Religious order apologizes for mass grave in Ireland’s mother and baby home By Reuters

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The religious order that ran a nursing home for single mothers in the Irish city of Tuam, where the remains of hundreds of babies were found in a mass grave, has apologized for treating the people in its care. A government-commissioned report released Tuesday found a “gruesome” death rate of around 15% among children born into a network of so-called mother-and-baby homes, reflecting brutal living conditions. Around 9,000 children died in total. Family members have alleged that the babies were abused because they were born to single mothers who, like their children, were seen as a blot on Ireland’s image as a devout Catholic nation. “We did not live up to our Christianity when we ran the Home,” the Bon Secours Sisters, who ran the Home for the Mother and Baby of Saint Mary in Tuam from 1925 to 1961, said in a statement. “We do not respect dignity inherent in the women and children who came to the home. We did not offer them the compassion they so badly needed, “the statement said. The government investigation began six years ago after local amateur historian Catherine Corless discovered evidence of a massive unmarked cemetery in Tuam, who found public records showing 796 children had died in the home. “We recognize in particular that infants and children who died at home were buried in a disrespectful and unacceptable manner. For all that, we are deeply sorry,” the statement said. “We hope and pray that healing reaches all those affected; those who are alive and those who have died,” he said. “We hope that we, our church and our country can learn from this story.”

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