The human right to know your identity and who your mother or father was is a very strong human instinct. The right to personal identity is recognised in International Law through a range of declarations and conventions. From as early as birth, an individual’s identity is formed and preserved by registration or being bestowed with a family name. The right to personal identity begins with the Right to Life. It is only through existing can individuals cultivate their identity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created to preserve the biological and philosophical elements of human beings since its establishment in 1948, and one of the basic right, is the right to know your biological origin. This basic right was denied to most of the children of the Irish State Orphanages, Mother and Baby Homes, and Industrial Schools in Ireland. Listening to painful testimonies from many of these Survivors today, there is the outrage by many of the Survivors of the wilful destruction of many official documentations kept by the Irish Religious Orders, pertaining to the Survivors identity, Identities of their families, their Mothers, siblings etc…and their correct date of birth, it’s a known fact that many of the Children in the Irish State Orphanages, Mother and Baby Homes, and Industrial Schools in Ireland had their date of birth and family names criminally altered, as was the case with nearly all adopted children stolen and sold to other families throughout the world, by the Irish Religious Orders.
The Religious Orders in Ireland were meticulous record-keepers and would be loathe to destroy any documents, but once the sexual scandals broke the Religious Orders in Ireland were hell bent on destroying as many original documents as possible to hide their criminal misdeeds. The danger of the documents became apparent to the The Religious Orders in Ireland when Survivors of the Irish Religious Institutions started to ask for any documentations pertained to their identities and The Religious Orders fear of The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, and the much vaulted report that followed, The Ryan Report. The abuse of the children of the Irish Religious Institutions has been described by some as Ireland's Holocaust. The abuse was said to be “endemic" in the these Religious Institutions that dealt with boys.
The Religious Orders in Ireland saw no value in keeping their trove of documentation of living or dead Survivors, especially when they realised that their own handwritten documents would condemn them. For the first time in Irish history, the powerful Irish Catholic Church was now to face wrongful lawsuits, and moral outrage with many of their own documentations, which could and would be used in Irish courts of law against the Religious Orders in Ireland, accusing them of criminal acts, systematic rape, murder, drug experiment of orphan children, illegal adoptions, etc..etc… destroying the Religious Orders documentational evidence was the only option left open to them, and destroying such documentation was easy for the heartless Religious Orders in Ireland, hence denying both the Survivors any direct link to their families history, and destroying the many criminal acts committed against vulnerable children in their care, forever.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stresses the value and importance of a child’s identity. Under Article 7, a child has a right to have a "Legal" Identity by being registered, and has a right to a name and a nationality. These protect mainly the static aspects of identity. However, Article 8 protects and encourages the child’s dynamic aspects of identity through preserving his or her identity in relation to nationality, name and family relations. Article 8 illustrates the Member State’s duty to protect this Right, both passively and actively, all these conventions established by The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was broken and misused by the Religious Orders in Ireland. Articles 7 and 8 The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was developed to confront the issues of Children in disappearances, we known that tens of thousands of Irish Children disappeared through illegal adoptions in Ireland, their identities were stolen as were their childhoods. Ireland been one of the earliest signature to the UN Convention, which was part of the most-ratified Convention in human history, The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sadly Ireland broke this,UN Convention, and all the rules pertaining to Child Protection from the very beginning. When countries ratify an international treaty or convention, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, they enter a binding agreement to meet its provisions and obligations. Ireland signed the UN Convention on 30 September 1990, and ratified it on 28 September 1992.
In reality, the Irish Catholic Church expressed its determination to clean up the single mother and their children pitilessly, by demonising the unwed mother and their children. The Irish Catholic Church stated, there must be no squeamish sentimentalism about our duty to preserve the purity of Irish motherhood through the sanctity of holy matrimony, according to the rites and traditions of the Irish Catholic Church, this was said at the time in the late 1940s. The Irish Bishops also said, that, “We must hasten this process with cold ruthlessness.” in eliminating this scourge from our pure Irish society, these unwed women, and their filth, their offsprings.
From the 1930s onwards The Irish Catholic Church persecution of unwed women and their children were common knowledge in Ireland. The Irish Catholic Church tried to keep the extermination of unwed women and their children a secret. While ordinary Irish people knew that the unwed women and their children had been put into Religious prisons, such as Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, and Industrial Schools, large segments of the Irish population were unaware or didn’t want to know what was taken place in these Irish Catholic Church sanctioned gulags and that many of the unwed Mothers and their Children were been raped, murdered, experimented on and many other horrors all in the name of a purer Ireland run by the Irish Catholic Church for the good of Irish Society.
You may ask “What is the evidence for say, my use of the word, “murder” of unwed mother and their children by the Irish Religious Orders? There are numerous pieces of evidence proving that thousands of unwed mothers and their children were killed by the Irish Religious Orders? We have many hand written Records left on the number of people sent to the Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, and Industrial Schools, in Ireland, which were built and used primarily for unwed mothers and their children; And most damning of all, recent evidence that has come to light, two weeks ago for example, as a result of official Government excavation of mass graves (septic tank) under a Mother and Baby Home of over 800 children in a convent in the rural town of Tuam in County Galway, in the West of Ireland, (and there will be officially 17 more Irish Institutions out of a total of 200 run by the Irish Religious Orders throughout Ireland, still ongoing, as I write this article).
Sadly the numbers of buried children and their mothers in other septic tanks and mass pits will run into the tens of thousands. The attitude of the Irish local population vis-a-vis the persecution and destruction and demonising of unwed mothers and their children, ranged from zealous collaboration with the Irish Catholic Church, to indifference to unwed mothers and their children. There was much more knowledge of the "Final Solution" of unwed mothers and their children by the Irish Catholic Church, because it was implemented in every county of Ireland with the full participation of the local Irish population. The response of the Irish Government at the time to the persecution and destruction of unwed mothers and their children was inadequate and the strongest moral voice that of the President of Ireland Éamon de Valera was forever, to remain silent. By Owen Felix O'Neill
Owen Felix O'Neill
Author of Child Laundering Secrets, 2017