Guest Post | by Owen Felix O'Neill Between 5,000 and 7,000 healthy single mothers died in Irish unwed mothers institutions and w e need an honest public discussion of that appalling toll. I was born in such an institution: St. Patrick’s on the Navan Road Dublin, the biggest in the country. I spent my first 4 years there. My mother, Norah, was 38 when she had me in 1954. It obviously wasn’t easy for her or the other women of these homes and although I never knew her, the following is based on my conversations over the years with other women who survived the homes. RELIGIOUS BUTCHERY -NOT MEDICINE In some London hospitals in the early 1940s, 50s and 60s, many of the midwives in training were Irish nuns. But once their training was completed and they returned home to Ireland and started to work at the nine main unmarried mothers homes they altered some of the surgical procedures they learnt in London to lethal effect. An episiotomy, although no longer routine, is a f
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