The secours was not very bon

NPR has more details on the Tuam human remains story.

Authorities in Ireland say they have excavated the human remains of an undisclosed number of young children from the site of a former home for unmarried mothers.

The home, located in the town of Tuam, was operated by the Bon Secours nuns beginning in the 1920s and was home to women and babies until the 1960s. For years, some in the region had suspected there was a mass grave on the site.

That’s a good deal clearer and more blunt than RTE was. It was a Catholic home (aka an informal prison) for unmarried mothers in 1920s-1960s Catholic Ireland. We can be sure those mothers were not treated well.

On Friday, the Irish minister for children and youth affairs, Katherine Zappone, announced in a statement that the official commission investigating the Tuam site “revealed that human remains are visible in a series of chambers that may have formed part of sewage treatment works for the Home.”

The statement continued:

“It is not certain whether the chambers ever functioned for sewage purposes, but the Commission believes that there are a significant number of children’s remains there. The Commission recovered some juvenile remains for detailed forensic analysis. From this analysis, it has determined that the remains are between 35 fetal weeks and 2 to 3 years of age. From carbon dating it has correlated the age of these samples with the time period during which the home was in operation — between 1925 and 1961.

A time when the church operated with impunity and unmarried mothers were viewed with contempt or worse.

Zappone said the county council for the region was securing the site for now and had not yet decided how to handle the human remains.

As we previously reported, the Tuam site “was surrounded by an 8-foot wall, concealing these living conditions from the outside world.”

Ah yes, the all-important 8-foot wall.

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