A dark legacy that must be confronted
Many of us are struck by grief and dismay at news from excavations carried out at the site of a former mother and baby home at Tuam. The remains of hundreds of babies and infants up to three years old have been found.
We must now face the likelihood that more former locations of homes for marginalised people also contain sites of burials conducted in similar circumstances. These instances might extend to former county homes and other institutions like orphanages and industrial schools.
But already we have yet another summary of our dark history of how Irish society treated those deemed to have transgressed sexual mores and who were also poor and ill-educated. Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has brought together key departments and agencies to pursue matters. The commission is focusing on post-mortem procedures, and reporting and burial arrangements at the mother and baby homes.