800 babies 'buried in septic tank' at Irish Catholic home

Almost 800 babies were buried in a concrete, septic tank in the grounds of a home for unmarried mothers in Galway between 1925 and 1961, according to research by a historian.

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Children's Minister: Mass grave claim 'deeply disturbing'

Ireland's Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan said the claims of a mass grave at a home for unmarried mothers in Galway are almost almost too graphic and horrible to believe.

It is fully recognised by me and my Government colleagues that we need to establish the truth.

...The Government is committed to ensuring that the most appropriate action is taken to ensure that the concerns in regards to these deeply tragic and disturbing past events can be addressed.

– Ireland's Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan

A Government review will also investigate other mother and baby homes and includes officials in departments of children, justice, health, education and environment.

Mass baby grave: Nuns 'no longer hold home's records'

The order of nuns that ran a home for unmarried mothers in Ireland where hundreds of babies and toddlers were said to have been buried in a septic tank have said they no longer hold records from the home.

Local historian Catherine Corless at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Credit: PA

The Sisters of Bon Secours, which operated the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway, said they were shocked and deeply saddened by reports of the burial of 798 dead infants from 1925 to 1961.

In a statement, Bons Secours said it handed its records to the state after it closed its doors.

"In 1961 the home was closed. All records were returned to the local authority, and would now be within the Health Service Executive, Co Galway," the order said.

The nuns said they are committed to engaging with Catherine Corless, the historian who pushed to uncover the extent identified of the burials, and the Tuam graveyard committee, which is seeking a permanent memorial at the site.

The order also said it welcomes the Government review of records of what happened in Tuam.

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800 babies 'buried in septic tank' at Irish Catholic home

Almost 800 babies were buried in a concrete, septic tank in the grounds of a home for unmarried mothers in Galway between 1925 and 1961, according to research by a historian.

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway, Ireland. Credit: PA

The bodies of 798 children were buried at the Tuam mother and baby home, which was run by The Sisters of Bon Secours.

In 1975 the grave was found by two local boys, but the scale of bodies was not examined until recently, after historian Catherine Corless made repeated requests to the state for official records.

The site is believed to be one of 10 similar homes across Ireland - three others are believed to hold the remains of another 3,200 babies and infants.

The scandal has sparked renewed calls for the Irish Government to hold a public investigation.

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