Irish Catholic leader calls for mass grave probe

Irish Catholic leader calls for mass grave probe

Mon Jun 9, 2014 4:57AM GMT

A senior Catholic Church figure in Ireland has called for an independent probe into the alleged mistreatment and death of nearly 800 children at a former convent in the western town of Tuam.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin made the appeal after it was revealed that hundreds of children were buried in a concrete septic tank in the grounds of the home, which was run by the Catholic Church.

A researcher found records from the convent showing that 796 children, mostly infants, died at the facility during the period from its opening in 1925 to its closure in 1962. According to the records, the children died mostly of sickness or malnutrition.

Martin blamed the negligence of supervising nuns for the high infant mortality rates in such homes, saying the nuns “did not want to understand how you look after children and how you examine the special care that children need at that early stage.”

The Irish archbishop also said the next government-funded inquiry should focus on all the “mother and baby” institutions, not just the one in Tuam, since the problem of unmarked graves existed at most if not all of them.

Ireland has previously funded four fact-finding probes into the church’s cover-up of child abuse inside industrial schools and by priests in Dublin.

In addition, Martin called for an investigation into long-held allegations that many children in the country’s approximately 10 “mother and baby” institutions were sold illegally to adopted families abroad and many others were used as test subjects in vaccine trials, without their mother’s legal consent.

Leave a Reply