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796 dead at St.Mary’s Mother and Baby Home over 40 years

category galway | gender and sexuality | news report author Thursday May 29, 2014 11:43author by Andrew Report this post to the editors

When a child dies a fortnight for 40 years its no accident but process

If you are feeling strong this morning Rabble published a must read article yesterday on the 796 dead children found in a mass grave at the St.Mary’s Mother and Baby Home, Tuam. That's not a misprint, for the 40 years this institution operated at least one child died a fortnight, a death rate that approached 10% of those in the home per year! They ranged from 2 days (Thomas Duffy) to 9 years (Sheila Tuohy) old.
childrenglenconnachttribune.jpg

The home operated from 1921 to 1961 and this revelation shows what life was really like, particularly for the poor, in the 'good old days' before feminism, effective contraception and access to abortion. Women with unwanted pregnancies were forced to give birth and the babies were sent to such homes to be killed through neglect unless they were
'lucky' and were fostered out. That is the only explanation for a death rate that suggests that a child placed in the home at birth would only have a 50:50 chance of surviving five years.

This system was ran by the same religious institutions that shamed and punished women who had sex outside of marriage and which campaigned to keep contraception and abortion illegal and inaccessible. They still continue to do so to this day, next time one of them refers to themselves as pro-life remember the deaths behind their empty rhetoric.

From the Rabble article
"An Irish Mail on Sunday front page article on 25th May 2014, recounted a local health board inspection report from April 16/17th 1944 which recorded 271 children and 61 single mothers for a total of 333. The ‘Home’ had capacity for 243.

The report continues listing children as ‘emaciated’, ‘pot-bellied’, ‘fragile’ with ‘flesh hanging loosely on limbs’. 31 children recorded in the ‘Sun room and balcony’ were ‘poor, emaciated and not thriving’."

Read on at http://www.rabble.ie/2014/05/28/the-septic-tank-full-of...rets/

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Book burning, same town, same period     Andrew    Thu May 29, 2014 12:51 
   Tuam mother baby homes     punter    Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:53 
   1934 Dail Debates on infant mortality and awareness of maternity homes     T    Sat Jun 07, 2014 00:21 


 
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