Tuam kids home mass grave revealed - End Catholic Conservative control in Ireland

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Almost a century ago, "800 years of oppression" at the hands of the Anglo-Normans and the British monarchy came to an end on three quarters of the island, but it wasn't the end of oppression in Ireland. The baton was eagerly taken by the Catholic Church and the southern Irish state, and in eight years they will be celebrating one hundred years of kidnap, torture, murder and sexual abuse. (content warning: Mentions sexual abuse, child abuse, kidnapping, neglect)

 

This week, despite attempts at a media blackout, people in Ireland and across the globe were shocked to learn of the discovery of almost eight hundred skeletal remains of babies and children at a former "mother and babies home" that was run by the Bon Secours nuns. These were the children who were taken from unmarried mothers, many of whom ended up in the Magdalene Laundries.

Shocking as these finds were, we know that this is only the latest in a long line of scandals and abuses involving collusion between the church and the state. That is not even considering the influence the church has had on state policy, since it's foundation in 1922.

Despite the discovery of this atrocity; knowledge of the horror of the Magdalene laundries where women who were deemed impure by the clergy were taken, with the help of the authorities, families and "upstanding members of the community" and treated as slaves; the industrial schools where children were systematically abused and denied a childhood; and the child sex abuse scandals, the church still occupies a prominent role in the provision of health and education and wields considerable influence in the formation of government policy.

For years, the Catholic Church and associated organisations has fought tooth and nail to deny bodily autonomy to anyone with a womb by resisting any move to provide, even limited abortion rights. They tried to hold back LGBT rights for as long as they could. They have placed restrictions on the type of medical care women can avail of. They even fought against the introduction of tampons.

In 1950, Minister for Health, Noel Browne attempted to introduce the Mother and Child Scheme. This legislation would have guaranteed maternity care for all mothers and healthcare for children to the age of sixteen. The Catholic Church, under the infamous leadership of Archbishop Charles McQuaid stepped in and put pressure on the government to pull the scheme and force Browne's resignation.

The Irish State was founded by Catholic Conservatives. We will call for the separation of church and state, but that is not enough. This state is as guilty as the church it has taken direction from. It has always been anti-woman and anti-gay. It has always opposed equality of gender. It still does so today as it attacks single parents financially, rather than by imprisonment. It's time to fight to turn this situation upside down.

It's time to fight for a truly democratic society where women can decide their own fate, where gender is not something that is assigned by what you have in your pants, where it doesn't matter what genders you are attracted to and where children do not have to suffer religious indoctrination to get an education.

We want justice for the Magdalenes, justice for the children of Tuam, justice for the victims of the industrial schools and clerical sex abuse.

We want free, safe and legal abortion, free secular education, free healthcare with real choices and economic equality for all families and children, whether they have one parent or two.

We want to determine our own fate, without the interference of church or state, of gods or masters.

NOT THE CHURCH, NOT THE STATE - END CATHOLIC CONSERVATIVE HEGEMONY IN IRELAND

Words:Mark Hoskins

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