Mass Grave Found at ‘Mother and Baby’ Home
Following an investigation of a mass grave on the grounds of the former ‘Mother and Baby’ home in Tuam, Co Galway excavations have uncovered a “significant quantity” of human remains buried at the site. Beginning last November and concluding last month the excavations uncovered two large structures hidden underground at the former home in the west of Ireland. One structure was apparently a large sewage tank filled with garbage; the second structure contained 20 chambers.
Remains Found in at Least 17 of 20 Chambers
The remains found indicated the babies ranged from 35 foetal weeks to two or three years old. The Commission said it is “shocked by the discovery.” The investigation continues trying to determine, “into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way.” ‘Mother and Baby’ facilities was the home to women who became pregnant without a marriage. It is known that the environments were cruel . The mothers worked tough manual labor jobs for little or no pay. The mothers could only see their child for a few hours each week. At times the children were adopted by other families without informing the mother. Sometimes the child was taken to the US.
Local historian Catherine Corless researched the home for years. She was instrumental in the discovery of the mass grave. She said, “If you look at the records, babies were dying two a week, but I’m still trying to figure out how they could put the bodies in the septic tank. Couldn’t they have afforded baby coffins?” Corless believes the graveyard extends further overground where remains are buried in coffins and she called for the entire area to be investigated. She concluded, “This is only the start.”
The Bon Secours Sisters, the nuns who operated the house, said in a statement that they could make no comment on the announcement.