Suffer the Little Children: Church Cruelty in Ireland

Suffer the Little Children: Church Cruelty in Ireland

TUAM, Ireland — Last year, during the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that led to Irish independence, the writer Colm Toibin pointed to the fatal mistake the British made when putting down the rebellion. It was not just the swift execution of the movement’s leaders, which historians often point to as a defining moment, but the burial of their bodies in quicklime without coffins.

“Anyone Irish will understand that whatever you do, don’t do that,” he said, adding that it “mattered in Ireland in a way that it might not have mattered in some other country.”

We have a thing about respecting the dead here, you see, drummed into us in part by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, Ireland’s self-appointed moral authority. It follows, then, that the discovery of  . . . 

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