Bill Donohue

In its reporting on Ireland’s “mass grave” story, the New York Times has been one of the only media outlets in the nation not to buy into this hoax. Indeed, the 2014 story by Douglas Dalby blew holes in the account rendered by Catherine Corless, the person responsible for making this unsubstantiated accusation. He accurately stated that she “surmised that the children’s bodies were interred in a septic tank behind the home,” and quoted sources who undermined her story. (My italic.)

In today’s New York Times there is an op-ed by Sadhbh Walshe that is strewn with inaccuracies and vicious smears against nuns. Her only credentials are that of a film maker and staff writer for fictional TV shows. She is good at fiction: she cites a report by an Irish commission as proof that “mass graves” were found outside a Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Ireland. In point of fact, it never made such an accusation. Walshe made it up. This explains why she never quoted from the report.

“Now the existence of a mass grave of babies can no longer be denied,” Walshe says. Yes it can. Where is the evidence? Where are the pictures? Why didn’t the Irish government say it found a “mass grave”?

Irish Central has gone further, claiming that “800 babies were found buried, abandoned in an unmarked grave in Tuam.” This is a lie. I have asked Irish Central chief Niall O’Dowd to send me pictures of the babies. I am still waiting.

To surmise is to guess—it is not proof of anything. Those of us trained in the social sciences rely on empirical evidence, not guesswork. Sorry, Walshe, you are no more convincing than O’Dowd.

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