With horror we have heard news reports from the 5th. September 2017, coming in about a Hospital, the Grove Hospital in Tuam, County Galway, run by the same Order of Nuns, the Bon Secours Sisters, who ran the dreadful home for unwed mothers and their children, the Mother and Baby Home nearly, with the recovered bodies of 796 babies dumped and flushed into their septic tank by the callous Nuns. It would appear by local accounts both local newspapers and direct eyewitnesses, that a secret burial plot, at the Grove Hospital, contains the remains of hundreds of babies who died at birth, or with weeks of their births. This is the same group of Nuns who ran the Mother and Baby Home also in the Town of Tuam in County Galway, where 796 babies were found dumped and flushed into a septic tank, locals are saying this will be bigger. Progress on a new Mental Health Services facility at the old Bon Secours hospital in Tuam was halted by a claim that there are infants buried on lands to the rear of the site, pending a full and detailed archaeological assessment of the alleged burial site. The old Grove Hospital in Tuam was closed down in 2001 when the Bon Secours Sisters moved out as they had operated the facility for a considerable time. The old Grove Hospital in Tuam is finally being brought back in to use, it’s to be used as a mental health day facility catering for patients from Tuam, County Galway.
The Nuns, the Bon Secours Sisters, sold of the hospital and lands to the HSE, The Health Service Executive of Ireland, without informing them that there were secret burial plots to the back of the hospital. Work had already begun to develop to renovate the old hospital. It would appear by all accounts that the Nuns exhumed 12 remains of fellow Nuns from the Grove hospital site and reburied them in Knock, Co Mayo, but didn’t disclose the children graves nor remove them. The Bon Secours Sisters sold the old Grove Hospital to the HSE in 2001 for €3 to €4 million. A plan to carry out extensive works at the hospital site ahead of the planned construction of a state-of-the-art mental health and disability facility drew objections from a group known as the Tuam Grove Babies. Group members claim they have family members who died shortly after birth and were buried at the site. Objectors say that should a burial ground be uncovered, they want it to get protected status and be maintained appropriately. According to a few of the mothers of the group, their children who died at birth are buried in an Angels’ Plot at the back of the hospital, that the Nuns deny. Unmarried mothers who gave birth in the Tuam's Mother and Baby Home nearby, were often sent to a Magdalene laundry, while many unwed mothers went to work as unpaid slaves in the Grove Hospital. When the Tuam Mother and Baby Home closed in 1961, all the remaining women and children were moved to the nearby Grove Hospital, where they worked as unpaid slaves for the Nuns.
The Bon Secours Sisters claim that no infants were buried behind the Grove Hospital is a lie, according to a member of the Tuam Grove Babies group, Noreen Meehan, said “My mother had her children in Grove Hospital and she always said she gave birth to a boy in 1958 or 1959 who died and was buried in an “Angels Plot” at the back of the Grove Hospital. “The groundsman would go off and bury the babies and the children, in a dozen hidden trenches at the back, but you never were told anything else in those days. We are not sure how many children are there, in the “Angles Plot”, at the back of the Hospital as there are no records.” This “Angels Plot” is at the back of the Grove Hospital which is one kilometre from the Bon Secours Sisters Mother and Baby Home, in Tuam. Many experts belief that as many as 37,000 babies and children, or much more nationwide in Ireland had their deaths covered up. According to the women’s group the caretaker of the Grove Hospital for 40 years said there was a map of the Grove Hospital “Angels Plot” and the Nuns could tell exactly where the Babies were buried, but those maps have long disappeared, he said. Many locals believe the maps of the secret sites were deliberately destroyed, one women said she went looking for her mother’s files and the Head Nun of The Bon Secours Sisters in Cork told her to go away, shouting at her. “there were no files”.
Why are we so surprised with this new information of a public Hospital run by the same Order of Nuns, in the same town, The Bon Secours Sisters who ran a Mother and Baby Home, in Tuam, County Galway with over 796 babies flushed into a Septic Tank, maybe a few thousand more children and their mothers buried beneath the children’s playground of the Mother and Baby Home, in Tuam, County Galway. Sadly its not the first time this happened, I wrote about it before on a previous blog, the infamous High Park Convent in Dublin, Ireland. Again the good Nuns, another Order of Nuns, “The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity”, sold the land and building for 30 million euros, High Park Convent, was in fact one of the most notorious Magdalene Laundries, dotted around Ireland at the time. Shocking revelations at the discovery of bodies of 133 women and their children, secretly dumped on their land and another group of 22 women and children in another secret grave on the same land, the Nuns lied about. The good Sisters of Our Lady of Charity sold off High Park Convent and Lands in Drumcondra, Dublin, to property developers in 1993. Part of the land included a secret graveyard containing the remains of 133 women, many of whom had been locked away as slaves for years without pay in this laundry hellhole. But the undertakers who began removing the coffins found an extra 22 unknown remains.
