The media headlines regarding the 796 children aged newborn to nine years old who died at the mother and child home in Tuam between 1928-1961 have varied from neutral, to back pedaling to sensational.
Facing a dark past is painful. Ireland won’t be the first country to have to do it, and sadly we won’t be the last.
The reality is that Irish society punished un-wed mothers and their children because the Church had people fully convinced that sex before marriage was a heinous sin and having a child out of wedlock was tantamount to being a criminal.
The Island of Saints and Scholars only came into being because we accepted the church’s teachings. We lived by them. We hid girls and their babies away.
Hind sight is 20/20, and keeping that in mind the questions I ask are as follows: Knowing that children died, and died at rates several times faster than the general population, knowing that disused sewage tanks were used as burial chambers, knowing that the ideology toward unwed mothers and their children was to lock them up, knowing that illegal adoptions took place, knowing that these children were used in drug trials, knowing all of this, what do we do now?
Do we allow the church to tell the Irish government how to deal with the matter? Do we turn a blind eye to the past? Are we a bad Catholics or bad Christians because we question what happened and want answers and justice? Ask questions, ask lots and lots of questions.
The picture below is from Izzy Kamikaze’s blog piece VAULTS UNDER #TUAMBABIES SITE ARE PART OF SEWAGE SYSTEM.