A story I came across today from 1860 was about a John Goggin who hailed from Limerick. John was a confectioner and his shop thrived with the townspeople queuing to buy his sweets...he'd eaten so many of the sugary confections that his teeth fell out and he wore a set of silver dentures.
One of his friends gave him a pet monkey...and he liked it very much but the monkey was always trying to attack the family dog...during one such fight between the two of them John was bitten on his hand by the monkey...he washed the wound and the local Doctor treated it but it didn't heal and a couple of weeks afterwards John died from rabies.
In the meantime the monkey killed the dog and the family cat and the conclusion was that the monkey also had rabies...there's nothing to indicate what happened to the monkey...
One of John's shop assistants stole the silver dentures and passed them onto Mary, who was only twelve...Mary spent some time in prison for receiving stolen goods before being transferred to an Industrial School for five years...there again there is no mention of whether she managed to survive or what became of her if she was ever released.
An extremely disturbing news item was headlines in many newspapers today of the discovery of around 800 remains of small babies found on the site of an old mother and baby home run by a religious order of nuns...they had kept records which showed the children died from gastro-enteritis, measles, scarlet fever etc. The bones themselves showed malnutrition was apparent in most of the children and many also had deformities of the bones. The home was opened in 1925 and finally closed in 1961.
What was it Jesus is quoted as saying? 'Suffer little children to come unto Me'
Unfortunately whenever something like this hits the headlines and retribution is sought, those women who called themselves 'Brides of Christ' are either well into their dotage or died long ago...sad they cannot be brought to account for their cruelties.