Tuesday, June 10, 2014

So, not even a septic tank or a water tank...

.... but a shaft burial vault...which was common in many parts of Europe.

//Today the Irish Times has published a reader’s letter that has further undercut the story. Finbar McCormick, a professor of geography at Queen’s University Belfast, sharply admonished the media for describing the children’s last resting place as a septic tank. He added: “The structure as described is much more likely to be a shaft burial vault, a common method of burial used in the recent past and still used today in many part of Europe.

“In the 19th century, deep brick-lined shafts were constructed and covered with a large slab which often doubled as a flatly laid headstone. These were common in 19th-century urban cemeteries…..Such tombs are still used extensively in Mediterranean countries. I recently saw such structures being constructed in a churchyard in Croatia. The shaft was made of concrete blocks, plastered internally and roofed with large concrete slabs.//

When I heard the story, the first thing I did was research the Bon Secours sisters to see if they came from a part of the world where the burial custom might involve a vault.

Apparently, that suspicion was correct and the place was Europe.

But why let facts get in the way of a good moral panic?

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