Features > Ireland’s buried shame

12 June 2014 | by Sarah Mac Donald

Ireland’s buried shame

Scandal of Irish maternity institutions

A government inquiry into religious-run mother-and-baby homes may unearth yet more uncomfortable truths There is a large, white cross on the gate of a grassy space on the edge of a housing estate in Tuam, Co. Galway. Locals have planted flowers and there is a grotto in a corner with a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Beneath the grass the skeletons of infants lie; bones were discovered by two children playing there in 1975. It is possible these remains are of some of the 796 children who died at a home for unmarried mothers and their babies that once stood nearby. The infant deaths at the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home run by the Bon Secours nuns between 1924 and 1961 have rapidly grown into yet another scandal engulfing the Catholic Church. On Tuesday, the Irish Minister for Childre


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