In­quiry will probe buri­als at or­phan­age

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -

The re­searcher who helped The Sun­day Post’s land­mark probe into deaths at the Smyl­lum Park or­phan­age has been asked to give ev­i­dence at the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry.

In Septem­ber, we re­vealed how up to 400 chil­dren died while un­der the care of a Catholic order of nuns at the La­nark­shire chil­dren’s home.

We found 402 ba­bies, tod­dlers and teenagers who died there be­tween 1864 and 1981 were feared to be buried in a sin­gle un­marked grave.

The Daugh­ters of Char­ity of St Vin­cent de Paul had pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted they had put around 120 chil­dren in 158 lairs at St Mary’s ceme­tery in La­nark.

But the ex­tent of deaths at the con­tro­ver­sial home had never been re­vealed.

Our re­search, done in part­ner­ship with the BBC and us­ing ac­cred­ited re­searcher Janet Bishop found 400 deaths at the home where burial records could not be found.

It led to claims dead chil­dren had been dumped in an un­marked grave.

The rate of deaths was es­ti­mated as be­ing far higher than the norm.

Janet’s find­ings are to be part of an ex­am­i­na­tion into al­le­ga­tions of abuse at Smyl­lum Park.

The Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry will be­gin hear­ing ev­i­dence on Smyl­lum on Novem­ber 28.

Janet Bishop

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