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Forbes: Why That Story About Irish Babies In A Septic Tank Is A Hoax
Forbes ^ | 6/09/2014 | Eamonn Fingleton

Posted on 06/10/2014 9:04:38 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o

Few of us are inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth, and that applies in spades to journalists running with a sensational news story. But even by normal media standards, recent reports about the bones of 796 babies being found in the septic tank of an Irish orphanage betray a degree of cynicism and irresponsibility rarely surpassed by allegedly reputable news organizations.

Although the media attributed the “dumped in a septic tank” allegation to Catherine Corless, a local amateur historian, she denies making it. Her attempt to correct the record was reported by the Irish Times newspaper on Saturday (see here) but has been almost entirely ignored by the same global media that so gleefully recycled the original suggestion.

Today the Irish Times has published a reader’s letter that has further undercut the story. Finbar McCormick, a professor of geography at Queen’s University Belfast, sharply admonished the media for describing the children’s last resting place as a septic tank. He added: “The structure as described is much more likely to be a shaft burial vault, a common method of burial ...in many parts of Europe.

“In the 19th century, deep brick-lined shafts were constructed and covered with a large slab which often doubled as a flatly laid headstone. These were common in 19th-century urban cemeteries…..Such tombs are still used extensively in Mediterranean countries. I recently saw such structures being constructed in a churchyard in Croatia. The shaft was made of concrete blocks, plastered internally and roofed with large concrete slabs.

[T]he verifiable facts that have emerged so far amount merely to a strong story for the media of one small country. The one “fact” that turned all this from a disturbing national story to a screaming global sensation is one that is almost certainly false.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bethanyhomes; bonsecours; duplicate; hoax; infanticide; maternity; orphan; prolife; tuam
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I understand why the viciously anti-Judeo-Christian, secular media regarded the original "Babies Dumped in Septic Tank in Ireland" story as a "gift horse" (to quote the lede in this article.) It was a blood libel against the Catholic Church, it heaped historic slander upon a Christian nation, and thus it served "The Narrative."

What I don't understand is why even some FReepers ran so gleefully with it. Why the multiple postings with comments like "Infanticide!" "Murder!" ? Why the zeal for "First the verdict, then (or never) the evidence"? Why the blood libel?

Why should I conceal my disgust?

ONE fair-minded non-Catholic FReeper private-messaged me with a sensible statement, as I agreed as follows:


"Catholics should be demanding a fair and unbiased accounting and not avoiding it or condemning anyone who brings it up."

Here we agree.

One of our most serious moral obligations is to respect, and demand respect for, the truth. Truth is what I would strive for, for myself; and what I would demand

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)

1 posted on 06/10/2014 9:04:38 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Bones from 796 babies?

This would keep the cast of “BONES” busy for a year.


2 posted on 06/10/2014 9:08:14 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Yeah, well, unfortunately, this is the dark side of FR. I didn’t even know such a side existed until about a year ago...


3 posted on 06/10/2014 9:08:41 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The original story was stupid for its claim and made no sense.


4 posted on 06/10/2014 9:11:43 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
A major part of the problem would appear to have been the pervasive poverty of the time ...

That's so unexpected!

5 posted on 06/10/2014 9:12:21 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When the truth finally dawns, it dawns in fire!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Happy to see the truth has come out on this.


6 posted on 06/10/2014 9:13:57 AM PDT by LambSlave
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To: Mrs. Don-o
What's to understand? The same crowd screams to high heaven every time the Church allegedly has done something wrong. This is why I avoid a lot of these kinds of stories.

Check you mail. :)

7 posted on 06/10/2014 9:15:09 AM PDT by defconw (LUTFA!)
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To: Tax-chick

My first visit to Dublin was in the late 60s. I’ll never forget the squalid conditions and the women wearing shawls over their heads and carrying barefoot, filthy children around. Yikes! It improved over the years. But I couldn’t wait to get out of that city.


8 posted on 06/10/2014 9:15:24 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
"Finbar McCormick, a professor of geography at Queen’s University Belfast, sharply admonished the media for describing the children’s last resting place as a septic tank. He added: “The structure as described is much more likely to be a shaft burial vault, a common method of burial used in the recent past and still used today in many part of Europe."

