Wednesday 29 March 2017

Letters: We owe it to the Tuam children to have a full inquiry

Specialist engineer's apply Ground Probing Radar to the burial site at the former Mother and Babies home in Tuam; inset, historian Catherine Corless (inset). Photo: Ray Ryan
Specialist engineer's apply Ground Probing Radar to the burial site at the former Mother and Babies home in Tuam; inset, historian Catherine Corless (inset). Photo: Ray Ryan

* Every now and then a story comes along which stops one in one's tracks. A story which makes a person question their belief in the innate decency of man or woman.

That story is the tragedy that was revealed finally to the world by Catherine Corless. Photos can be found online of the children taken while they were "in care" at the mother-and-child home in Tuam. Grim, joyless faces with pained eyes stare hard-faced back at the camera, reminiscent of those children we saw pictures of in Romanian orphanages in the 1980s after the fall of Ceausescu. What desolation was visited upon them that ripped the childlike joy from their eyes and replaced it with a deadman's stare? How can the final resting place of an innocent child be a tank which was used to store human excrement? Is that what their lives were worth?

This story has been in the public domain to a greater or lesser extent since 1975. People knew there were bodies buried there. Why is it only this week that any awakening of the public consciousness has occurred?

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