Tuesday 23 January 2018

Babies' bodies buried under houses in Tuam

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway. Photo: PA
The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway. Photo: PA

Shane Phelan and Declan Rooney

Residents fear that the mass grave of babies found in Tuam may stretch underneath local houses.

Significant quantities of human remains were discovered at the site of the former St Mary's Mother and Baby Home, an institution where unmarried pregnant women were sent to give birth, in Tuam, Co Galway.

The remains were discovered in structures which appear to be related to the treatment of sewage or waste water, by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission. The Commission has described itself as "shocked" by the discovery. "These remains involved a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to 2-3 years," it said.

The Bon Secours Sisters would not comment on the find, which Minister for Children Katherine Zappone described as "disturbing". An information meeting for the residents of the Tobar Jarlath and Dublin Road estates in Tuam was called at short notice yesterday by Galway County Council.

Cllr Peter Roche confirmed that there are concerns that the site could stretch under some private homes. "[Residents] are deeply traumatised, because the suspicions they had for many years were confirmed," he said.

The find has vindicated the research of amateur historian Catherine Corless, whose work helped lead to the setting-up of the Commission.

Irish Independent

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