Sunday, 8 June 2014

800 Tuam babies' grave. Different back then?

With all the bullshit of the 1916 rising centenary awaiting us, it might be timely to consider the “visions” of  some of its participants, namely the faction of bourgeoisie nationalists who won out and came to power in the end.

Padraig Pearse achieved his blood sacrifice, of course, something he held in high regard.  He envisaged a tee-total, Gaelic-speaking, Catholic Ireland (see Tom Garvin, Preventing the Future: How Ireland stayed so poor for so long).   That’s “revolution”, Irish-style.

Mercifully, the Brits put a bullet in Pearse – sadly, however, they left de Valera alive and well in order to impose his vision of a rural, conservative, Catholic, ill-educated backwater of Europe on the new State.   He succeeded splendidly.

Hence the latest revelation of 800 babies, mostly the offspring of “unmarried mothers”, 
who died in this brave new State’s care at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Galway.   The mortality rate of 35% at this institution was far higher than in general, and the dead babies were put in a large unmarked mass grave.  One might be forgiven for concluding there was a deliberate policy of neglect in order to rid  the pure new Ireland of inconvenient "illegitimates".

You might have thought there would be outrage now in Ireland at this, but no.  It’s just another scandal and it was a long time ago.

Not as long ago as the Vikings, the Norman invasion, the Tudor plantation and the famine, of course – which many Irish “remember” like yesterday, indoctrinated as they are, and still swear revenge for.   Predictably, the Gaelic version of Irish identity foisted on us carefully forgets the fact that Ireland's original inhabitants – the ones who built Newgrange – were a pre-Celtic people.  

But back to the matter of the 800 babies.  Things were different back then, you see, when the Irish State’s genocide of “illegitimate” babies was going on in religious and State institutions, with the acquiescence of the Garda and the Irish Peeple themselves.  So move on, forgive and forget and all that. It's all in the past.

Have a look at this Indo article on the topic, and how many of the comments on the article take such a tack.   “Things were different then”.  That’s OK then.

Things were different in Europe when the Jews were being rounded up and murdered by the then German State authorities.  The difference is Anti-semitic attitudes in Germany and elsewhere have since been addressed, and lessons on the dangers of narrow myth-based nationalism have been learned

The problem in Ireland, is that things really aren’t that much different at all.


Ella said...

Hi GM, you know at a mother and baby home in Cork the death rate was 50%, genocide is the only word that describes this.

What's also shocking about this is the fact that the powers that be have known about Tuam and other mother and baby homes for some time and their interest in doing anything at all is because there is widespread international interest in the story. Shocking. This is now. What's changed...

aine said...

I am sick of those in power making out they're all concerned about these 800 children Talking about a dark past and still children in care are dying and going missing. If it were one child of a politician they would be screaming from the rooftops. In Tuam they have known since the lads broke the concrete slab and discovered their bones. Dismissed as famine victims it was covered up

The Gombeen Man said...

@Ella. It really is beyond belief.. every one of two babies died in State "care" in some of these institutions.

@ Aine. Yes, the care of the State is not something to be sought out, even now.

Then we hear today that many of those in such kips were given bovine vaccinations, in some Mengele-like medical trials...

It gets more and more incredible what a dump our little land was... and is.

aine said...

Yes I heard about the vaccine trials before, children used as guinea pigs it was inhuman. They were treated like they were disposable

I blame the government of DeValera and each successive FF government in collusion with his unholiness archbishop John McQuaid.

DC3 said...

"The problem in Ireland, is that things really aren’t that much different at all." And that GM is EXACTLY it. Nothing has changed, the fucking Irish scum bastards are still the same. Ireland is what it was always, a cowardly hypocritical thick Bog.

And worse always went on, with the collusion of state, church and people. Just consider, the culture that "disposed" of these innocent babies, was part of a legacy that destroyed individuals that would not conform. If you did not toe the line, were alone, you either would be labelled or institutionalised.

It created a culture of mind fear. A FEAR which permeated every level of the individual and society. A hugely effective MOB system, which essentially destroyed all opposition, by using FEAR of being isolated and "being shown up" as it's stick. Even the Nazis had some opposition...

GM with starving children now living in Ireland, where in the name of Christ GM, would so much contemporary austerity be tolerated anywhere else in the World? On a tiny island of not even 5 million people. It's fucking mesmerizingly backward.

Bernd said...

For starters, the state could act like an adult about Tuam - cordon the site off, get forensics in, actually investigate what is there and what (might have) happened. After that, a swift decision whether there are grounds for prosecution (a moral outrage generally is not a basis for this), then actually follow through. Yes, that might mean putting old nuns in the dock. And, generally speaking ... it would be nice of Ireland to remember that each and every village had these plots, where unbaptised children were buried in less than dignified circumstances.

Sleepyhead said...

So, if logic is to take its course, the next time a dead body is found somewhere on the outskirts of Dublin, whoever finds it should Dial 999 and ask for the inter-departmental committee on unidentified remains.

Anonymous said...

Gombeen man , have you seen this ?Someones been in the fianna fail tent it seems

Anonymous said...

Were they thrown in the septic pit??