"The nuns who ran the orphanage have long since gone to their reward but if they could speak for themselves they would no doubt claim they were doing their best in appalling circumstances."

I suspected that it was a mass burial site and that the nuns were doing the best they could under the circumstances. I'm glad this article shed some light.

9 posted on 06/10/2014 9:16:10 AM PDT by Enterprise ("Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I thought this sounded like a total hoax from the beginning - reminiscent of the ‘Philomena’ story. After reading the debunking of the entire movie by Bill Donahue, I will not see it. It’s wrong to make people think they are watching a true story when it’s a lying hatchet job, even if Dame Judi lent her star quality to the flick.


10 posted on 06/10/2014 9:20:36 AM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Now we’re back to “it’s not a septic tank it’s a crypt, and besides they’re not in there.” Well, where are they then?

The wild rationalizations and weird excuses from the FR faithful over the past week or so have been fascinating to watch. The Irish themselves are far more forthright and honest.

The Archbishop of Dublin warns that more mass graves are likely to be found:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ireland/10885038/More-Irish-mass-graves-likely-to-be-found-warns-Archbishop-of-Dublin.html

More mass graves. That means Tuam has one. Maybe that’s why what has long and widely been understood to be a septic tank is now being sanitized into a “crypt”?


11 posted on 06/10/2014 9:22:50 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Isn’t this where Chief Justice Roberts got his babies? Ireland not a septic tank. He relegates the Constitution to that vessel.


12 posted on 06/10/2014 9:25:07 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
This sounds to me like the mausoleums in New Orleans. Basically they are granite walls with drawers, like a morgue. A family will own a drawer for generations, with their name on the drawer. When the next death in the family happens, they put that person in a wooden coffin and push him in the drawer, causing the older dead person's hopefully decayed remains and coffin to fall into a shaft inside the wall. Some of these have double width drawers so that you can simply push a person back on the shelf with the newly deceased in front.

If you need the drawer and it is still "occupied", then the Catholic Church now lets you cremate the body. I have attended several New Orleans funerals where I personally saw this and had it explained to me.

13 posted on 06/10/2014 9:25:30 AM PDT by sportutegrl
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To: miss marmelstein

Yeah, well, unfortunately, this is the dark side of FR. I didn’t even know such a side existed until about a year ago...

____________________________________________

FReep much? Guess not.

Seriously, articles are posted every day and FReepers knee-jerk over them as if they were Gospel. Someone can post some obscure blog or some 4th rate internet “news” source and BOOM!

Haters gotta hate. As if it were true.

Even this story from Forbes denouncing those previous articles? I withhold judgment on this too. How do we know this is not a liberal spin to take the heat off the pro-abort results from decades ago. What may or may not have happened in Ireland is certainly ongoing here as we murder infants and the pre-born.

We may not bury them in septic tanks, be we dispose of them none the less.

And maybe that’s why Forbes is posting this. To take the heat off normal abortion tactics.


14 posted on 06/10/2014 9:26:26 AM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: RegulatorCountry
Agendas, agendas, agendas.

Plainly you want it to be a septic tank. Equally plainly, others don't.

Those of us who are interested in the truth of the matter, like myself, will never know for sure if we've got it, because we'll never fully trust our sources, because see above.

15 posted on 06/10/2014 9:30:33 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Searching for truth isn’t nearly so easy as grabbing onto a handy emotion and running with it like crazy.

It would be heartening to see a genuine apology or two.


16 posted on 06/10/2014 9:32:31 AM PDT by pax_et_bonum (Never Forget the Seals of Extortion 17 - and God Bless America)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Someone can post some obscure blog or some 4th rate internet “news” source and BOOM!

My personal favorite is the articles based on news releases by attorneys who are filing a lawsuit. An especially enthusiastic response is observed when CPS or LEOs are involved.

I'm no fan at all of recent changes in LEO procedures, but an article based on an attorney's news release is not a factual story at all. It is a spun version of one side of the story.

After all, attorneys never shade the truth, do they?

