We dressed in black and shouted “Repeal”,

They dressed in black and shouted “Conceal”

796 children pronounced dead,

their mothers blamed for being unwed.

Women hidden away and shamed,

Abused, used and ‘tamed’.

How fucking dare they say a right to life,

When these dark days have come to light.

The recent revelations about the Tuam Mother and Baby homes is horrific and I’m sure this is only the tip of the iceberg about many more homes across the country. The Catholic Church is disgusting, demonic and demoralising and the pain and anguish they brought to this country is immeasurable and all in the name of God.

These are the same people who are opposing the repeal the 8th amendment movement. A repeal to this amendment will allow women to have a safe abortion should they wish to, as oppose to the current situation where termination is illegal not only if the pregnancy is unwanted but under any circumstances, even if the pregnancy is a result of rape or there are fatal foetal abnormalities or the mothers health is at risk. images-1.jpeg On March 8th, International Women’s Day, protests were held all over Ireland as apart of the Repeal the 8th Amendment movement, demanding Irish women have the same reproductive rights as women in every other western country. Women should have control of their own bodies, something that this country has long denied.

On March 3rd it was confirmed ‘significant quantities of human remains’ were found in a sewage tank underneath a mother and baby home in county Galway where 796 children had died. Women were put into these homes largely due to getting pregnant out of wedlock but also for lesser ‘misdemeanours’ that were considered shameful or inappropriate behaviour. Most women’s children were taken from them and the poorer women, or women whose families would not take them back, had to stay there to work free labour as reparation. The government knew this went on and did not do anything to protect these women, the babies that died of neglect and malnourishment, the children  that were sold, the children that were given to unsuitable foster families or the children that grew up in the homes in what sounds like Hell. They were marginalised and silenced and if it wasn’t for the relentless pursuit of a local historian, Catherine Corless, uncovering the brutal truth, it could have been buried there too.

It’s heart-breaking to hear survivors talk of their experiences, the abuse they suffered at the hands of these so called ‘holy’ people, the pain of having lost siblings and parents they have never met and are still being refused information and truth on.

How dare this institution protest this necessary change in law with the motto ‘pro-life’, when they are anything but. They are pro-oppression, pro-money, and pro-corruption, frightening people for centuries with fables of sinners, devils and hells when in fact they have been the demons committing sins and instigating hell. They do not care about one’s right to life, they care about having power over one’s life.

Like many others in Ireland I am disgusted by the catholic church and do not want to be a member of such a vile institution that has brought more pain to people than fascist regimes. I believe in a God but not that this institution carry out the work of God. I know not everyone in the church is bad but the odds aren’t ever in their favour, I doubt the scale would lean towards justice. Because I was baptised as a child I am still considered a member of the catholic church and apparently, cannot leave. Previously you could sign something online that ‘divorced’ you from the church but as too many people were using the service, the church put an end to it and made it invalid. I don’t want my name included in their headcount of followers. Apparently the only way you can leave is if you’re excommunicated or go full Bane on the Vatican, which isn’t exactly feasible. As advised, I’m sending a letter to the local Bishop to request I no longer be a member but apparently this isn’t any use either. There are some petitions circulating online urging a change in procedure of being allowed leave the catholic church, whether or not this will bring change to fruition remains to be seen.

It’s high-time the church and state cease their control on Irish women’s bodies, they’ve done enough damage. The women and children that suffered at the hands of the church and state need justice. The survivors of these homes need the answers they seek about their family. The remaining nuns and priests responsible for the abuse and what is essentially human trafficking and slave labour should be punished in a court of law. This country needs to separate from a religion that has provoked pain and torture for centuries. This government needs to stop making excuses and turning a blind eye to the inhumane, vile and criminal goings on of the Catholic Church.

This government needs to end the denial and the bullshit puritanical views that punish and shame women for having sex.

This government needs to finally trust women to have control over their own bodies.

This government needs to call a referendum to repeal the 8th amendment.

Author:

Shaunna Lee Lynch

See previous post with more info on 8th Amendment here:

https://viragocarnival.com/2016/10/27/why-dont-we-all-just-go-on-strike-reproductive-rights-and-raises-in-iceland-and-ireland/