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The stinking shame of the Irish S.S.

By Mike Cunningham On October 11th, 2017

All of those who exist today, when faced with the dread initials S.S.: immediately process their minds towards the Schutzstaffel also known by the Runic “ᛋᛋ”. Sections of the SS ordered German racial policies, the Waffen SS held combat troops, the Totenkopfverbände ran the death camps: included was also the Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst. Ruthless, well-trained and superbly armed, Himmler’s SS ruled over Nazi Germany, and its policies, for almost all of the Nazi years in power.

ATW readers may well ask what are the coincidences which make me write those dread initials in a purely Irish context. Whilst clicking and poring over news articles for a post I shall be publishing about the laughably-titled ‘Mother and Baby Homes’, such as Tuam, I came across something which was new to me, and possibly many if not most readers of things ‘Irish-accented’. The term ‘Spain’s Symphysiotomy’ determines a procedure which is still used in backward African countries where modern medical knowledge is either far-distant, or useless because of a lack of both electricity and trained gynaecological staff. It involves either breaking or sawing through the actual pelvic bone structure, so as to allow a larger child to be born through a normal vaginal delivery, instead of a surgical caesarean, where the uterus is cut open, and the baby delivered without the necessity for a normal delivery.

The name Spain doesn’t refer to the Nation, but instead to Alex Spain, the then master of Dublin’s National Maternity Hospital. A dogma-bound Catholic, he disapproved of the new caesarean techniques, because it was felt that three ‘sections’ would determine that the mother could have no more children, and as the Catholic Church urged and virtually ordered the birth numbers per mother to be six-plus; he ‘knew’ that the ‘S.S.’ technique would allow more births to follow, as he saw Caesarean sections as a ‘moral hazard’ that capped family size and led to the ‘evil’ of family planning, Critics blame the continued use of the operation on a toxic mix of medical experimentation, Catholic aversion to caesarean sections and an institutional disregard for women’s autonomy. 

Some professionals have actually defended this barbarity, stating that the ‘SS’ way of procuring a ‘natural birth’ was not only acceptable, but actually desirable. All I would state in return is to ask Ursula, or Cora, or Aileen, or indeed Dolores, if what they experienced under the hands, tools and hacksaws of this ‘dedicated bunch of healing professionals’, was either acceptable; or actually desirable!

Ask Rita McCann who stated:- “I feel extreme anger that it wasn’t explained, we weren’t given any options,” she says. “No one has taken responsibility. When I met other women it was so hard to listen to their stories – some had lost babies. No one could talk about it without dissolving in tears. I want an apology and an explanation – the explanation should have been done before they ever put a knife into us.”

No one has ever been punished, or fined, or deprived of their liberty for the suffering endured by these women; and when the Irish scheme appeared to give redress to the victims, it was only open for twenty days, and the victims had to sign away their rights to seek legal action!

 

11 Responses to “The stinking shame of the Irish S.S.”

  1. Having endured more than a decade on the “Emerald isle” this medical procedure is not something new to me. And it’s not the only barbaric “procedure” I’ve heard practiced in the name of adhering to the almighty Catholic doctrine. The more I learnt the more I knew I had to escape the Mad Matter insanity that still infects the Irish culture. Happily, I cut my bonds several years ago and now I’ll dwell back in my native America for the rest of my days.

  2. // The more I learnt the more I knew I had to escape the Mad Matter insanity that still infects the Irish culture. Happily, I cut my bonds several years ago and now I’ll dwell back in my native America for the rest of my days.//

    America’s loss is Ireland’s gain.

    Ireland is famous for its prenatal and postnatal care. It accordingly has a very low rate of infant mortality by world standards; lower than Switzerland, Germany, Denkark, the Netherlands, France, the UK, Australia and of course the US. The rate for under-5-yr-old motrality is in fact almost twice as high in the US than in Ireland.

    The situation as regards deaths of the mother in childbirth is similar: Ireland has the 14th best rate in the world, Switzerland the 22nd, UK the 35th and Eddie’s adopted homeland around the 50th.

  3. No, Ireland is horrible because some guy on the internet said so.

  4. The Hibernophobia on this site was far more entertaining when Andrew was a contributor. Those punch magazine cartoons of simian-like Oirish men and women always gave me a good chuckle.

    Not to mention the his spiffingly wonderful articles and prose…..

  5. sorry, the link didn’t appear on the above for some reason.

  6. I’ll bet those Emerald Islanders still weep at your departure Eddie.

    I have never heard of this ‘procedure’ before. IF true it is indeed barbaric but loses some of its effect coming from a man who would force women to have unwanted children.

    The situation as regards deaths of the mother in childbirth is similar: Ireland has the 14th best rate in the world, Switzerland the 22nd, UK the 35th and Eddie’s adopted homeland around the 50th.

    That kinda puts things in perspective Noel although I do believe that Eddie is thankfully a native of his ‘adopted homeland’

  7. Paul McMahon, on October 11th, 2017 at 6:22 PM Said: Edit Comment
    I have never heard of this ‘procedure’ before. IF true it is indeed barbaric but loses some of its effect coming from a man who would force women to have unwanted children.

    Paul,

    ‘IF’ Why query the item? It is a medically-accepted term for a surgical procedure during childbirth. One of the many links I used or surveyed came from the Guardian, the fount of all things Lefty and terrorist-sympathetic and -apologetic; somewhat similar to the views expressed on these threads by yourself and your buddies more often than not.

    ‘A man who would force women to have unwanted children.’
    Nope, again you attempt to utilise semantics to aid your somewhat flimsy arguments. My opinion is that Abortion is murder, and I am firmly against all kinds of killing, excepting the early death of all IRA terrorists and fellow-travellers, which collectively the British Army should have ground into the very filth from which they rose; but sadly were prevented from doing so by traitors such as Blair.

  8. and fellow-travellers

    You’d like to kill an awful lot of people I take it.

  9. Mike, you waycist.

    But it’s good of you to only want the death of fellow-travellers and not lady-travellers.

    Is it the colourful head-scarfs? They don’t really wear them anymore.

  10. ‘IF’ Why query the item? It is a medically-accepted term for a surgical procedure during childbirth

    Because it’s the first I’ve heard of such a practice, hence the use of the conditional. Surely a wordly, erudite man such as yourself understands that?

    Nope, again you attempt to utilise semantics to aid your somewhat flimsy arguments

    Semantics?, what? Are you seriously trying to suggest that you have never argued against abortion therefore forcing women to have unwanted children?

    Excepting the early death of all IRA terrorists and fellow-travellers, which collectively the British Army should have ground into the very filth from which they rose; but sadly were prevented from doing so by traitors such as Blair.

    Bo hoo hoo. It must grate that a bunch of various teachers, students, farmers, unemployed, farm hands, tradesmen, engineers etc couldn’t be defeated by the apparatus of a professional army.

    Blair came to power three years after the first IRA ceasefire and a year after the second.
    You can blame / thank the Grand Central Hotel, the Baltic exchange, mortars in Downing Street’s garden and unprimed shells on Heathrow’s runway not Blair.

  11. This was over 50 years ago. So what?

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