More tests planned on former Mother and Baby Home site in Tuam

Over 100 people took part in an event for former residents

More tests planned on former Mother and Baby Home site in Tuam

The grounds where the unmarked mass grave containing the remains of nearly 800 infants who died at the Bon Secours mother-and-baby home in Tuam, Co Galway from 1925-1961 rests | Image:

The Department of Children says further geophysical surveys are to take place on the site of a former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.

It has published its first monthly update on the homes.

Minister Katherine Zappone invited former residents and their supporters to participate in a consultation process.

The report says over 100 people took part in the event on June 30th, "reflecting the high level of interest in engaging with this process."

Arrangements for further events are being considered so that others will also have an opportunity to have their say.

The deportment says events may also be hosted in locations outside Dublin depending on the level of interest.

The report says a central focus should be on what should happen next with this site of the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam.

Infant remains were confirmed on the site back in March.

Minister Zappone has appointed a multidisciplinary team of experts to provide technical advices to Government.

'Intermixed remains'

The team has provided a short preliminary report on the range of options which could be considered as next steps on this site.

But it notes: "Such complexities include the commingled/intermixed juvenile human remains, which were found in significant quantities in a subsurface chambered structure with limited accessibility.

"The probability that the commingling/intermixing of human remains has occurred is a significant complication to individual identification.

"This is more acute in the case of juvenile human remains due to their fragile nature, compounded by the potentially significant quantities involved."

The team is liaising with the coroner for north Galway; the Office of the State Pathologist; the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes; An Garda Síochána Tuam; Galway County Council, and Forensic Science Ireland.

The report says further geophysical surveys of the site will be conducted from July 17th.

"These non-invasive surveys, which do not involve any excavations or disturbance of the ground, may assist to identify any further burials or anomalies on the areas in the ownership of Galway County Council", it says.

A technical report is due to be completed by the end of September.

The Department of Children says it has been working with Tusla to support the provision of information to former residents.

It says additional administrative resources to support this work are being made available in Tusla.

"This is separate to existing arrangements for the provision of information and tracing services to adopted persons and others", the department adds.