The Black Friary Field School in Trim, Co Meath, has unexpectedly found the remains of up to 30 unbaptized babies.
The skeletal remains of almost 30 infants were discovered at the Black Friary Field School in Trim, Co Meath where experts have been excavating the grounds of the former medieval Dominican Friary.
It is believed that the children were unbaptized and were buried there up until the early 20th century with some remains dating back to medieval times. While the friary itself was demolished in the 18th century, those buried after that were interred in the rubble.
"While the discoveries of the medieval burials were expected, the later infant burials were not and were emotional for archaeologists on site", said Black Friary Field School principal investigator Finola O'Carroll.
"It was heartbreaking to discover these tiny remains among the rubble of the former Friary.
"Many of the remains dated back to medieval times but we think those buried after the Friary was demolished in 1760 were babies who were stillborn or who died before they were christened and couldn't be buried on the consecrated soil.
"We think these burials occurred here right up to the early or mid-1900s.
"Often, as well poverty had a part to play and babies were buried in the middle of the night because parents simply couldn't afford funeral costs. It's extremely sad."
The infant remains now add to some 130 remains of adults, children and infants found on the six-acre site ,where the graveyard has a long history of use.
The remains have been sent to be curated for research.
H/T: Breaking News