Monday 20 November 2017

Justice Minister: It’s up to gardai on whether there should be a criminal investigation in Tuam mass babies’ grave

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Gardai will decide on whether there should be a criminal investigation into why and how the bodies of an estimated 800 infants ended up in a septic tank at the site of a former 'mother and baby' home.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald made the comment after confirming she is now seeking a full report from the interim garda commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan on the information available on the deaths of babies at a 'Mother and baby' home in Tuam, Co Galway.

Today is the first time gardai have been asked to gather all information they have available on the matter.

In a statement issued this evening, the minister said it was up to gardai to decide whether or not to proceed with a criminal investigation, sealing off a crime scene and conduct a forensic examination.

Gardai have said they will provide any information and assistance it can to government's inter-departmental group

Meanwhile an inter-departmental body comprising of officials from the departments of justice, children, education and social protection has been set up to look at the matter.

The mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway
The mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway

They are expected to report back to the minister at the end of the month.

Once the government studies their full report, they will then decide on how they should proceed with the matter, Ms Fitzgerald said.

Irish Independent

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