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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018

Excavation to take place at site of alleged mass grave at Tuam

The excavation will take place following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies and the manner in which they were buried.

The site of the mass grave at Tuam.
The site of the mass grave at Tuam.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

AN EXCAVATION WILL be carried out on the site of a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

The excavation will take place following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies and the manner in which they were buried at the home, which came to light two years ago.

The excavation was ordered by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which was set up following the allegations in July 2016.

In a statement issued today, the Commission said that works on the excavation would begin tomorrow and last for about five weeks.

“The purpose of the excavation is to resolve a number of queries that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has in relation to the interment of human remains at this location,” the statement reads.

This excavation will focus on timeline and stratigraphy.

The Commission said that it will excavate test trenches of the site to determine the timeline of how soil is layered at the site.

It said that geophysical survey of the grounds was carried last year to assist with this.

Children And Youth Affairs Minister Katherine Zapppone travelled to the Tuam site today to meet former residents of mother and baby homes.

The minister said the stories from people who had lived in the home was “very distressing”.

She said she hoped the Commission would help former residents and relatives of those who had died at the homes.

The Commission is due to publish a report into its investigation into the homes in February 2018.

Zappone said that an interim report had recently been presented to her by the Commission.

“I hope in the next week or two I can release that,” she said.

Read: Explainer: What is happening with the possible mass grave of children in Tuam?

Read: Two years after it was set up, what’s happening with the mother and baby home inquiry?

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