It is emerging that thousands of children were starved to death in state funded homes run by nuns in Ireland. The Daily Mail today carries a detailed report which quotes Philip Redmond, a survivor of Sean Ross Abbey Hospital, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary where of the 167 babies born in 1942, there were 72 deaths. Mr Redmond says "As far as Bessborough is concerned, there is little doubt in our minds that as many as 2,000 died while we believe another 1,200 died in Sean Ross Abbey" This figures are to be added to the estimated 796 bodies found in a waste tank in the grounds of then Tuam home - see the earlier piece on this page.
The mass grave in Tuam isn't simply a story of a handful of evil nuns acting out of sight and discovered 80 years too late. It's the story of the long and protracted relationship between the Irish state and the Catholic church as illustrated by these two photos from the 1930s and 1950s.
The first is one of many scenes from the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, a few short years after the Tuam home went into operation. The congress saw the Irish state lay on an enormous pageant to cement its relationship with the church as part of the process of recasting its control over the population through the promotion of a regressive religious ideology that marginalised independent women, queers and anyone else who didn't toe the line.
Newstalk is finally leading on the story of the 796 children buried in a sceptic tank in a religious home in Tuam - it has yet to appear in the RTE website. It's over a week and RTE has yet to 'realise' this is a major story. A clear indication that we are not dealing simply with uncovering a grim story from the distant past but with the way power continues to be exercised between Church, State & Media in our collective present.