significantly higher than it was for children generally at the time in Ireland: a Dáil debate in February 1934 noted that one in three children born outside of marriage died within one year of their birth – a rate which was about five times higher than for other children.
“From the abnormally high death rate amongst this class of children one must come to the conclusion that they are not looked after with the same care and attention as that given to ordinary children,” Fianna Fáil TD Dr Conn Ward told the Dáil.”
Sometimes one must be measured and thoughtful in one’s responses. However there are occasions when anger is the only justifiable response. This is such an occasion. For the Roman Catholic Church and all that it stands for – now or in the past – I feel nothing but complete and utter contempt. Those anti-republican ideologues and parties who dominate the Irish establishment are the very same ones who permitted this to happen even if they now act as if they and their political antecedence bore no part in it. They are as culpable as those who dumped the malnourished and broken bodies of babies and children into a hole in the ground, left there to rot nameless and forgotten.
God damn you all. God damn you to Hell.