"How do you know the coffins were dated? (can you provide a source?)"
First note that the Tom Slemen article posted above is not from today but I believe appeared before the following which appears to put paid to the speculation that the bodies could be executed Irish people.
'I gave order to burn bodies'
Mar 2 2006
Maghull & Aintree Star
AS WITNESSED by the huge amount of correspondence received at Merseymart & Star , Tom Slemen's article on the Mass Grave discovered in Old Swan in 1973 drew reaction from many readers.
One letter that took issue with criminologist Keith Andrews's claims of a systematic massacre of Irish immigrants at the site in around 1848 was written by Liverpool's former principal environmental health officer, Ken Williams, who was in charge of the 1973 exhumation.
Printed here, it relates to this specific event - not the broader issues regarding the military and the treatment of the Irish.
Speaking to Merseymart & Star , he said: "I held my position from 1949 to 1989 and the first thing to note is that if you wanted to build or extend on sacred ground you had to consult the Home Office, which would in turn speak to the town clerk, who would then instruct me.
"The reason there were hoardings was that the Home Office's principal instruction is total decorum, and in this case there were houses on Montague Road overlooking the site.
"One comment was that these people had been shot and the Home Office were covering it up.
"The order to burn the bodies came from me and me alone - there were so many that after getting permission to put more than one in a single coffin, and re-inter them in Anfield I had to request permission for cremations.
"There were no bullet holes in the skulls, and there were already gravestones at the site - it was a marked grave..
"This discovery was simply beyond the boundary of that graveyard, extending much further than was realised - thousands more bodies.
"Contrary to one comment in the article, there were indeed coffins containing children discovered.
"There is also the obvious point that if this was the massacre of three-and-a-half-thousand people - why were they all in coffins with plaques and buried in such an ordered fashion?
"This was not people who had been thrown in a trench.
"Also, the date quoted for this 'massacre' was 1848, but some of the coffins had plaques with 1859 on them."Key role in the mass exhumation
I HAVE followed with great interest the recent articles in your paper with regard to the mass grave unearthed in St Oswald Street, Old Swan.
The principal officer delegated to be in charge of the entire operation was me.
When the original gravestones had been removed and the bodies re-interred the excavation continued beyond this boundary and it was at this stage other coffins were found. Some plaques on the coffin lids had dates of 1859, however this should not be considered to be a mass grave at any one time.
I do not recall seeing bullet marks in the skulls and the authorisation to cremate the bodies was implemented by the Home Office as the result of my request - that it should be done in the interest of public health. I know all this to be true - 'cause I was there!
K. A. WILLIAMS, Gateacre, Liverpool. (Former principal environmental health officer for Liverpool 1949-1989)
Surprised anybody missed this.
It's part of this thread.
The more relevant question is: "What is Tom Slemen's source?"
Strange hooded monks?
Hearts taken from corpses?
How can we take him seriously?