17 posted on 06/10/2014 9:33:33 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: miss marmelstein

Yeah, well, unfortunately, this is the dark side of FR. I didn’t even know such a side existed until about a year ago...

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Plenty of Freepers here are going straight to Hell when they die, not passing Go, not collecting $200.


18 posted on 06/10/2014 9:34:08 AM PDT by Eccl 10:2 (Prov 3:5 --- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding")
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To: Eccl 10:2

Well, I don’t presume to know who is going to hell and who is not. None of my business. But I already sense the disappointment that this story may fall apart, lol.


19 posted on 06/10/2014 9:35:57 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

You’re lucky you didn’t realize for so long.

I think “that side” should have been banned years ago and saved everyone a lot of grief.


20 posted on 06/10/2014 9:36:20 AM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: Oberon

It’s not what *I* want it to be and it’s not what *you* or any other Roman Catholic wants it to be, it is what it is and we’ll find out. Frontrunning the inevitable by renaming it into a crypt is a start, as far as attempting to mitigate embarrassment to your church. It’s at least plausible and not a slur upon the Irish as I’ve seen on every single one of these threads. Why, those Irish, they just roll naked dead bodies into any old crack or crevice, it’s what they do, those poor, ignorant, filthy people. /s


21 posted on 06/10/2014 9:38:21 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I was insulted on the original thread for questioning this and pointing out it’s propaganda-like properties.

And I am not pro-Catholic (nor anti-Catholic).

I do respectfully suggest that your blood libel comments are over the top and much too dramatic and defensive than needs be.

You are definitely right about the first verdict zeal. It was weird and bizarre.


22 posted on 06/10/2014 9:43:47 AM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: RegulatorCountry

Thank you for reiterating your desire, but it really wasn’t necessary.


23 posted on 06/10/2014 9:43:48 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: BunnySlippers

Sad day when I clicked on a Catholic non-caucus thread. Phew! But education is important and I certainly was educated.


24 posted on 06/10/2014 9:44:34 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Oberon

I’m not throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, unlike those who so badly *want* this to go away. Calling it a “hoax” while simultaneously excusing it as a burial shaft or crypt is exactly that, trying to see what sticks. Covering his bases, isn’t he? The truth will out.


25 posted on 06/10/2014 9:46:43 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
I’m not throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, unlike those who so badly *want* this to go away.

And you want it not to. I understand.

It's okay... As an American evangelical Protestent, I have no vested interest either way, and no axe to grind with regard to either Ireland or Catholicism.

26 posted on 06/10/2014 9:56:33 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: Oberon

I dislike deflection and lies, regardless of the source. I’ve been to Ireland many times, love the country and it’s people, having many friends there. In Dublin, Irish Catholic. They’re not sweeping this under the rug, trying to wish it away or deflect it. They’re dealing with it. There will be an inquiry and the truth will out. That is as it should be.


27 posted on 06/10/2014 9:59:44 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
I dislike deflection and lies, regardless of the source.

What I can't tell is, how does one tell the truth from the lies in this case? As I've said, I'm pretty distant from the situation.

28 posted on 06/10/2014 10:02:51 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: ifinnegan
Thank you --- you've made several good points. The prosecutorial zeal against caregiving Christian women was "weird and bizarre" indeed.

To try for some exactitude here: the historically original, and horrible, "blood libel" was the lurid accusation that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover: usually, specifically, the blood of a Christian infant or child.

I've read that there were and are over 150 different kinds of blood libels, including that Jews, gypsies, or other socially disfavored groups poisoned wells, desecrated the Blessed Sacrament, cursed humans or livestock with sterility, conjured blood-drinking demons, caused miscarriages, brought on earthquakes, etc.

Thus the semantic field of the term "blood libel" has gotten bigger over the centuries, and, I would say, encompasses the charge of the negligent or malicious slaying of infants and their interment in a septic tank.

29 posted on 06/10/2014 10:03:31 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Stop judging by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment." - (John 7:24))
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Not all Freepers are fully conditioned yet to understand the tricks, tactics and behavior used by the enemy.

