Details are emerging of the horrific stories behind some of the 796 deaths at the Tuam mother and baby home – where 18 children died of hunger.
12 of the 18 who starved were girls and there is a suspicion that some were mentally retarded.
One child wasn’t even given a name by the Bons Secours nuns who ran the Tuam home.
The youngest child to die was recorded as just ‘10 minutes old’ while the oldest was eight, a girl who had lived all her life in the home until measles killed her.
Bridget Agatha Kenny was two months old when she died as a result of marasmus, child malnutrition, on August 23, 1947. She is described as having been ‘mentally defective.'
She was one of 18 children whose cause of death was listed as child malnutrition or the official term “marasmus.”
Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition characterized by energy deficiency.
A child with marasmus looks utterly emaciated with ribs protruding.
Body weight is reduced to less than 60% of the normal body weight for the age.
The new details raise the shocking spectre of children dying of starvation in Ireland 100 years after the Famine.
It also raises the issue of such children being deliberately targeted especially if they were mentally defective.
The Sunday World is one of a number of newspapers to publish a roll call of the children who died in the religious run home in Galway.
The paper has obtained records of those who died and were buried in the unmarked mass grave.
Campaigners have told the paper that they want a permanent memorial erected there to the generations of babies who died in Tuam and at other mother and baby homes across Ireland.
The official records obtained by the Sunday World list each name alongside the many causes of death that stalked the rooms of the home.
The children were crammed into communal nurseries where contagious diseases ran unchecked according to the report.
In one month alone, between November 27 and December 24, 1936, 22 children died from measles.
Influenza, gastroenteritis and whooping cough are also listed as causes of death. Death rates at the home were far greater than in the general population of children.