Across the world, aided by social media, a story has been hitting the headlines and been hyped in the most bizarre and unbelievable ways.
If you believe what is being said, 796 babies' bodies were buried in a septic tank in the grounds of a home for unmarried mothers by the Bon Secours sister who ran the home in Tuam, County Galway, Eire, between 1925 and 1961. You will also believe that these children's deaths are suspicious.
I agree that it is appalling the way that unmarried mothers were treated and the terrible ways in which their children were treated by the wider community, let alone within homes, is a deep shame. Does this mean we are to believe that these nuns were a group of mass murderers?
I ask it as starkly as that because I have been fairly stunned by what I have read - one person asked me whether I would be changing the Catholic part of my moniker in the light of "the burial in a septic tank without Christian ceremony of 796 children of unmarried mothers who died of neglect while supposedly in the care of the Catholic Church in Ireland." This was the first I had heard of this story and I declined to comment without more knowledge.
I then saw a comment of Facebook by someone saying he would "punch a nun in the face" if he saw one due to this story and then, what has lead me to post today, is that a respected Cornish politician tweeted the headline "Nuns and mass murder, still getting my head around this crime against humanity".
Because of this, I finally joined twitter today and tweeted her the foregoing article by a respected journalist which has been in the public domain for a few days but seems not to have stemmed the tide of hyperbole, disinformation and hysteria. It makes clear that the bodies of 796 babies were not found in a septic tank, it reveals that the deaths were all registered by the home - which is how the figure of 796 was reached, due to the death certificates issued - and that as shocking as the number of deaths is, it was not so unexpected in a crowded home in the west of Ireland at that time. It is an awful and depressing tale, but it is not Rwanda and is not just to those who have worked to make sure that the children are remembered.
I urge others to read it, share it, tweet it, explain it - this is not a defence of the way that we treated umarried mothers and their children, it is a plea for truth and request that we stop buying into media inspired hysteria.