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TD calls for Tuam mass grave to be declared a crime scene

Catherine Murphy was among those to call for a full public inquiry into the situation.

The site of the mass grave in Tuam, Co Galway
The site of the mass grave in Tuam, Co Galway

INDEPENDENT TD CATHERINE Murphy has called for the mass grave discovered on the site of a former Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam to be declared a crime scene.

Murphy said the only reason this has not already happened is because the grave is associated with a religious order.

The deputy said that the 800 babies buried there were “starved” and “discarded” as though they were “sub-human”.

Murphy said we needed to “call it what it is” and launch a full public inquiry.

Why has this not been declared a crime scene? It needs to be declared a crime scene.

She made the comments in the Dáil today where Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin was answering Leaders’ Questions.

Howlin said the government was “ruling nothing out” but would not commit to a full public inquiry until the interdepartmental group, established yesterday to review the issue, reports back by the end of this month.

c murphy jun 4

He added that its review would determine whether or not an inquiry would need to look into the practices at more mother and baby homes.

‘Appalling’

Howlin described the situation in Tuam as a “shocking, unacceptable and appalling” incident that “jars all of us to our core”.

He said that criminal proceedings would go ahead “if deemed appropriate by the gardaí”.

Murphy said that the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and acting Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan should both make public statements on the issue.

Sinn Féin’s Sandra McLellan stated that Tuam was “not an isolated case”.

We simply don’t know how may of these mass graves might exist.

She said that a full public inquiry was the ”only conceivable course of action” that would “shine a light on the dark secrets of mother and baby homes”.

howlin june 5 Brendan Howlin

Howlin insited that the government would act to ”reveal those dark days with clarity and with purpose”.

Related: Multiple government departments to deal with ‘deeply disturbing revelations’ of child burials

Read: Mary Lou McDonald warns that Tuam mass grave could be one of ‘dozens’

Background: ‘It’s time to do something’ – The forgotten mass grave of 800 babies in Galway

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Órla Ryan

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