Forensic Interpretation of Mass Graves; War crimes are always committed during armed conflicts between Nation States. Crimes against humanity, such as summary executions of civilians, are also not uncommon in situations of national armed conflicts, revolutions, or in totalitarian regimes. All of these events result in missing persons and often in undiscovered Mass Graves. Both are searched for and processed by forensic experts in the aftermath of the conflict. Legal medicine has greatly benefited from the development of molecular biology and its new analytical techniques, in particular DNA analysis, in the identification of highly decomposed human remains. But we have an usual situation, shameful here in Ireland of many secret Mass Graves at many of our Religious Institutions, run by the different Catholic Religious Orders. Years ago DNA was unknown to humankind but the identification of human remains are now possible in all cases to be identified, by comparing medical and dental records of missing persons with findings at autopsy in cadavers rescued from mass graves.
Mass Graves can tell a story that contain large amounts of highly decomposed bodies and skeletal remains, but they do pose specific challenges for forensic experts in Ireland or anywhere else for that matter, especially when dental and medical records are none existent, or when the grave is a secondary one, as is many cases, containing parts of bodies which were purposely removed and mixed by the perpetrators, the Irish Catholic Religious Orders. The recent development of new DNA sequencing and profiling technologies, as well as the understanding of the uniqueness of certain DNA sequences among individuals, has become greatly useful for human identification in situations of mass bodies dumped into Mass Graves, in many of the Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools in Ireland.
DNA can be extracted from the bone marrow of Mass Grave skeletons, no matter the age of the remains. All genes are inherited in two copies: one from the Father and the other from the Mother, which are respectively known as paternal and maternal alleles. Each “allele” encodes a phenotypic feature or a certain inherited characteristic. An individual normally has two “alleles” for each gene, one contributed by the Mother and one by the Father.
Now to the technical, First with especial Thanks to Thomson Gale of World of Forensic Science;- DNA sequences are also used for human identification. They are classified according to their characteristics, such as LINES (long interspersed sequences), SINES (short interspersed sequences), LTR (long terminal repeats), STR (short tandem repeats), and VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats, or micro-satellite DNA). Short tandem repeats are used in tests of paternity and VNTR is used to identify victims and suspects. Crime scenes, like mass graves often produce mixed biological samples containing genetic material from two or more individuals, such as mixed body fluids , bloodstains, or blood pools. In mass graves however, samples contain DNA of several victims, rapidly degrading in tropical climates or due to moisture and soil conditions, all of which affect the STR sequences and other DNA loci used in human identification. Until recently, this constituted a serious obstacle to forensic interpretation. With the rapid evolution of genetic screening technologies, however, new test kits and software are being constantly developed. Some of these kits are more sensitive to low, degraded concentrations of DNA found in mixed samples than others. In degraded DNA mixtures, the margin of error for minor STR components can be 10–33%, and the burial of several relatives with similar alleles in a mass grave can make individual identification of DNA from a mixture even more difficult. Statistical evaluation of DNA mixtures takes into account the match probability.
So it works this way, living relatives of missing persons donate blood samples for comparison with DNA extracted from the long bones and teeth of the exhumed human remains. Mass Graves when located and exhumed in the Irish Convents or other Religious Institutions, run by different Catholic Religious Orders are located, to identify one corpse or any, or multiple bodies, and DNA is recovered, Survivors are then needed to give their DNA to seek matches. This way a unique profile for each individual is established, this is called DNA profiling. Every child, mother or other body must be DNAed to establish Identity and family connections. We know, DNA extracted from teeth and the application of other forensic identification techniques will led to the successful identification of all the victims, dumped into secret Mass Graves at most Religious Run Institution in Ireland.
DNA analysis may efficiently contribute to the identification of remains even decades later. The significant percentage of positively identified remains (60%), even when the number of the examined possible living relatives was relatively small, proved the importance of cooperation with the members of the local community and Survivors, who can help to identify the closest missing persons’ relatives and collect referent samples from them.
There is another Ireland, buried under modern Ireland. There is nothing more awful nor powerful than standing on the edge of a a septic tank structure, posing as a final resting place at the back of an Irish Catholic Convent, to watch the hundreds of baby’s bodies being taken up from a septic tank below. With Survivors and their families, sitting throughout the land, anxiously waiting in the hope of identifying the remains, and muttering quietly to themselves, “ Is this my brother, Is this my sister, Is this my son, Is this my daughter”, Is this really Ireland !!. Hundreds and hundreds and Row after row of baby sized heads and bones, mixed up, with human waste, shattered across 17 dark septic tank chambers, all filled with human bones of babies and children. Incomplete, unable to be identified, and never given dignity, in life nor death.
There is something rotten in the Catholic State of Ireland, that we can do this with babies and children, 796 is a big number, a powerful symbol of a failure to safeguard vulnerable babies and children in the care of Irish Catholic run Orphanages. This is a constant reminder of human vulnerability and exposure to Irish Catholic Church tyranny. The Irish Catholic Church contributes to maintaining the atmosphere of distrust that so often defines the fragility of Governments in transition and they adversely affect the credibility of political, democratic and rule of law institutions. While the public in general and Survivors of these Irish Catholic run Institutions, seek answers as each baby is pulled from the depths of an abandoned septic tank below. Survivors and other Family members have a right to honesty and clear information concerning the fate and whereabouts of their Brothers and Sisters. This right is clearly stated in the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Resolution 7/28 of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and other human rights instruments, as well as in International Humanitarian Law as applicable.”
