Sunday 19 May 2019

'The ugly, filthy truth is they were treated like trash and dumped in the bin,' says sister of Tuam baby

Annette McKay says photos of the site are ‘vile and shocking’. Picture: Brian Farrell
Annette McKay says photos of the site are ‘vile and shocking’. Picture: Brian Farrell

Niall Donald

The sister of a girl believed to be among the Tuam babies has spoken of the pain of seeing pictures of the burial site.

Annette McKay said yesterday that she hoped "the Taoiseach and every single child law expert in Ireland is looking at these images today over their Easter Sunday breakfast".

Shocking images of the site in Galway were released by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The distressing pictures were taken by the archaeology team which uncovered a "significant quantity of human remains" at the site of the former Bons Secours-run home for unmarried mothers in 2016.

Ms McKay, whose sister Mary Margaret is believed to be buried in the chambers, said: "The photos are vile, they are shocking and distressing but that is the reality of them.

"These images are the ugly, filthy truth of Tuam. Let's stop pretending, let's stop the lies.

"The pictures need to be published and seen by everyone. I hope the Taoiseach and every single child law expert in Ireland is looking at these images today over their Easter Sunday breakfast.

"Those children are in a hole. Those children were babies passed through a bucket in a window and put in a hole. My sister is one of them.

"There wasn't one act of humanity or decency in the way they were treated in there, the women and children were starved, beaten and abused. They were worked like slaves. So here is the truth, the ugly, filthy truth of it all. Let's not pretend that those women and children were nothing more than trash.

"And what do you do with trash? You dump it in a bin," she added.

One of the distressing images shows a long track of 20 open top chambers uncovered at the Tuam site - 18 of which contained the remains of children.

In a separate report by the former State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, who inspected the site on October 5, 2016, she said the children's remains were found in a "haphazard arrangement" with no evidence of shrouds or coffins.

Ms McKay, whose mother Maggie O'Connor from Galway gave birth in the Tuam home, said she was grateful to read that the archaeological team had redacted the images of the children's remains.

But she said that there were still "millions of questions" to be answered as to what happened to children who were resident in the home.

Irish Independent

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