I’m 72 — born 1947 — grew up in the 50s. I wouldn’t be alive without the care of the Bons Secours sisters in Tralee. I remember the young nurse nuns as beautiful, happy people.
They brought cheerfulness with them as they did the rounds. They bantered with the lay nurses and the older confident kids.
The sound of matron approaching (squeaky shoes, the keys, the big rosary) brought total concentration. Matron would look around and ask questions about who had what and the treatments. The answers had better be right and it was ‘phew’ from everybody when she exited to the corridor.
Now to refer to burial practices (Victoria White, Irish Examiner, April 25), I remember seeing open graves with the bones collected to one side. The new coffin went in and those bones were placed on top . This was the practice in graves which contained generations of the same family.
There was a rule of thumb that a grave wouldn’t be opened within seven years.
The result of multiple burials was that the level of the soil inside a graveyard was several feet higher that the soil outside it. That is why they will not find rows of infants in neat rows, The system was too chaotic for that.
Were there burials at Bessborough in the grounds or at Carr’s Hill? I would guess in the grounds. Infants buried in earlier graves makes senses.
Tuam — septic tank. The septic part of this is the way it has be headlined. A septic tank is an underground chamber, quite expensive to construct. If it became obsolete it would make perfect sense to clean it out and use it as a tomb. Better than digging re-usable graves.
The vicious way the story has been presented speaks of more than a historical interest and smacks of revenge.
Model Farm Rd
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