FOR generations we have known the Great Famine as the Irish Holocaust.
Even at this remove it is hard to overstate the horrors inflicted on
the Irish poor almost 200 years ago.
Contemporary events may not match
An Gorta Mór in scale but, in terms of avoidable suffering, they are as
In a week that the full horrors of the Grace abuse scandal
were at last made public, humanity’s timeless capacity for cruelty was
That the week was bookended by the confirmation that
the remains of a large number of children were found at a former
mother-and-baby home in Tuam just confirms that sad reality.
Historians suggest that 796 infants died in Tuam between 1925 and
This is a rate of around one child dying every two weeks for
nearly 40 years.
It is unknown how many of these are represented in the
grim discovery just made public.
Anyone who imagines that these issues are historic is wrong.
who neglected Grace are alive and just this week, abuse survivor Marie
Collins felt obliged to resign from the Vatican’s Commission for the
Protection of Minors because of unwavering opposition to change.
200 years have passed since the Famine and it is still impossible to
understand how it was deliberately allowed to wreak such havoc.
take even longer to understand how this society, our flesh and blood,
turned a blind eye to the evil so active in Tuam and other institutions