"Bodies of 800 children, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers" was the headline in The Sydney Morning Herald. "Almost 800 'forgotten' Irish children dumped in septic tank mass grave at Catholic home," said the ABC. "796 Irish orphans in a septic tank tomb," pronounced The Australian. The problem? There is little evidence that there are any bodies in that infamous septic tank at all.
Why Australia’s media bought the ‘Irish babies in the septic tank’ story
The world was outraged at news of the bodies of 800 Irish babies had been found in a septic tank. As it turns out, no bodies have been found at all. Dr Steven Knowlton, professor of journalism at Dublin City University, explains why we were so eager to believe this story.