Coverage of the Tuam babies story

Dear Editor, I thought David Quinn’s piece on the Tuam story (‘Dealing with the issue of unwanted children’ IC 12/6/14) greatly helped to keep things in perspective. While there’s no question that the uncovering of the mass grave was shocking and disturbing, I feel as if the media was quick to sensationalise the story without a prior amount of significant research. I am glad that matters are being looked into, and that the horrible truth of many mother and baby homes is being addressed, but at the same time it’s important to remember the other reasons why many children died at a young age during that period in time. With the advancement of modern medicine people tend to forget the lack of treatment that was available in the not too distant past. It was much more common, especially for those living in poverty, to die of simple diseases that today would be easy to cure.

It is sad to think that everyone’s first assumption was mistreatment. Unfortunately, unmarried mothers and their children were treated horribly by society and the Church during that time, and the grave at Tuam could possibly be another part of this terrible saga.  However, it’s important to remember that mother and baby homes were not exclusive to the Catholic Church. Practically every nation has its stories of abuse of the less fortunate, just look at America and its history of mental hospitals for example. While it is important to bring these issues to light and to help move toward collective healing, it is equally important not to jump to conclusions before the facts are found.

Yours etc.,

Margaret Kenny,


Co. Cork.