Above a similar death chamber with scattered remains to be seen, on the earthen floor of the chamber, one of 20 similar secret Chambers used in Tuam were 796 remains of Babies and Children bodies were dumped into similar cesspits or cesspools. 17 of the Chambers were proven to contain remains of Babies and Children bodies for the 1950s. Many experts now believe that this number of 796 will greatly increase. A cesspit, or cesspool, is a manmade structure, which is not sealed at the bottom. It was used for the collection and storage of feces, excreta or fecal sludge as part of an on-site sanitation system used at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in County Galway, Ireland. Traditionally, it was a deep cylindrical chamber dug into the earth, having approximate dimensions of 1 metre diameter and 2–3 metres depth. The cesspit was lined with red bricks, and formed into underground chambers covered with a very large concrete slab, the cesspool should have been emptied on a regular basis but it never was emptied, because the Bon Secours Sisters, at the time knew their dirty secret would come out, the cesspit was the place to dump, in secret the remains of the bodies of unwanted, vulnerable Babies and Children.
Burials were expensive at the time, and no money was provided for burials by both the local council nor the Irish Government. So the Bon Secours Sisters, collectively made a decision not the bury each child or baby. The Bon Secours Sisters believe that these babies and children were not God’s Children, but spawns of the devil. In addition, we now know that the Crafty Sisters of the Bon Secours Order, collected money weekly on the babies and children in their care, the Bon Secours Sisters, never informed the Irish Government when a baby or child died, you see they were paid per child, it was in the interests of the Bon Secours Sisters not to report any of the children’s deaths, if it could, and something else, if the Bon Secours Sisters reported too many deaths, they feared Irish Government Inspectors, visiting, unannounced and asking awkward questions. The Bon Secours Sisters feared exposure, both for their financial crimes and manner of the children’s murder and deaths would be exposed.
Also the Irish Government Inspectors, would then see the site of thousands of tiny crosses denoting an individual grave on their, the Convent lands, which would mean that all the locals and Irish Government Inspectors, would know and see for themselves, the thousands of tiny crosses, and that the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in County Galway, Ireland, was really the killing ground for unwanted, vulnerable Babies and Children. Something else, the Bon Secours Sisters, would than have to keep a record of each child, each baby, they buried, and the Mothers’ of the Babies and Children would have a place to visit daily, and lay flowers, this I can assure you would cause horror and nightmares for the Bon Secours Sisters,. The sight from their luxurious bedrooms and well refined, elegant drawing rooms, of their Convent, watching a parade of thousands of grieving Mothers, paying homage, every day, at the graves of their buried babies and children, would be to much for the Holy Nuns to bare. The Children’s graves would be a daily reminder of the Bon Secours Sisters, barbarousness, murderousness, brutishness, and merciless savagery melting out daily in their Convent.
To the Bon Secours Sisters, the Cesspit was the better option, concocted by the evil, warped minds of the Bon Secours Sisters of Tuam, “out of mind out of sight”, the Bon Secours Sisters, believed, and told each other, it’s for the better, they said among themselves, after many scrumptious dinners and many bottles of sherry, no grieving mothers to worry about, no Angel Plots for Babies or children, no nosey Irish Government Inspectors. In reality it really was easier for the Bon Secours Sisters to forget the spawns of the devil, flushed into the bleak, black hell of the cesspool chambers, hidden, far under their Convent lands at Tuam, County Galway.
The present Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, while previously distancing his Archdiocese from involvement in the Tuam- Mother and Babies Home scandal, is now in fear of further investigations, discovering more hidden graves and septic tanks, and has and is refusing to meet any and all Survivors from the Tuam, Mother and Babies Home. The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary has also refused to provide Church Documents and Records pertaining to the Tuam- Mother and Babies Home and Survivors, looking for their brothers, sisters, and mothers. In fact Dr Michael Neary, is committing grievous crimes and genocidal crimes by hiding and disposing of, direct evidence of the atrocities committed at Tuam- Mother and Babies Home. You see, it’s very simple, the Bon Secours Sisters would have needed the express permission of his predecessor Archbishop Thomas Gilmartin in 1925 to enter the Tuam Archdiocese to set up shop, their Mother and Babies Institution.The Bon Secours Sisters would have been under the direct jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Tuam and secret contracts would have been entered into by then Archbishop and the Bon Secours Sisters at the time and rubber-stamped by Galway County Council as regards the refurbishment of this old public assistance building and the payments of monies to the Order, which would only go through the Archdiocese of Tuam and then passed into the rich coffers of the Bon Secours Sisters themselves, for their “taking in” of unmarried pregnant girls. I expect the Parish Records that the Archdiocese of Tuam had, is now, also flushed into the same Sluice Toilet with the remains of the 796 babies.
The Bon Secours Sisters, showed their true colours, their total lack of empathy by never touching the baby or child, they simply told an older docile, slave woman, how to flush the spawn baby down the Sluice Toilet with the used toilet paper, except there was no toilet paper, it was only a used baby, the older docile, slave woman, simply flushed as the Bon Secours Sisters instructed and taught her to do. In this way 796 babies were flushed down the Sluice Toilet at the rate of 22 babies per year, or an average of 2 babies per month for 36 years, since 1925 and the Tuam Mother and Baby Home closed its doors in 1961. But recent Irish Government Forensic Science Reports has informed us that the majority of the babies were from the 1950s..and again something else, the forensic archaeologists, also informs us, that the children’s playground in front of the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam which was also part of the Convent land, contains another mass grave, a genocide of over 1,800 more women and children, again from the same period of 1925 to 1961, and not the famine babies from 1843 as first reported by the lying Bon Secours Sisters in 2014 and the compliant Irish Police, An Garda Síochána. The Bon Secours Sisters said, and I quote….“we never knew anything about it.” The Bon Secours Sisters, again in 2014, also said “They had no awareness of a grave “in the area” of the Home. — Please Sisters, don’t add insult to injury, when does the lying stop.
Owen Felix O’Neill
Owen Felix O'Neill
Author of Child Laundering Secrets, 2017