Remains of young children and babies found in sewage chambers at Tuam mother and baby home

March 5, 2017 at 10:59 am (Catholicism, child abuse, children, crime, Human rights, Ireland, posted by JD, religion, tragedy, women)

In a statement, the Commission said it is “shocked by the discovery” and its investigation is continuing.

PastedImage-93754 Source:

  • 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 decommissioned sewage chamber in Tuam.

The Commission has completed two test excavations of the Galway site and today confirmed that “significant quantities of human remains have been discovered” in a structure which appears to be “related to the treatment/containment of sewerage and/or wastewater”.

The structure where the remains were found is long and divided into 20 chambers. The Commission is not yet clear if it was ever used for sewerage or wastewater.


There were remains found in at least 17 of the 20 chambers. A small number of the remains were recovered for testing. A scientific analysis has put the ages of the deceased at between 35 foetal weeks to two to three years old.

Radiocarbon dating suggests that they are from the time the Bon Secours home was in operation between 1925 and 1961. A number of the samples are likely to be from the 1950s.

A second structure discovered during excavations between November 2016 and February this year appeared to be a decommissioned septic tank which had been filled with rubble and debris and then covered with topsoil.

Image uploaded from iOS (1) The excavation area has now been sealed off Source: Christina Finn/

In a statement, the Commission said it is “shocked by the discovery” and its investigation is continuing “into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way”.

State authorities have been asked to take responsibility for the appropriate treatment of the remains and the North Galway Coroner has been informed. He will determine if there is to be any garda involvement in further investigations.

Speaking today, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said the “sad and disturbing news” confirms rumours about the possibility of a mass grave at the site.

“Today is about remembering and respecting the dignity of the children who lived their short lives in this Home. We will honour their memory and make sure that we take the right actions now to treat their remains appropriately,” she added.

Decisions have yet to be taken on whether more excavations will be required at other mother and baby home sites.

The Commission was established following a 2014 report in the Irish Mail on Sunday that 800 children died in the home and were interred in a mass grave.

Local historian Catherine Corless has spent years researching the home, even obtaining death certificates for each child who died there, in the hope of rectifying an injustice.

In a statement today, the Bon Secours order 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.”

Call for identification

The Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) said that they were saddened by the news.

They said that Tuam “is not an isolated case” and reiterated their call for an expansion of the Commission’s Terms of Reference to include all institutions, agencies and individuals that were involved with Ireland’s unmarried mothers and their children, and to include investigations of burial practices at all of these locations.

They said that they want the government to ensure that all children who died in Tuam,a nd all children and adults who died in institutional care or custody, are identified.

In addition, they urged an Garda Siochána to establish its own investigation, independent of the Commission of Investigation, into abuse, neglect and illegal separations of mothers and children in Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes, maternity hospitals, and through adoption agencies and similar entities.

They added:

We reiterate our concerns that the Commission’s Terms of Reference are not comprehensive enough, and stress that Tuam is but one institution in an ad hoc and almost entirely unregulated, State-funded system which had responsibility for the care of unmarried mothers and their children. Today’s disturbing statement from the Commission underscores that the State failed in its ‘duty of care’ towards these children and their mothers.
In the context of these revelations, and in the public interest, we also reiterate our call on Minister Zappone to publish the Commission’s second interim report without delay.

With reporting by Aoife Barry

Read: She was right: How Catherine Corless uncovered what happened in Tuam>

Read: Nuns who ran Tuam home have ‘no comment’ to make on today’s revelations>



  1. Bazza said,

    The Catholic Church was virtually the state power in Ireland for 70 years until the scandals came. Who would have predicted that the republic would have voted 2 to 1 for gay marriage? Shame the Catholic reactionaries have not been overthrown I Eastern Europe in a similar way. I bet there are lots of dark secrets the clergy is hiding in places like Poland!

    • Mick said,

      Ah, so that’s the point of this – attack the Christians. (Even though, ironically, leftists conflate Catholic with Christian so much that it goes very well with their code word Zionist as a derogatory word against Jews.)

