A woman who had two children while resident in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home has described the nuns who ran the institute as “antichrists”.
Rose McKinney lived at Tuam in the 1950s during her teenage years and had two children while she was there.
Rose recently celebrated her 81st birthday and for the first time she opened up about her time at the Mother and Baby Home.
She told the Irish Mirror: “I don’t really talk about it much, my daughter Margaret would only have learned about it around 20 years ago.
“I want to say that those nuns in that home were antichrists, God forgive me, but that’s all they were.
“They were rotten and bad. I am deaf in one ear, see that ear, it is from all the beatings I got around the head from that lot.
“One nun was very nice to me, she was Sr Emanuel, the rest were rotten, rotten, rotten. Antichrists. They were cruel to everyone, I wasn’t the only one, the other girls got it too.”
Rose revealed that when she became pregnant aged 15, a priest arrived at her house and insisted she go and live at Tuam.
After having her baby, she returned home before falling pregnant again at 19 and being sent back to Tuam.
She said: “I was in there for around five years. In and out.
“We weren’t allowed out or to do anything. All we did was work. In the end I said to another girl, ‘We are getting out of here’.
“One day when it was busy with the laundry, we ran out and got over the back wall. I couldn’t stick it anymore.”
A few days later two nuns arrived at Rose’s home accompanied by a guard.
She said: “The guard said nothing, he just waited at the door, but those two bitches came into my house. I sat on the chair with my two dogs. I said to them, ‘Get out of here or I’ll set my dogs on you’. They left and that was it.
“I heard some time later, all the mothers in the home walked out. I moved to Dublin to get the hell out of Galway and I met some of the mothers. They told me they all walked out. The home closed soon after.
“I have no time whatsoever for the Church, nuns and priests who were involved in those homes.
“I have no time for the Government or politicians.
“The only politician I have ever told my story to is Joe Costello. I told him 20 years ago and he has supported me ever since. Just him and his wife.
“No one will ever tell me that place was good. It was far from it. I know, I was there. I remember it.
“It was a rotten priest who put me in that home and I ended up in there for five years with two babies.”
Tuam Mother and Baby Home was the subject of a national scandal in 2014 when the remains of 796 babies were found to have been dumped in a septic tank at the site.
An inquiry was launched, and an archaeologist study found the remains belonged to babies ranging in age from 35 foetal weeks to three years old.
Rose says she was not aware of the this during her time at Tuam but added she was not surprised by the startling discovery.
She said: “I did not see or hear anything about that. I think it’s horrible. They didn’t care. I don’t speak about that place. I haven’t even told my daughter half of it. That is how I cope. I brush it off, it goes up over my head and I push it away.
“If you were to think about it could nearly kill you. I am only speaking about it now because there are a few things I want to say.
“I want other mothers to not be afraid. I want them to speak. We were in there, we know the truth.”
More popular articles and videos
The real life mystery of what Maureen O’Hara whispered to make John Wayne look so shocked
Matt Damon winning hearts and minds with charm assault on Ireland
Action hero Tom Cruise was once attacked by an old man in a Kerry pub
Liam Neeson speaks about his late wife in emotional interview
Dating site explains why Irish men make wonderful husband material
Billy Connolly says public should ignore politicians and listen to comedians
Take a look inside Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan’s stunning Irish home