Can remembering past atrocities prevent future ones? I say a resounding yes. The question I was asked very recently, was should we dig up all the babies and children found or known in the mass graves that dot around the religious sites in Ireland, like, The Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, Orphanages and Industrial Schools, and Convents. I replied yes we should and I will tell you why… I accept this can be a very painful subject to many Survivors, but we must hold both the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Irish Government to account no matter how painful. I maintain that we must have true accountability, the Irish Catholic Church has lost all credibility. The death of trust and the triumph of suspicion, we can never again take the word of the Irish Catholic Church. Total transparency is now a must, because cover-ups always make matters worse. The mere suspicion of a cover-up makes trust impossible, we can’t afford to trust a morally corrupt Church. The Irish Catholic Church has lost all moral authority, Time to dismantle it once and for all. It's not that there are a few fetid apples, the whole putrid tree is rotten to its core, and now emitting a fetid smell of decay.
The devilish Clerics of The Cult earned their infamous reputation, for their violent tactics, brutal beatings, murder and torture of vulnerable babies, children and women in their pastoral care. Gestapo like Clergy used torture, rape and brutal violence in all their Religious run Institutions in Ireland. The bigot Clergy of The Cult were indeed a frighteningly efficient bureaucracy of thugs, killers, pedophile rapists and religious fanatics, child traffickers, and slavers. Its field agents, the Nuns and Priests were masters in the black arts of terror, meted out not infrequently with a hefty dose of religious sadism, which further perpetrated Irish Catholic Church crimes. These delinquent Clerics brutally and cruelly forced vulnerable women and children into a lifetime of domestic servitude. Even in death the Clerics flushed and disposed of thousands of rejected babies and children down into their septic tanks, a final act of utter humiliation. After all the murderous Clerics of The Cult viewed these babies and children as shit to be used and disposed of. Their mothers, also by the thousands, were similarly disposed of into cesspools, which can still be found to this day on convent lands.
Religious fanaticism, practiced like the Irish Clerics in general were and are dangerous and terrifying because of their mindlessness. It is futile to try to reason with them because they are epidemic feral creatures, entirely focused on infecting other people with their plague of religious bigotry. Some of their collective crimes-on women and children were- Sex Trafficking-Child Sex Trafficking-Baby Trafficking-Forced Labour-Domestic Servitude-Forced Child Labour.
We must remember the lessons of its genocidal past by the Irish Catholic Church, known as The Cult. Ireland must also remember the haunting question. - “How should a nation of former perpetrators mourn its victims?” Genocide was practiced in every Religious run Institution in Ireland by the Clerics of the Irish Catholic Church and Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people, like the babies, children and their unwed mothers because of their mothers had the babies out of wedlock.
Survivors struggled for official recognition as targets of mass rapes, slavery, brutalities and killing. We need a complete reckoning with the scope and scale of Irish Catholic Church’s crimes. We also need a proper memorial to mark the killing of thousands of babies, children and mothers in Ireland’s religious run Institutions. A memorial for atonement and remembering to serve as a perpetual reminder of Ireland’s particular responsibility to never again allow such atrocities.
Today leaders of Ireland’s Catholic Church have repeatedly voiced revisionist and untrue, that minimise Irish Catholic Church’s era crimes. Worse still, the Irish Catholic Church has downplayed the genocide and its role both the Clerics and their Religious run Institutions played in the thousands of deaths and rapes, religious brutalities of babies, children and women in their care. The mass graves, septic tanks, cesspools must be uncovered and no matter how painful, we must know completely what happens in these killing fields of Religious run Institutions, so that it can never happen again. We must also hold Irish democracy accountable for the crime of complacency. To showcase the dire consequences of failing to stand up to tyranny, committed by the powerful Irish Catholic Church. I call for a permanent installation of babies, children and women remains. I see myself as engaged in a war against forgetting, as do all Survivors.
Mass Grave burial grounds in all Religious run Institutions in Ireland are sacred but they must be excavated, no matter the cost or embarrassment to the Irish Catholic Church. The land must never be sold off to developers. It’s not enough that the Irish Catholic Church beg for forgiveness, we cannot accept forgiveness when we don’t know the full extent of the atrocities committed in their Religious run Institutions in Ireland. Until every bone, every baby or child’s body is identified, reburied and treated with dignity. “Never Again”
Tens of thousands of the dead babies, children and women came to dot the Irish landscape, and the recurrent past. “No baby, child or woman will be forgotten, nothing is forgotten.” A remembrance slogan shows the will and the necessity of remembrance. Survivors did and do not forget and so remembers, The Irish Catholic Church must be confronted with its heinous crimes and guilt. In spite of its twisted ideology and propaganda.
The Religious run Institutions were heavily dependent on a large supply of slave women and children, agricultural, industrial and domestic labour and, to a significant extent, on practices that were, only “slavery by another name.” The Religious Orders of men and women were the sole owners and exploiters of the vast, rich resources of Ireland and its ever growing population. The system of exploitation was most potent in the hundreds of Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes, Orphanages and Industrial Schools, and Convents, throughout Ireland.
The Irish Government and its people must take collective historic responsibility to denounce the Irish Catholic Church’s genocidal crimes, committed in their Religious run Institutions which must become public knowledge, despite being already accepted as a fact by both Survivors and historians. The Irish People must also jostle itself from numbness and apathy to these genocidal crimes committed by the Irish Catholic Church. The crimes and Ireland’s responsibility for the victims of the Irish Catholic Church’s atrocities and sufferings must be recognised. Survivors are still fighting for compensation. The Catholic Church and the Irish Peoples confrontation with the past is still in process and still waiting to be fully unraveled. And to quote Charles de Gaulle, “The culture of a people can be recognised in how it treats its dead” So the cruel culture of the Irish Church was to dispose of the babies, children and their mothers into septic tanks, cesspools and other mass-graves, contemptuous death and human extinction. The annihilated of unwed women, their children was murder by another name.
The presence of the past we must continue to confront the remains of the Clerical Irish State. If I was to visit a proper cemetery, rather than the septic tanks, cesspools, or mass-graves, with an additional 50,000 or 150,000 tiny crosses stretching to the horizon, I would understand, like other Survivors, the collective overwhelming feeling. The names of the dead—babies, children and women, their life dates would reinforce the senselessness. For Survivors the human will to bury the dead with dignity, of their unknown, mothers, brother, sisters and to commemorate them. The dead babies, children and women will hold a place in our individual memory. I myself, cannot pay homage to a septic tank, cesspool, to other mass-graves. The dead babies, children and women, who lost their lives through forced labour, deportation, exploitation, disease, religious brutalities, drug experiments and murder, still lie in death, in the many septic tanks, and cesspools of their former labour camps. The quiet complicity of the Irish Government in their servitude was precipitated only in response to the horrors perpetrated by the Clerics of The Cult, the Catholic Church in Ireland, who despised unwed women and their children. I have waited for 67 years to bury my mother, brother and sisters, I want true accountability. I want the right to visit her and their graves and shed a tear in silence. Owen Felix O’Neill