But for those who are experienced we should not admonish inexperienced conservatives, we should however point out whenever we can the nature and possibility of the deception. Sometimes it is as easy as pointing to the source such the as the NY Times, MSNBC etc.


30 posted on 06/10/2014 10:07:19 AM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Oberon

There will be a government inquiry, into this and other similar homes. That’s why the notion of “mass grave” is now being spiffed up and sanitized, it’s essentially for marketing and PR purposes.


31 posted on 06/10/2014 10:08:49 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Even the Forbes author did not explain the whole story. The average number of deaths over the period in question was 18-20 per year. That is about 1-2 per month, in depression and war years, in one of Europe’s poorest countries, in institutions where “TB was rife?” And that’s a scandal??? I would say the nuns did a pretty good job under very difficult conditions.

The so-called Septic Tank, when it existed, was also located on another part of the Tuam Mother’s home.

Finally, and also not mentioned - every baby in question had a certificate of death. They were registered and recorded with the Government authorities of the time. Does that sound like dead bodies being secretly and unceremoniously dumped?


32 posted on 06/10/2014 10:09:21 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: ifinnegan; Mrs. Don-o
blood libel comments are over the top

I was also on that past thread when the "damning" accusations made by several posters were as if the nuns intentionally murdered 800 children and threw the 800 bodies in an unmistakeably documented dunghole, with malice aforethought, even though the historian noted that the actual purpose of the container has never been studied or established. That's not far from equivalent to blood libel, a term with 12th C. origins in Europe about justifying the persecution of Jews by claiming that Jews ritually murdered Christian children.

I also noted your calm and reasonable responses on that thread. Thanks for being one of the "wait and see" folks. The hysterical accusations of a hater leaping to conclusions not in evidence has already started on this thread.

33 posted on 06/10/2014 10:20:38 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: RegulatorCountry
That’s why the notion of “mass grave” is now being spiffed up and sanitized, it’s essentially for marketing and PR purposes.

...this statement of yours tells me that you've made up your mind on this point. In your mind it was either a septic tank and acknowledged as such, or it was a septic tank and they're lying to us about it, saying it was a mass grave.

I wish I could be so omniscient about things.

34 posted on 06/10/2014 10:21:36 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Oberon

Well, I’m just following the lead of the FR faithful who just last week were saying it was impossible because nuns couldn’t lift the heavy concrete lid and the only other way in was via pipes from the home.


36 posted on 06/10/2014 10:25:15 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry
And the behavior of other people on FR influences how you form your opinions?

It's your call, of course, but I try not to let that happen to myself.

37 posted on 06/10/2014 10:29:18 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
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To: RegulatorCountry
I would like to suggest that you get your head around the contemporary phenomenon in Ireland of rabid church-haters who populate the news media and the comments sections of same, just like in our country. Ireland also has a growing muslim population in a nation that had until recently been the last bastion of Christianity in Europe. This loud minority coalition within Ireland are now clamoring for all the socialist pleasures of abortion, divorce, homosexual affirmation, women priests and other Marxist attacks on Christian belief and practice designed not to make a plural society, but eventurally to outlaw Christianity as "bigoted" and old-fashioned. It's the same there as it is here.

One Worlders, the UN, homosexualists, feminists and big-money Islam are the strange bedfellows who will promote any story that will destroy the freedom of individuals to resist domination by the state, JudeoChristianity and free markets being the top targets of their attacks. Muslims by the terms of their religion believe it is acceptable to lie to the infidel; therefore, to the extent that they can make Christians look bad, they imagine that lowering the boom of their worldwide caliphate and sharia law is just around the corner. Don't be a tool of their objectives.

38 posted on 06/10/2014 10:31:54 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ("The commenters are plenty but the thinkers are few." -- Walid Shoebat)
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To: miss marmelstein

It sounds like scenes of the Potato Famine years. I was in Belfast and Londonderry in 1982. It was scary. And my mother’s cousins outside Londonderry didn’t have electricity.


39 posted on 06/10/2014 10:33:22 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When the truth finally dawns, it dawns in fire!)
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To: Tax-chick

Wow, that’s bad. I was last in the Republic of Ireland in the late 1990s - it had vastly improved.

