'I think there are many mass graves around Ireland...but Tuam was a sewage area' - Catherine Corless receives standing ovation on Late Late Show
The local historian who helped uncover the remains of babies dumped in the Tuam mother and baby home said she believes there are many mass graves to be uncovered around Ireland, but Tuam "is a little bit worse, the fact it was a sewage area".
Catherine Corless, who received a standing ovation on the Late Late show Friday night following her interview, said she was not surprised when bodies were discovered at the site.
She has told how she noticed children from the home as a child, and was driven to research the topic in her later years.
In an emotional interview, Ms Corless said there needs to be further investigations of former mother and baby home sites around Ireland.
"I always had the memory of passing that stretch of wall, and wondering what was inside it," she told Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show.
"I wasn’t shocked at the find because I knew they were there," she added.
Ms Corless discussed how each child would be fostered following their communion, with many never seen again at the Tuam mother and baby home.
She described how mothers would be sent away from the home a year after the child was born.
"These poor women had to leave their own homes and go into these homes. You have to go back to Catholicism because sex before marriage was a very grievous sin and women and families were condemned if there was a birth before marriage.
"I’ve heard stories of the parish priest calling to these houses and telling them that this woman was a bad influence on the village and she had to go."
Upon discovering the death certificates of the children, she became determined to find out where they were buried.
A previous discovery of bones had been dismissed by authorities as Famine victims, but Corless’s maps and findings suggested that this couldn’t be the case.
She contacted the Bon Secours, Galway County Council and other authorities - none had details about burial records.
She managed to track down the death records of over 700 children in the home.
"No burial records here whatsoever. [Where they were buried] was the question I had to ask myself.
"They wouldn’t all be in that one tank where the remains were found. There are some coffin burials as well. Unfortunately, we don’t know what a 'significant amount' is."
"I want to know where she is"
Peter Mulryan also appeared on the show.
He described how the local priest wanted his mother to be removed from the parish when she was seven months pregnant.
Mr Mulryan was brought to the Tuam mother and baby home and years later, was informed by Catherine Corless that he had a sister.
He knows his sister died, but has no record of what happened to her.