The news that Irish babies in the 1960s born to unmarried mothers were used as guinea pigs in a drug trial without their parent's consent is truly shocking.

But why am I not surprised?

Th level of vitriol and hatred aimed at unmarried mothers back then by the church and state is hard to believe nowadays.

Mari Steed, (50), born to an unmarried mother in Cork, was given up for adoption to a couple in the US shortly afterwards. She says she and others were used a guinea pigs for a vaccine trial.

She claims that a major U.S, drug company GlaxoSmithKline used Irish babies in homes for single mothers run by Catholic orders to experiment with a four in one shot against childhood diseases.

The shots were later found to be less effective than the standard treatment.

"The trials involved incredibly poor judgment on the part of all involved. We were basically used as human guinea pigs" she now says.

She found out when she traced her birth mother and got access to her medical records

Such was the fate of unwed mothers and their children in Holy Catholic Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s.

Drug companies and religious orders singled out the religious homes where the unmarried mothers gave birth then gave the injections to their babies without telling them.

Luckily it appears little damage was done and that the 211 or so children who were guinea pigs have all survived.

They were of course, taken from their disgraced mothers and shipped abroad for adoptions,mostly to wealthy Catholic families here in the U.S.

Over the years my publications have talked to some of those mothers who had their children torn away from their breast literally in some cases.

Almost without exception their lives were darkened and ruined by what happened.

Now comes this claim of even more depravity, that nuns allowed a drug company to essentially experiment on defenseless babies.

Suffer little children -- and shame again on a government and church that allowed such a dreadful thing to happen