Tuam mother-and-baby home survivors call for mass grave to be dug up and excavated

Tuam mother-and-baby home survivors call for mass grave to be dug up and excavated

SURVIVORS of the infamous mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway, have renewed calls for a complete excavation of the site and DNA testing on all the bodies.

The remains of hundreds of babies were found at the site last year, which belonged to children aged from about 35 foetal weeks to three years.

In all,  796 were estimated to be buried in umarked graves.

A report by an expert group published by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone last month outlined five options, including the creation of a memorial, as well as continuing examinations on the site, which was previously owned by the Sisters of the Bon Secours.

Ms Zappone said a decision would be taken within months.

In a statement today, the Tuam Home Survivors Network said its members had given careful consideration to the expert technical group’s report.

It said it was the view of the members that the only appropriate action was “a complete excavation of the Tuam site to ensure the recovery of all human remains contained there”.

The members said all those who had “reasonable grounds” to believe that members of their family may be buried at the site should be invited to provide their DNA for testing, and that this invitation should be “published widely including the UK and North America”.

Chairman of the Tuam Survivors Network Peter Mulryan also called for the immediate convening of an inquest by the coroner for north Galway, or the appointment by the Attorney General of another coroner, to open such an inquest.

Mr Mulryan said it was “the unambiguous position of the members” of the network that “the bare requirements of law, statutory, constitutional and human rights, nationally and internationally recognised, cannot be met in any other way”.

The group also proposed relocation “to an appropriate and secure location of all human remains recoverable at the site.”

Last November, an investigative team from the New York Times published a report on the Tuam babies scandal. You can watch the report here.