Notice- 3rd March 2017
The Commission has completed its test excavation of the Tuam site.
The stratigraphic survey which was conducted in October 2015 identified a particular area of interest and identified a number of sub surface anomalies that were considered worthy of further investigation. These were further investigated by a test excavation in November/December 2016 and in January/February 2017. Test trenches were dug revealing two large structures. One structure appears to be a large sewage containment system or septic tank that had been decommissioned and filled with rubble and debris and then covered with top soil. The second structure is a long structure which is divided into 20 chambers. The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water. The Commission has also not yet determined if it was ever used for this purpose.
In this second structure, significant quantities of human remains have been discovered in at least 17 of the 20 underground chambers which were examined. A small number of remains were recovered for the purpose of analysis. These remains involved a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to 2-3 years. Radiocarbon dating of the samples recovered suggest that the remains date from the timeframe relevant to the operation of the Mother and Baby Home (the Mother and Baby Home operated from 1925 to 1961; a number of the samples are likely to date from the 1950s). Further scientific tests are being conducted.
The Commission is shocked by this discovery and is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way. Meanwhile, the Commission has asked that the relevant State authorities take responsibility for the appropriate treatment of the remains. The Coroner has been informed.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is making a statement on the matter today.
Notice- 30th January 2017
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation conducted a test excavation at the site of the Children's Burial Ground/Memorial Garden located in the Dublin Road Housing Estate Tuam, Co. Galway in October/November 2016.
This excavation will be continued for a further two to three weeks starting on 30th January 2017.
Notice - 24th November 2016
The Commission wishes to inform everyone concerned that the closing date for applications to meet the Confidential Committee is Wednesday, 1 March 2017. You may contact the Confidential Committee on Freephone 1800 806 688.
Notice - 30th September 2016
Test excavation at Tuam
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation has arranged for a test excavation at the site of the Children's Burial Ground/Memorial Garden located in the Dublin Road Housing Estate, Tuam, Co. Galway. Site works will begin on the 1st of October and last for approximately 5 weeks.
A sample of the site will be excavated by a team of specialist Archaelogists lead by a Forensic Archaelogist. Works are taking place with the full co-operation of An Garda Síochána.
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. This excavation will focus on timeline and stratigraphy. A fraction of the site will be excavated through test trenches, the location of which have been informed by a Geophysical Survey carried out at the site in October 2015.
The excavation team has been engaged by the Commission for the purpose and, under the conditions of confidentiality, will not be in a position to answer any queries on this or any other aspects of the Commission's work. Any such queries should be addressed directly to the Commission. Residents and local groups are being informed of the impact of the planned excavation with assistance from Tuam Garda Station.
The Commission is grateful to the Gardaí and Galway County Council, the owners of the site, for their assistance. Neither is in a position to answer questions on this or any other aspects of the Commission's work.
Press queries may be addressed to:
Notice - 12th May 2016
The Commission has now chosen the County Homes it proposes to investigate and these are as follows:
1. St Kevin's Institution (Dublin Union)
2. Stranorlar County Home, Co Donegal (St Joseph's)
3. Cork City County Home (St Finbarr's)
4. Thomastown County Home, Co Kilkenny (St Columba's)
Notice - 8th October 2015
A Geophysical Survey will be conducted on the site of the graveyard at the Dublin Road Housing Estate, Tuam, Co. Galway on behalf of the Commission on Friday 9th October 2015. The survey will be conducted with the consent of Galway County Council, who are the owners of the site.
The survey will involve the use of non-invasive methods. It will be conducted over the surface of the ground inside the current boundaries of the graveyard. The sub surface of the site will not be disturbed.
The purpose of the survey is to detect the presence of possible sub surface anomalies. Ground Penetrating Radar, Magnetometry and Electrical Resistivity remote sensing methods will be used.
It is expected that work on site will take no more than one day, weather permitting.
The company on site have been engaged specifically by the Commission to carry out the survey and will be unable to answer queries on any other aspect of the Commission’s work. Any such queries should be addressed directly to the Commission. ^ Back to top