Ireland, in case people don’t know, is now one of the most virulently anti-Semitic countries in the entire EU. And it was once a harbor for Jews (well, Dublin). It is also disgustingly anti-American. I think this may have been a result of envy towards us, the rise of the Celtic Tiger and the fall of religion. Now that the Tiger has died, I don’t think they have anywhere to turn.


40 posted on 06/10/2014 10:38:44 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein
They also hate Blacks. Asians, The English, and many others. They like U.S., Americans, and possibly Canadians.

If you grew up in the Boston area when I did it was all on display.

I worked for a Large Utility in the area and was cursed out by a follower of one of my mothers cousins, He was a Pol, clan system, for being a very Right Wing Republican, got very nasty.

I pointed out to him that my mothers family were Scots Protestants until one of my clan got a stiff pee-pee and married a papist.

41 posted on 06/10/2014 11:19:02 AM PDT by Little Bill (EVICT Queen Jean)
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To: Little Bill

I’m not talking about Boston Irish-Americans. I’m talking about the Irish of Ireland.


42 posted on 06/10/2014 11:20:08 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein
Same, Same, I was stationed in NYC back in the 60’s, except for the accent, the attitude's were the same.

Except in Boston the question is whom are you related to.

43 posted on 06/10/2014 11:29:07 AM PDT by Little Bill (EVICT Queen Jean)
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To: Little Bill

I don’t really understand your posts. What’s NYC have to do with it?


44 posted on 06/10/2014 12:11:55 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: RegulatorCountry; Mrs. Don-o
What I notice is NOT being addressed is the other point the original article discussed - that of "these" children being treated scornfully by the largely Catholic townspeople and church, malnourished, kept apart from the other children, dressed in rags, dirty and diseased. A government inspection report of the Tuam home described some of the children as "fragile, pot-bellied and emaciated". Actual testimony was given by people still alive that this WAS what went on. "The children were weak and malnourished and barely had the energy to lift their legs", stated one person who lived there at that time. That is something that cannot be spiffed up and sanitized because people saw it going on.

Yes, Ireland was/is a poor country and, yes, those in charge were probably doing the best they could, but it is hard to look at all the great wealth and power held by the Vatican and not wonder why more couldn't have been done to alleviate the misery and dire needs of those lives put in the care of this church. Like I have said repeatedly, this gives ALL Christian pro-lifers a black eye and it doesn't matter how long ago it happened. We shouldn't be seen as denying, covering up or transferring blame to avoid a rightful reckoning these innocent souls deserve.

And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. (Genesis 9:5)

45 posted on 06/10/2014 12:28:09 PM PDT by boatbums (Proud member of the Free Republic Bible Thumpers Brigade.)
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To: miss marmelstein

If you haven’t noticed the similarities you have lived a very sheltered life,


46 posted on 06/10/2014 12:56:13 PM PDT by Little Bill (EVICT Queen Jean)
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To: miss marmelstein

How are the Irish “virulently anti-Semitic?”

And how are the attitudes of the Irish to American influence in the world worse than other European countries (e.g., France). What makes you say the are “disgustingly anti-American?”


47 posted on 06/10/2014 1:11:15 PM PDT by evilC
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To: evilC

In my exposure they run a close second in being pro-American, behind Australians. You’re always going to find sour leftists spouting canned down-with-Americanisms anywhere. The Irish people as a whole are not anti-American because they have so many distant kin here and they know it.


48 posted on 06/10/2014 1:14:51 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Little Bill

You do realize the Irish absolutely despise Americans calling themselves “Irish,” don’t you?

And I don’t think Irish-Americans are anything like the whacked-out Irish. Our citizens need to get over identifying with the Irish.

Oh, and they now blame us for their behavior during “The Troubles.” Just ‘cause Uncle Ted sent them a couple of bullets.


49 posted on 06/10/2014 1:15:26 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: evilC

This is from ynet news - an Israeli news source; I hope the link works. It’s from 2011. Maybe they’ve shaped up since then, although I guess I can post more articles.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4149059,00.html


50 posted on 06/10/2014 1:20:36 PM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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