Human remains found at Mother and baby Home

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the contents of this information may prove distressing. I would encourage any individual seeking immediate support to go to the bottom of the page for helpline contact numbers or to contact Right of Place Second Chance directly who will operate extended Phone line hours on Monday between 9.00am - 5.00pm.

  • Human remains found at site of Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam
  • They were discovered in what appears to be some type of sewage container
  • Scientific analysis puts the age of death between 35 foetal weeks and 2 to 3 years
  • Radiocarbon dating confirms the remains are from the time the home was in operation – many are likely to be from the 1950s.
The Commission of investigation into Mother and baby Homes has discovered a "significant number" of human remains in what appears to be a decomissioned sewage chamer in Tuam, Co. Galway.

This commission was established following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies in Tuam over a number of decades and the manner in which they were buried.

The commission said it was shocked by the discovery and is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way.

Meanwhile, the commission has asked that the relevant State authorities take responsibility for the appropriate treatment of the remains.

The coroner has been informed.

Minister Zappone

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said it was very sad and disturbing news.

"Up to now we had rumours. Now we have confirmation that the remains are there, and that they date back to the time of the mother-and-baby home, which operated in Tuam from 1925 to 1961," Minister Zappone added.

The minister said that we must respond sensitively and respectfully to the situation. She added that her department had brought together all of the key departments and agencies to set out a way forward.

In relation to excavations at the other 13 mother-and-baby homes that are being investigated, she said it was a matter for the commission of investigation, which is independent.

Bon Secours Sisters Response

In a statement released today, the Bon Secours Sisters who ran the Mother and Baby home said;

“The Bon Secours sisters are fully committed to the work of the Commission regarding the mother and baby home in Tuam. On the closing of the Home in 1961 all the records for the Home were  returned to Galway County Council who are the owners and occupiers of the lands of the Home. We can therefore make no comment on today’s announcement, other than to confirm our continued cooperation with and support for the work of the Commission in seeking the truth about the home.”

Right of Place Second Chance response

Upon reading the details relased from the Commission our Director of Services, Micheál Walsh said, "It is an extremely emotional time for many who were in a Mother and baby home and particularly the Survivors and families of these homes." He continued to say "The remaining area needs to be investigated and Ireland as a nation must rememeber that in order to begin the process of full closure to Survivors this needs to begin with the whole truth"

"The memory of these children must now be fully honoured and Survivors should be fully consulted on this point." In what was already a critical role of the Commission he stated "Now, more then ever, the role and responsibilty of the Commission of Investigation for a full, comprehensive and robust investigation is paramount not only to Survivors, those whose remains have been found and their families; but also to Ireland as a nation so that we may properly support those who need it and educate ourselves into how this was allowed to happen and who is responsible."

Help and Support

1. A telephone helpline has been established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for people who are looking for factual information concerning today's announcement about excavations at the site.
The phone lines 01-6473118 and 01-6473232 are manned between 9.30am-5pm from Monday to Friday and from 12pm-5pm this weekend.

2. Connect; the HSE's free telephone counselling and psychological support helpline is 1800 477477. It is available today, tomorrow and Sunday from 5pm -12am, and from Monday 6 March to Friday 10 March from 6pm -10pm

Callers from Britain and Northern Ireland should dial freephone 00800-477-477-77

3. Right of Place Second Chance; Ireland's largest organisation that supports Survivors of Institutional Abuse in Ireland and offers information, Advise, Advocacy and Outreach can be contacted on 1890 200 709 Monday to Friday 09.30 am - 4.30 pm

Add comment

Security code