Irish religious order apologizes after discovery of mass grave with hundreds of babies

Irish religious order apologizes after discovery of mass grave with hundreds of babies

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Detail in Tuam Cemetery where the bodies of 796 babies were discovered at the site of a former Catholic home for single mothers and their children on the day, Tuam, Ireland, January 12, 2021. REUTERS / Clodagh Kilcoyne 

DUBLIN, Jan 13 (Reuters) – The religious order that operated a home for single mothers in the Irish town of Tuam, where the remains of hundreds of babies were found in a mass grave, has apologized for the treatment of infants under your care.

A government-commissioned report released Tuesday found an “appalling” death rate of about 15% among children born into the network of homes known as Mother and Baby, reflecting brutal living conditions. About 9,000 children died in total.

Relatives have denounced that the babies were abused because they were the children of single mothers who, like their children, were seen as a blemish on Ireland’s image as a devout Catholic nation.


“We did not live up to our Christianity when we ran the Home,” acknowledged in a statement the Sisters of Bon Secours, who ran the home for mothers and babies of Santa María in Tuam from 1925 to 1961.


“We did not respect the inherent dignity of the women and children who came to the home. We did not offer them the much needed compassion,” they added in the statement.

The government investigation began six years ago, after local amateur historian Catherine Corless discovered evidence of an unidentified mass grave in Tuam and found public records showing 796 children had died in the home.


“We recognize in particular that infants and children who died at home were buried in a disrespectful and unacceptable manner. For all that, we are deeply sorry,” the religious order stated in the statement.

“We hope and pray that the healing process reaches all those affected; those who are alive and those who have died … We hope that we, our church and our country, can learn from this story,” he added.


(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)


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