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Episode 323

Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home
Thu, 2018-Mar-22 01:55 UTC
Length - 3:19

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Welcome to popular Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a popular Wikipedia page every day.

With 364,601 views on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 our article of the day is Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home.

The Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home (also known as St Mary's Mother and Baby Home or simply The Home) was a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children that operated between 1925 and 1961 in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. The Home was run by the Bon Secours Sisters, a religious order of Roman Catholic nuns, that also operated the Grove Hospital in the town. Unwed pregnant women were sent to the Home to give birth.

In 2012, the Health Service Executive raised concerns that up to 1,000 children had been sent from the Home for illegal adoptions in the United States, without their mothers' consent.

In 2014, a local amateur historian, Catherine Corless, published an article documenting the deaths of 796 babies and toddlers at the Home during its decades of operation. The report noted that the most commonly recorded causes of death among the infants were congenital debilities, infectious diseases and malnutrition (including marasmus-related malnutrition). The article claimed that the bodies were buried in a site at the Home and that there was a high death rate of its residents. Her research led her to conclude that almost all had been buried in an unmarked and unregistered site at the Home. The article noted that the site was also the location of a septic tank when overlaid with maps of the period of use as a workhouse. The allegations are being investigated by a statutory commission of investigation under Judge Yvonne Murphy – the "Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation".

Excavations carried out between November 2016 and February 2017 that had been ordered by the Commission of Investigation found a "significant" quantity of human remains, aged from 35 foetal weeks to two to three years, interred in "a vault with twenty chambers". The Commission's statement reported that "The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water. The Commission has also not yet determined if it was ever used for this purpose." Carbon dating confirmed that the remains date from the timeframe relevant to the operation of the Mother and Baby Home by the Bon Secours order. The Commission stated that it was shocked by the discovery and that it is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way. A later report by an Expert Technical Group, commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, confirmed that the vault was a sewage tank.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:55 UTC on Thursday, 22 March 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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