Suffer the little children – Sadhbh Walse for the New York Times

This traumatic story, by our friend Sadhbh Walshe for the New York Times is hard to read….but you must.

“TUAM, Ireland — Last year, during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that led to Irish independence, the writer Colm Toibin pointed to the fatal mistake the British made when putting down the rebellion. It was not just the swift execution of the movement’s leaders, which historians often point to as a defining moment, but the burial of their bodies in quicklime without coffins.

“Anyone Irish will understand that whatever you do, don’t do that,” he said, adding that it “mattered in Ireland in a way that it might not have mattered in some other country.”

We have a thing about respecting the dead here, you see, drummed into us in part by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Ireland’s self-appointed moral authority. It follows, then, that the discovery of the remains of a number of children up to age 3, in what may have been the sewage tanks of a former home for unwed mothers run by Catholic nuns, should be another “quicklime” moment. Watching this scandal unfold here, though, it’s sadly apparent that the Irish state is not ready to free society from the church’s yoke just yet.”



Share this Post

Comments 1

  1. This is such an important article about, yes, another time and another culture, but the principle of negligence, abuse, and emotional cruelty seems to be in parallel with the findings of the current Royal Commission in Australia into institutional abuse of children.

    The agreement of the Irish Government to ‘share’ the financial cost is a sad indictment of the ‘state’ guilt in dropping the ball, just as our own Federal and State Governments have done for decades. Shame.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *