Standing ovation for Catherine Corless on Late Late Show

Host Ryan Tubridy said he had not seen such a spontaneous reaction before

Standing ovation for Catherine Corless on Late Late Show

Catherine Corless on the Late Late Show | Image: RTÉ

The host of the Late Late Show expressed his gratitude to the audience on Friday night, after they gave a standing ovation to Tuam historian Catherine Corless.

Ryan Tubridy said: "I don't think I've ever seen something like that happen in a spontaneous way on this programme".

Ms Corless' extensive research and persistence brought the fate of the Tuam babies to light.

The mother and baby home in Tuam operated between 1925 and 1961, and it is believed several hundred children could be buried at the site in Galway.

Speaking on Friday night, Ms Corless talked about why she was so determined to get to the truth and persevered.

Catherine Corless on the Late Late Show | Image: RTÉ

"I lived out past that home and it was surrounded by 10-foot high walls, and I always had that memory of passing that long stretch of wall and wondering what was inside it.

"I wanted to know more about the home and the children and where they ended up".

She said when the suspected septic tank continuing skeletal remains was found in the 1970s, it was believed they dated from famine times.

"The guards came up and the priest came up and said a few prayers over the bones...and all they did at the time was just to close in this tank again and to level it off - and for them that was the end of that".

She was also joined by survivors of the mother and baby homes - some of whom have since discovered they had siblings they never knew about.

One woman who found she had two brothers born at the home, Anna Corrigan, said one brother was noted on an inspection report as being "emaciated with a veracious appetite, no control over bodily functions and possibly had a mental defect".

His death was recorded at 16-months-old from the measles - while he was also listed as a "congenital idiot" on his death certificate.

Anna Corrigan | Image: RTÉ

"What I'd like to see is I would like to find them. The bodies that they've found - or they are going to find - I want them DNAed, I would like to put forward my DNA, I want to reclaim them if they're there".

She also queried if one them was still alive, as there was no death certificate for him.

"William is marked as dead in the ledgers of the home at about seven-months-old - but there's no death certificate for William, there's no medical certification of death for William, and there's no reason for his death.

"So all I have to rely on is what the nuns are telling me - through what's written in the ledgers".

She said the cases of her two brothers are now open garda investigations.

A standing ovation from the audience | Image: RTÉ

At the end of the segment, the audience got to its feet for a long applause - to which Tubridy replied: "If that audience represents the people watching tonight, there is a hunger in this country for the truth.

"Thank you for that response to Catherine Corless", he added.