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Kenny speaks for nation on the 'horrors' of Tuam

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Kenny described the Tuam Mother and Baby Home - where hundreds of babies' remains were discovered - as "a chamber of horrors". Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Kenny described the Tuam Mother and Baby Home - where hundreds of babies' remains were discovered - as "a chamber of horrors". Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Kenny described the Tuam Mother and Baby Home - where hundreds of babies' remains were discovered - as "a chamber of horrors". Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sometimes Taoiseach Enda Kenny really does speak for the nation.

Over his time in office, he has not shirked from criticism of our country's past, most notably in his memorable response to the Cloyne Report.

He will be credited with bringing about social change as the leader of a government which brought in the country's first legislation allowing abortion in limited circumstances and bringing forward the same-sex marriage referendum.

Although he is a conservative at heart, his time in power has contributed to the advance of the liberal agenda.

Yesterday, Mr Kenny returned to the topic of the societal norms of bygone days.

He described the Tuam Mother and Baby Home - where hundreds of babies' remains were discovered - as "a chamber of horrors".

But he did not lay the blame solely at the door of the Catholic Church or the Bons Secours order.

He said the Tuam revelations concerned "a social and cultural sepulchre".

"We dug deep and we dug deeper still to bury our compassion, to bury our mercy, to bury our humanity itself.

"No nuns broke into our homes to kidnap our children. We gave them up to what we convinced ourselves was the nuns' care," he said.

"We gave them up to spare them the savagery of gossip, the wink-and-elbow language of delight in which the 'holier than thous' were particularly fluent...we gave them up because of our perverse, morbid relationship with what you call respectability...for a while it seemed as if in Ireland our women had the amazing capacity to self-impregnate," he added with irony.

This scandal is about far more than the burial of bodies.

Irish Independent