'Significant quantity' of infant remains found at Tuam religious home

Three months of excavations had already turned up "significant quantities of human remains" of children between 35 weeks and 3 years old at the site, said the judge-led Mothers and Babies Commission.

The inquiry was launched after a local historian said there was evidence of an unmarked graveyard at the home, where records showed nearly 800 children died between 1925 and 1961.

Outside of Tuam, three other mother and baby homes have little angels plots believed to hold the remains of another 3,200 babies and infants.

The discovery of human remains at the site of a home for unmarried mothers has been welcomed by the historian whose research uncovered the burials.

They were discovered in "underground chambers " during an excavation of the site in Tuam in County Galway by a commission set up to investigate alleged abuse at such homes. The home closed its shutters down in 1961. "We will honor their memory and make sure that we take the right actions now to treat their remains appropriately", she added.

With the discovery of the mass grave in Tuam, Ireland, found in older sewage caverns, the investigators now are attempting to discover who ordered the disposal of the children's bodies in this manner. It will in time provide a full account of what happened to vulnerable women and children in these institutions; how they came to be there; and the pathways they took as they left.

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Corless said that over time, houses and other building were built in and around where the bodies were found in Tuam, and for years, nobody seemed to want to see if it was true.

Campaigners are demanding reasons as to why the death rate at Tuam was not questioned. "The information I have received confirms these suspicions and, importantly, they trace the remains specifically to the period of the Home's operation, rather than to earlier times". While Corless was able to find the death certificates for the children who had died at the Catholic-run orphanage, she was able to locate a burial record for just one child.

Mr Redmond's comments come in the wake of the findings at the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. After delivery, the mothers were separated from their infants, who were raised by nuns at the home until they could be given for adoption.

Catherine Corless was working on a local history project when she began researching the St Mary's Mother and Baby Home, a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children, and obtained death certificates for 796 children that had died at the home.

The home, run by the Bon Secours Sisters, a Catholic religious order of nuns, received unmarried pregnant women to give birth. The bones of the children should be extracted and buried in Tuam's main graveyard, she said. She later obtained records from the county dating back to the 1970s, when the town council built an estate over an area marked on maps from the time as a "burial ground", reported the Guardian in 2014.

Its report, published on Monday, says the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 should be repealed "to legalise the termination of pregnancy at least in cases of rape, incest, risk to physical or mental health or life of pregnant women", and fatal foetal abnormality.

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