least 9000 children have died in the homes of the Irish Roman Catholic Church. Thats evident from an investigation.
The infant mortality rate in the homes between the 20s and 90s of the last century was around 15%, the researchers write. Young children and babies lived in the homes under appalling conditions.
In the homes, unmarried pregnant women were tucked away. In heavily Catholic Ireland, it was a shame for a woman to get pregnant before marriage.
In the homes, the women were called sinners by nuns and had to give birth without pain. The children were neglected. Most of them died of respiratory infections and stomach flu. Women, who were sometimes victims of rape or incest, were also forced to give up their children for adoption.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, after publication of the report, spoke about “unbridled excuses” to the survivors for a “dark chapter of church and society”.
Perverse religious moral
Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin formally apologises in the Irish Parliament today. According to him, in Ireland there has long been a “perverted religious morality”.
Martin: “We had a totally distorted attitude to sexuality and intimacy. Young mothers and their sons and daughters paid a terrible price for this.”
Survivors call the report shocking, but feel that the role of the government is not sufficiently highlighted. For example, the authorities would have known about the high infant mortality in the homes.
The investigation began six years ago, when a mass grave was discovered with the help of an amateur historian at the town of Tuam in western Ireland. The grave was full of remains of at least 800 babies and young children.
The last so-called mother and baby house in Ireland closed its doors in 1998.