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03rd Mar 2017

‘Significant quantities’ of remains of babies and children found in Tuam mother and baby home

Trine Jensen-Burke

‘Significant quantities’ of human remains have been discovered at the site of the former mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

RTE reports that the Commission of Investigation into the Tuam Mother and Baby home in Galway have discovered a significant number of human remains at the former mother and baby home – in what appears to be a decommissioned sewage chamber.

According to the report from the test excavation earlier this year, the structure where the remains were found was divided into up to 20 chambers, with remains found in up to 17 of them, and appears to be somewhere “related to the treatment/containment of sewerage and/or waste water”.

The Commission reports that a small number of the remains were recovered and analysed, putting the ages of the remains found between 35 foetal weeks to two to three years old.

The Tuam-based Bon Secours mother-and-baby home was in operation from 1925 to 1961, and the commission was established in 2016 following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies at the premises over a number of decades and the way in which they were buried.

In today’s statement, the commission said it is “shocked by the discovery” and its investigation is continuing “into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way”.

The commission has asked that the relevant State authorities take responsibility for the appropriate treatment of the remains, and the coroner has been informed.

(Feature image via RTE)