Throughout history many dark and disturbing things have happened. Wars have ravaged cities, torn families apart and resulted in atrocities committed against innocent men, women and children. However, those dark times don’t make the more unknown tragedies less terrible. In a town in western Ireland called Tuam, a mass grave was recently found in someone’s septic tank. A sewer was filled with the remains of about 800 babies. The tank stood on a site that was a former home for “fallen women” and their illegitimate children. The Home, as it was called, was open between 1925 and 1961. More death than life passed through its doors.
The women who lived here were paying a penance of indentured servitude for their out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
Many eventually left the Home for work… their children weren’t so lucky.
At the time, unmarried pregnant women in Ireland were ostracized for societal and religious reasons.
Malnutrition and terrible neglect killed many of the children.
Others died of measles, convulsions, TB, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. The infant mortality at the Home was high.
Now, plans are being made for a memorial service for the children and the erection of a marker at the site of the mass grave. People online are also calling for a deeper investigation into this tragedy.
Source: Washington Post via BuzzFeed The mothers at the home lost all claims to their children. The Home Babies that actually survived past their 1st birthday would be ostracized by Irish society until they were adopted out, often to families in the United States. Unfortunately, a quarter of all babies born outside marriage in the 1930s in Ireland died before they were 12 months-old (according to Irish Central). What happened to those innocent children is a tragedy. Its horror will never lessen over time. Not only were those infants unwanted, neglected and died cruel deaths, but their bodies were simply discarded like trash. Honor those children by telling their story. Share this.