Monday 17 December 2018

New technology increases chances of taking DNA from remains of Tuam babies - expert

Catherine Corless stands beside the list of childrens' names at the Tuam Mother and Babies site after hearing the news of the exhumation Photo Andy Newman
Catherine Corless stands beside the list of childrens' names at the Tuam Mother and Babies site after hearing the news of the exhumation Photo Andy Newman
Catherine Corless at the site of the Tuam mass grave. Picture: PA
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

New technology offers a better chance of taking DNA from the remains of hundreds of babies buried in Tuam, a leading genetics professor has said.

A government report last year had highlighted difficulties with DNA extraction at Tuam.

Trinity College professor Aoife McLysaght was speaking at an event with the Galway historian, Catherine Corless – who was awarded an honorary degree by the university.

Ms Corless was commended for uncovering the scandal of 796 children being buried in a mass grave at the former mother and baby home in Tuam.

Catherine Corless at the site of the Tuam mass grave. Picture: PA
Catherine Corless at the site of the Tuam mass grave. Picture: PA

Ms McLysaght said: “We have the technology to take DNA from remains such as these”.

The professor added that family members would however be needed for DNA samples.

During a 90 minute conversation in the Edmund Burke Theatre, Ms Corless said she would like to see proper burials for the remains of exhumed babies "that they were utterly and totally denied".

She said she would "like to see a little white coffin for all these children" and added that the babies were neglected and when they were ill saying that; "I really believe they were just let die".

Ms Corless said there are at least 30 people looking to trace babies, and "for these 30 alone it’s crucial". "It’s a way of acknowledging," she said.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News