Here's how I see it, the average amount of dead babies stuffed into the septic tank in Saint Mary's Mother and Baby Home was one every two weeks. Sure, a lot more babies than that would have been dying in the nation at the time. So, compared to the national infant mortality rate, Saint Mary's was doing a pretty good job. I mean, I remember what it was like back then (or at least my imagination remembers what it was like back then – the rest of me wasn't born) and you'd be finding dead babies everywhere. They'd be on the side of the road and falling out of cupboards and all over the place. It was like the last bit in one of those serial killer films where the girl is running about the house finding the corpses of her dead friends. And it wasn't just Ireland. It was like that all over the world. You don't see it when you watch the old movies because all the baby corpses were swept off the film sets. The place was awash with dead babies. As well as that, I read that one of the babies found in the septic tank was nine. Well now, nine isn't even a baby. Nine is a child. An older child. In fact, back then, nine would have been a ripe old age. The average life expectancy back then would have been around eight. People didn't live as long you see, what with all the whooping cough and wild animals roaming about in people's gardens and jumping out of hedges and devouring them. We've zoos and all kinds of inoculations and medicines now but back then the planet was death trap.
Even my own parents, who were alive at the time, were dead and so were their friends and cousins and all that. Kids didn't mind being dead back then. It wasn't like now, with the sense of entitlement and Stephen Hawking and all that. Back then you'd be dead and in a septic tank but that would be expected. It was a right of passage. You won't hear that from the pro-bort crowd but it's historical fact. Or at least a sort of fact. We can't be sure because no one was actually alive back then. They were all dead and stuffed into septic tanks so there's no point talking about it. It's the past. Be quiet about it now. Shut up about it. I said Shut Up! The whole nation, every man, woman and child was deceased and squeezed into a septic tank back then but they didn't let that hold them back. Unlike the moaners these days, they just dusted themselves down and got on with it and so should you. Take a look at Bill Cullen. He died in 1957. You don't see him complaining. He just got on with it and look at what he made of himself. Get on with it yourself now. Off you go. Go on, there's nothing more to be said about all this. Just be glad that we're not all dead babies today. Dead and stuffed into a septic tank. Seven hundred and ninety odd of us. One on top of the other. After dying in mysterious circumstances. Behind closed doors. Behind high walls. And then hidden down a quiet lane. In the shadow of trees. Silent. A kind of secret. A horror.