      I wasn’t otherwise going to comment on this tragic development, as it would have been somehow incongruous.

      • februarycallendar said,

        Zionist is a code word for anti-Semitism in much of the Left, no doubt, but certainly not here!

    • februarycallendar said,

      They haven’t been overthrown in Eastern Europe because they were oppressed for four decades and more after WW2, thus giving them strength to survive in adversity. As any comparison between Ireland & Poland shows, oppressing these forces is the best way to ensure their long-term recovery, and allowing them to retain de facto control well into the modern era is the best way to ensure their slow, lingering death.

      • Mick said,

        The Catholic Church is Poland was actually a genuine beacon of hope for people during the oppressive years of communism. I wonder if anyone has told the Morning Star.

        Though Catholocism as an institution was exactly the Roman rubbish Jesus himself warned against, the people in it were expected to be godly and decent. Which was just the ticket when left wing politics was on such acid trips back then.

    • Mick said,

      Very glad to hear it. This blogger’s hard on anti-Semites and it’s a pity that ever has be said as a bonus in the left. Especially with enough talk I’ve witnessed by leftists of ‘Christian freaks’ and suchlike.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Mick, the Catholic Church were really the ROI Government thus the cover up. Pope JP 2 was a member of the Wermach. A recent German Pope was Hitler Youth. But let us not in any way condemn the Catholic Church less we be called bigots. Just like you are called islamaphobic for mentioning the truth about islamists.

      • Mick said,

        I know that if someone is to be exposed, then expose it. Abusive priests and those who defended them, for instance. But from the first comment, there’s a whole heap of ulterior motive going on. And there also sounds a good bit of Godwinning here.

        Not that John Paul was even in the German Army – he actually saved Jews from the Nazis – but lots of young people, where they couldn’t help it, went into things like the German Army. But afterwards they became priests, like Martin Bormann’s own son. The other guy even became pope. But there’s no such thing as a renewed character when it suits some people, barring those animals let out of British jails too early so they can strike again. (Thanks, Labour.)

  2. Davis said,

    I always find comments and comments and comments by those who call themselves “Mick” and ” glasgow working classwanker” in this page… They must really love it and they must really are in need of a life, such bunch of boring trolls. So long British pride! The working Ukipist classes are (too drunk to be) aware!

    • Jim Denham said,

      I haven’t (yet) banned these two idiots … but it would be nice if some sensible, anti-racist people also commented from time to time.

      • Mick said,

        Where’s the racism? Or is that just a playground word now?

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Idiots and wanker, traditional and fine language from some on the left Jim.

    • Mick said,

      And all you’ve said here isn’t the sound of a troll?

      Ah no, it’s the sound of the Left. And these tribal people wonder how politics is polarised.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      I have to assume you are aware and not a wanker.

      • Mick said,

        Well as he’s the one calling you a working class wanker, it shows who’s really out of touch.

  3. Davis said,

    Greetings from Spain Jim Denham! I have just discovered your webpage some months ago through tendance coatesy (I know partially the world of British politics since, during my Erasmus year in Sheffield as a student, I was member -regretfully- of the SWP´-or is it better to call them the Socialist? Rapists Party?-). Trolls are everywehere and if these two have nothing to do with their lives rather tan being all the day through the internet… Because if they put their feet in the real world thay may finish like their American friend Richard Spencer!

    • Mick said,

      Ah, an expat. The kind of person leftists call insular and bigoted! (I take it no rights for THEM when the rest of the EU citizens get theirs!)

      The only thing worse than being complained about is not being complained about. And I do so like it when it’s among friends.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Och well Mick according to Jim we are idiots. And no one reads what idiots have to say or even comment on anything they have to say.
        Most people from the UK that settle in Spain just worry about their pension conversion into euros. And the Davis person admits he was SWP. Probably now laying flowers at the Franco monument. Those lefties do tend to turn right when they get older and have a few bob in the bank.

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