According to Dr James Smith of the Justice for Magdalenes Group, the announcement by the government’s commission was just the beginning. He said, “The Justice for Magdalenes research group and its partner group Adoption Rights Alliance have documented that there were roughly 180 institutions associated with the care and provision of services to unmarried mothers and their children, so the story is much wider than the Commission’s current investigations.” He said the government should also investigate the other institutions named above. “Anomalies between the recordings of deaths and the burial of children and mothers is now a defining characteristic of these institutions, as it is of the Magdalene Laundries,” he said. “We have to pursue that.”
But will thorough investigations be carried out? There is some doubt – and with good reason. Smith said, “Why the site in Tuam is not being cordoned off by the Irish police today and investigated as a site where an atrocity took place, that’s a fair question. Many people are asking that question.” And Catherine Corless asked why no investigation took place way back in the 1970s when local schoolboys found human remains, including human skulls, at the Tuam site.
The answer to Corless’ question is simple. Back then, Ireland was an intensely Roman Catholic country; one of the most Roman Catholic countries in the world, fanatically devoted to the pope and to the “Church” of Rome. At that time, the police, the local councils, and almost everyone in any position of authority was a Roman Catholic. Obviously, when those boys found the human remains at the site, any investigation at the time would have done more than just severely embarrass the Roman Catholic “Church” in Ireland; it would have done massive damage to it. The public outcry, indeed outrage, would have been huge, not only in Ireland but around the world. Rome could not afford such negative publicity, nor any investigations into her dark deeds. It would have been an easy thing, in the Ireland of those days, for the priests to see to it, through their absolute control of the town councils, the police, etc., that the entire incident just “went away”. Nothing came of any investigation, because no proper investigation was made.
But what about today? Today Ireland is a very different country from what it was back then. Its people cannot be described as being almost 100% devoutly Roman Catholic today. There has been a massive falling away from the Roman Catholic faith in recent years, especially in light of the terrible priestly sex abuse scandals. I have written about this in the past. And yet even so, there is every indication of a deliberate attempt at playing down this discovery of the remains of almost 800 babies:
Why, even after the commission released its findings, did the Irish police not immediately cordon off the site? That is more than odd, or an oversight – it is downright suspicious.
Why was the entire terrible discovery not being treated as the atrocity it really was? This was a truly horrendous story: the remains of not one or two, but almost 800 babies discovered!
Why, indeed, was the news of the commission’s findings released on a Friday – the day traditionally favoured by governments for dropping controversial stories on newsrooms preparing for the weekend break?
Why was such a huge story also released on the very day when the election results in Northern Ireland were announced? Clearly the intention was to prevent the story getting a lot of press. But as it turned out, it got plenty anyway, thanks to social media, which turned it into an international story virtually overnight.
It is evident that, despite the massive rejection of the Romish “Church” by large numbers of Irish people, and despite the loss of the kind of power which the priests once exerted over all aspects of Irish life, including its politics, the priests of Rome do still exert a significant influence over the politics of Ireland! True, it is nothing like what it once was; but it is still there, it is still felt, and they will attempt to bury this revelation as deep as they can.
It remains to be seen if they will succeed.