A Catholic archbishop in the Republic of Ireland has said the church has no records about the burial of nearly 800 children at a mother and baby home. The remains were in a disused concrete septic tank at the County Galway home. The children, aged between two days and nine years, died between 1925 and 1961. The grave in Tuam was found nearly 40 years ago, but was initially thought to be from the 1850s famine. Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said he was "greatly shocked" by the news....The remains were originally thought to be those of victims of the Irish famine, however, local historian Catherine Corless found that the register of deaths and burials in the town did not match. "I went to the births, deaths, marriages registration office in Galway and I asked them would they have records of the children who died at the home," she told the BBC. "When she came back to me, she said, 'We have the records... but there's quite a number.'" "I was staggered and I was shocked because there's a total number of 796 babies, children and toddlers buried in one mass grave there on that site."...Ireland's Catholic Church has recently been affected by a series of allegations of abuse and neglect of children who were in its care...."Many of the revelations are deeply disturbing and a shocking reminder of a darker past in Ireland when our children were not cherished as they should have been," said Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan. "I am particularly mindful of the relatives of those involved and of local communities." The Tuam home was one of 10 institutions in which about 35,000 unmarried pregnant women - so-called fallen women - are thought to have been sent. The children of these women were denied baptism and segregated from others at school. If they died at such facilities, they were also denied a Christian burial. County Galway death records showed that most of the children buried in the unmarked grave had died of sickness or malnutrition.
related, via Daily Mail:
Thousands of children in Irish care homes at centre of 'baby graves scandal' were used in secret vaccine trials in the 1930s
Scientists secretly vaccinated more than 2,000 children in religious-run homes in suspected illegal drug trials, it emerged today. Old medical records show that 2,051 children and babies in Irish care homes were given a one-shot diphtheria vaccine for international drugs giant Burroughs Wellcome between 1930 and 1936.
There is no evidence that consent was ever sought, nor any records of how many may have died or suffered debilitating side-effects as a result. The scandal was revealed as Irish premier, Enda Kenny, ordered ministers to see whether there are more mass baby graves after the discovery that 800 infants may be buried in a septic tank outside a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway....Michael Dwyer, of Cork University’s School of History, found the child vaccination data by trawling through tens of thousands of medical journal articles and archive files.
He discovered that the trials were carried out before the vaccine was made available for commercial use in the UK.Homes where children were secretly tested included Bessborough, in Co. Cork and Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, both of which are at the centre of the mass baby graves scandal.
ther institutions where children may also have been vaccinated include Cork orphanages St Joseph’s Industrial School for Boys, run by the Presentation Brothers, and St Finbarr’s Industrial School for Girls, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. In Dublin, it is believed that children for the trials came from St Vincent’s Industrial School, Goldenbridge, St Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys, Cabra, and St Saviours’s Dominican Orphanage. But Mr Dwyer said: 'What I have found is just the tip of a very large and submerged iceberg 'The fact that no record of these trials can be found in the files relating to the Department of Local Government and Public Health, the Municipal Health Reports relating to Cork and Dublin, or the Wellcome Archives in London, suggests that vaccine trials would not have been acceptable to government, municipal authorities, or the general public. 'However, the fact that reports of these trials were published in the most prestigious medical journals suggests that this type of human experimentation was largely accepted by medical practitioners and facilitated by authorities in charge of children’s residential institutions.'