Ireland’s Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is seeking cabinet permission to order a complete excavation of the notorious mother and baby home in Tuam.
The Irish Examiner reported that she will urge colleagues to “quickly” back her call so her department can begin to put together a working group to oversee the project.
The excavation is expected to be lead by experts from overseas and is expected to comply with international best practice. The team will also have to preserve the children’s remains on the site after excavation.
Currently, no excavation is planned for any of the other mother and baby homes in Ireland but it is expected that, in due course, they, too, will be excavated.
Tuam’s mother and baby home brought global attention to the small Galway town in March after “significant quantities” of human remains were found in a septic tank.
In total, just under 800 babies and young children are believed to have died in the care of the Bon Secours sisters who ran the home between 1925 and 1961 - an average of one a fortnight.
When asked for comment the sisters issued a “no comment” statement, although a PR spokeswoman for the order had previously rubbished the idea that a mass grave would be discovered in Tuam.
Paul Redmond, Chair of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS) said at the time, “Our Community is divided about the issue of excavations and exhumations. Many are adamant that all the babies must be exhumed, identified and given proper burials. Others feel strongly that our former crib mates should be allowed to rest in peace. There are no easy answers and some survivors will be horrified no matter what happens.”
He also attacked the Government for not informing the community ahead of the press.
No word yet has yet been received from the group regarding the minister’s proposal.
H/T: Irish Examiner