Many of the bodies were buried with their broken bones still in plaster-casts on their ankles, elbows, wrists, and hands when they were taken out of the ground. One of the bodies was headless, the head was never found. The fact that children and their mothers lie in these unmarked abandoned Religious Institutions sites,” “it’s almost like that they are vanishing from the Irish consciousness.” These Angles Plots, often discovered only by chance or by ignominious circumstance as when construction crews accidentally exhume bodies when building new houses or hotels. Now dotted across the ruined landscape of hundreds of abandoned Convents, Mother and Baby Homes and Industrial Schools of Ireland, risk being trampled by time.
Why these bodies had plaster casts on them or a body decapitated, is no great mystery, plain and simple they were beaten by the Nuns, who mistreated and broke their slave woman, their children’s, arms, legs, and heads, through brutal beatings and also the brutal nuns could and did in the absolute knowledge, that they had forever immunity, from secular law. Let’s think about this a moment please, we know that most of the bodies of the women and children, (in fact all 155 of them were in different plaster casts, some had an arm covered, more had leg plaster casts, others had head plaster casts, the builders and the undertakers saw with horrors the bodies of the women and their children, with the various plaster casts and reported what they saw, to the property developers and the Irish Police, it has all been documented. The Irish Police benighted their responsibilities by refusing to act, and foisting the problem of the murdered bodies found on the convent lands to the cunning Irish Catholic Church Authorities who used their considerable political clout on the Irish Government to do their evil master's dark bidding. Benighted travellers, have seen his midnight candle glimmering, said W. B. Yeats. Existing in a state of intellectual, moral, and social darkness, unenlightened spreading their message among these poor benighted people a strange, benighted country.
It would appear if that’s the case, that the women and their children were beaten to death, in spite of previous bones broken which were still encased in plaster casts, administered by the Nuns, themselves. Many of the women and children it would now be true to say, never recovered from their beatings, burial with their plaster casts intact, proves the point, because they were buried in mass with their plaster casts and no coffins. Something else, the Nuns when they sold the land reassured the developers that there were no graves, secret or otherwise on the land they sold them, none. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity sold off the land at their High Park Convent in Drumcondra, Dublin, to property developers in 1993.
The Nuns conveniently forgot about the secret graves, hoping that nobody would notice, you see almost 60 of the women and their children at the infamous Magdalene Laundries in Dublin were never registered. But if these Angles Plots hides individual tragedies, it also obscures systemic failings, ones that stack the odds against women and children too poor, too vulnerable or too isolated to defend themselves. The good Nuns destroyed any and all documentation pertaining to the secret burial site, the shocking revelations were quickly covered up. We also know that when the bodies were discovered by the workmen and the undertakers, the Nuns freaked out, because their dirty secret was found out as did the nearby Archbishop of Dublin, who gave the Nuns, immediately dispensation against Catholic Church normal rules, by allowing the Nuns to hastily cremate all the found remains, except one of the women, who was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery with another few hundred other Magdalene women and their children, who also were beaten and died in the same infamous Magdalene Laundry of High Park Convent, in Dublin, a few feet away from the Archbishop of Dublin’s Palace, were many of the Magdalene women and their children also worked as domestic slaves at the Archbishop’s Palace, cleaning, cooking, washing the Archbishop’s underwear, gardening, their dignity was ignored both in life and death.
The monolithic Irish Catholic Church used it mighty power to cover up its sin of mass murder by cremating the newly discovered Magdalene women and their children, so no postmortem examination, or any autopsy of any kind on the murdered deceased bodies could be carried out or the Nuns sins discovered, the postmortem examination was never in reality carried out and that was still a powerful display of the mighty power of the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland in the 1990s. When, I ask is the tipping point?, with the Irish Catholic Church, another body of a woman or her child,- maybe a few hundred more, or even maybe a few thousand more, women and children, when is enough, enough. At what point do we in Ireland-say- “STOP”- revolt, feel disgust, repel, are sicken, we nauseate, we shudder, at what point, please. The List will go on and on…more secret burial pits, even more septic tanks. As the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland became more powerful, it enacted anti-women policies and expanded its death Institutions passed off as Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools in Ireland. For many years, the position of unwed mothers and their children in Ireland deteriorated considerably. The situation became increasingly violent and discriminatory, and the realisation that unwed mothers and their children would not be safe in their own homes, villages, towns and cities, as the indivisible Irish Catholic Church grew in power. The Unwed mothers and their children’s pogrom was the first time there was physical destruction aimed at the unwed mothers community, who lived in every community in Ireland. This destruction of the unwed mothers and their children was carried out in every Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools in Ireland, we have the legacy today of mass graves, septic tanks and secret burial chambers, and now the state hospitals, to sadly remind us.
