From the full death records of the 796 children to die at St. Mary's home in Tuam, Co. Galway, horrific stories are emerging.
For instance – 18 children died of hunger.
This was not famine-era Ireland, this was from 1925-1960. That, like so much of this story, is unacceptable.
12 of the 18 who starved were girls and there is a suspicion that some had mental disabilities.
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.
These details raise the shocking specter 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."
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.