The majority of Irish citizens were bystanders to the Irish Catholic Church’s pogrom and did not try to prevent the removal and imprisonment of their own Sisters, Female Cousins, Mothers, Aunts. No Parish Priest or community leader stood up to prevent, preventing the removal and imprisonment, rape, sale, or beating of these women and their children from their local communities. Yet, Irish citizens, even those who did not actively participate in the illegal acts by their Parish Priests, stood by and watched the destruction of the females of their own villages, towns and cities. In fact nobody stood up in the face of such evil and those who stood remained silent as girls as young as 7 years of age were dragged out of their homes, publicly shamed and beaten, by the local Priests, subjugated and forced into a slave’s life of servitude to the powerful Irish Religious Orders. Many of these woman and children died in their prisons, raped, beaten, broken, deprived and stripped of their dignity, to the hellholes that were the Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools, that flourished with tax-payers money, illegal trafficking money, and slavery monies. Plus the Irish Religious Orders other ill-gotten gains, and cornucopia which manifested through the sale of human slaves, domestic helpers, or sex salves or ultimately, the final goal of child trafficking which was exploitation of babies and children abroad, all for the false god of abundance and wealth.
This illegal profiteering by the intractable Irish Catholic Church, took place in a variety of forms, including forced child labour, sexual exploitation of illegally adoptive Irish babies and children, both at home and abroad, and allowing illegal medical drug experiments to take place in the Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools in Ireland on Irish babies and children, so the Medical Drug Companies, could make a profit, even if the baby or child died and afterward the Catholic Church, selling the baby or child’s battered dead body again, to the Medical Universities operating here in Ireland.
Also because the obstinate Irish Catholic Church was the absolute power of the land, and because these women and children were serving penal servitude for life as they were found to have had sexual relations without the express permission of the Irish Catholic Church. The Good Sisters at the time denied there were any secret graves on their land, when they sold the Land and Buildings on. All the women and their children had died in the service of the Nuns, working long hours in their large commercial laundry for no pay, locked away by a patriarchal church and society ruthlessly determined to control women’s sexuality.
So what do we do as a society, with our Catholic Church Problems?. The Irish Catholic Church is like a chancre sore on Irish Society. At one time, the Religious Orders of the Catholic Church of Ireland, ran and owned over 200 Hospitals, today that number is slightly lower at over 146 hospitals. List can be found below,
It would now appear by all accounts that if Babies and Children’s bodies are found, hidden in one hospital in Tuam, County Galway, the Grove Hospital, run by the Nuns, the same group of Nuns, The Bon Secours Sisters, that ran the Other Religious Institution the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, you can be absolutely sure that all 200 plus Catholic Church hospitals they run and or ran in Ireland will have the same problems, Angles Plots. In one Little Angels plot alone in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin according to the Irish Times there are 50,000 such burials alone, and other reliable experts say, there are more than 7,000 known babies and children buried in mass plots in Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes and twice that and more in unknown Angles Sites at Public Hospitals and Convents run by the Religious Orders in Ireland. In one County alone, County Kerry is reputed to have 400 Angles Plots, and many across Ireland are unrecorded. Although considered remnants of repressive Catholicism, graveyards’ for unbaptised children, are scattered throughout the Irish countryside, in overgrown corners of conventional trenches or outside their boundaries.
Now my friends that is going to be a very big problem. Something serious will need to be done, something about our problem, The Irish Catholic Church. At the heart of the matter lay the difficult issue of what to do with the dead, within the confines of a rigid and austere Christian doctrine. If a non-baptised child died, then the theory of original sin suggests that this child, although having committed no personal sin, could not enter the kingdom of heaven. The concept of the innocent children suffering eternal damnation in hell was problematic for the Catholic Church; a problem overcome, to a degree, by the theory of limbo, which is now struck dead, according to the Pope Benedict XVI, “ Babies who die before being baptised will no longer be trapped in limbo”. Pope Benedict XVI also said, the concept was an "unduly restrictive view of salvation”. I ask where was the salvation when babies and children were dumped and flushed into mass pits of hell by Irish Religious Orders in Ireland?.
There, divergent life stories come to the same anonymous end, the unmarked gravestones without names in the many secret mass graves of children in the many Convents up and down the green land of Ireland. By law, a child’s corpse became the property of the Religious Institution in which the child died, and could be made available as a cadaver for dissection or embalming practice of a medical school or mortuary class, if the Nuns sold the body, which was generally the case, the Nuns had no scruples in selling the child’s body for hundreds of Irish pounds at the time, in many case for a thousand Irish pounds. And if not, the child was consigned to a trench on at the back of the Convent. Buried by the score in wide, deep pits, the Convent dead seem to vanish, and so does any explanation for how they came to be there. The chronic calamities of the human condition figure in many of these narratives. Here are the harshest consequences of despair, hopelessness, anguish and illegal medical drug experiments or unwed mothers and their child scattered or distracted by their own misfortunes. But if Convents hide individual tragedies, it also obscures systemic failings, ones that stack the odds against women, especially unwed women and their children too poor, too desperate, or too isolated and frightened to defend for themselves.
“We took their babies and gifted them, sold them, trafficked them and starved them” “ No Nuns broke into our homes to kidnap our children. We gave them up to what we convinced ourselves was the Nuns’ care. We gave them up maybe to spare them the savagery of gossip, the wink and the elbow language of delight in which the holier than thous were particularly fluent”. TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY
Owen Felix O'Neill
Owen Felix O'Neill
Author of Child Laundering Secrets, 2017