‘The Only Acceptable Outcome Is The Immediate Convening Of An Inquest Into The Deaths Of All The Children’


From top: Taoiseach leo Varadkar and Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; The site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway

This evening.

At 7.30pm.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone will meet with a representative of the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network in Government Buildings.

Ahead of this meeting, the network writes:

Birth and death certificates for the former Tuam Home number 1,101 births, within the home, and 796 deaths, within the home. Of those recorded as dying within the home, slightly in excess of 79% failed to reach the age of one year.

The graveyard records of Galway County Council disclose burial places for just two of those children. Despite the previous knowledge of both Galway County Council and the Bon Secours Order, the presence of large numbers of infant remains was finally confirmed by an exploratory dig at the Tuam site in October 2016.

It further confirmed that the resting place of those remains had, for some decades, served as repository for sewerage.

That partial excavation confirmed what was already reasonably believed – that a large number at least of the children who had died as inmates of the home, for whom no burial records exist, lie with the remains of that sewerage system.

In a functioning civil society, the local coroner would have convened an inquest without delay into such a mass grave of children who had been jointly in the care of the State and the Bon Secours Order.

Two years after the discovery of those remains, the local Coroner has failed in his statutory duty and two Attorneys General have failed to nominate a replacement coroner, which in all the circumstances, they are clearly obliged to do under section 24 of the Coroners Act.

Instead the children of Tuam and their families have been subjected to another two years of obfuscation and deceit.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs continues to hold the position that Government has the power to decide the future of the Tuam site.

If either she or Government has, at any time, received advice from the office of the Attorney General that Government has such powers, they should publish that advice now.

The Tuam Home Survivors Network does not believe that any such advice exists, but if it does, it is clearly very bad advice.

The only acceptable outcome in the matter of the Tuam mass grave is the immediate convening of an inquest into the deaths of all the children recorded as dying within it, for whom no burial record exists.

This requires a complete forensic exhumation, together with use of all resources required, to complete the most extensive DNA database possible and post-mortems to determine, wherever possible, the cause of each death.

The removal of the children of Tuam from one mass grave to a different mass grave is unacceptable and any attempt to impose anything so disrespectful will be resisted by all lawful means.

The Position of the Tuam Home Survivors Network in agreeing to meet Government members on Monday 22nd October 2018 (Tuam Home Survivors Network)

Thanks Kevin Higgins


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45 thoughts on “‘The Only Acceptable Outcome Is The Immediate Convening Of An Inquest Into The Deaths Of All The Children’

      1. SOQ

        I am getting cleaning products with pictures of gooey stuff from drains.

        This has to be reference in all threads from here.

        1. SOQ

          Ok can we have static time zone for this AI advertising humour please? Not referencing the British as there will be four changes a year at this rate… and that is only in Kent.

  1. Cian

    The law states that you need to register births and deaths. Both were registered.

    No law says you need to “disclose burial places”. No law was broken (with respect to the actual burials).

    1. Blonto

      I’m no legal expert so I can’t argue about the law being broken.
      However, 796 bodies being dumped in a (used or disused or decommissioned) sewage tank is something that should NEVER happen in any sort of a civilised country. So please don’t put up any defence of this vile, evil situation.
      These children deserved so much more than this. There is no way to defend what happened to them, just as there is no way to defend the inaction of the various authorities and the government.
      Have some compassion and empathy before you start talking about no law being broken. Shameful.

      1. Giggidygoo

        Any bit of pressure comes on FG, and Cian is out of the traps running to defend them. We saw today where a man in NI is due for sentencing for preventing a burial of a neighbour. Irish laws are / have been mirrors of UK laws a lot of the time. No doubt Cian will come up with a definition of ‘burial’ to suit the FG agenda.

        You have to ask though – Why isn’t the State actually dealing with this instead of pussyfooting around trying to get out of it?

        1. Giggidygoo

          So that’s the FG out then, is it?

          Do your own thing with the Angel Plot. If you’re not that way inclined, that’s your decision. But don’t think that you can deny people who want Tuam dealt with properly, based on the FG mindset.

      2. Cian

        Is the angel plot in glasnevin cemetey a “mass grave”?
        Do all the babies buried there need to be dug up? My aunt is in there.

        What about all the babies that were squeezed into an adult coffin? Should all graves in glasnevin be dug up to find the misplaced babies?

        It was a different time. Things happened different.

        1. Giggidygoo

          So? So that’s the FG out then, is it?

          Do your own thing with the Angel Plot. If you’re not that way inclined, that’s your decision. But don’t think that you can deny people who want Tuam dealt with properly, based on the FG mindset.

    2. phil

      Cian, I think the State and the church would be happy enough if an investigation was limited to issues about the burial site , there is a far more serious investigation that may take place, and whatever might come out of that would open one hell of a can or worms…

        1. Giggidygoo

          Possibly because the usual would be implicated. Clergy, Politicians, and the Legal Profession.?

    3. Elm wood

      Under the 1888 burial
      Laws it was actually an offense not to record a burial , it was also an offense to bury a body with out a coffin , considering the order in question was in receipt of council grants for both coffins and burial costs it would appear that they were aware of this , as it would appear from the evidence available that substantial numbers of bodies were interred without either adequate records or coffins these would be 2 instances where the law was not respected , or perhaps broken, applying for financial grants from a state body or any purpose , and then using that money for another purpose might constitute fraud , which would now total 3 laws broken ,

        1. Elm wood

          Tenders for supply of coffins advertised by the home at the time in the local press
          Tenders being a necessary requirement for those applying for burial grants ,
          Coffins burials absolutely necessary and enforced by the 1888 act
          Again under the 1888 act record of burial necessary, fo you really think deaths were registered but bodies were just disposed off with no record or compliance
          Long version of act (1888) available online , I suggest you read it .
          Point here is that the assertion (by you) that these bodies were buried in accordance with the law , therefore no
          Law was broken is erroneous .
          With respect I don’t link , this information is freely available for those who wish to educate themselves

          1. Cian

            If you don’t have any evidence – that’s okay.

            I can’t prove a law doesn’t exist.
            You, however, could show where a law does exist. Go on, prove me wrong.

      1. Cian

        Where did you get 8/10?
        That is not accurate. I don’t know where the author got the figures – but if there were 1,101 children born within the home – there were lots of births outside the home and subsequently admitted. The 796 deaths were not only those born in the home.

        Look, I agree that the rates were too high. The authorities (eventually) realised they were too high and closed it down. My point is the burial of the bodies wasn’t abnormal for the times.

  2. newsjustin

    “It further confirmed that the resting place of those remains had, for some decades, served as repository for sewerage.”

    I’m not at all sure that the evidence supports this claim.

    1. Blonto

      Please read the comment I left to Cian.
      Does it make it any better that it might have been a disused sewage tank?
      Because you’re on shaky territory when you start nit picking these details before any recognised authority has started any forensic investigation.
      I’ll tell you what the evidence supports – the dumping of 796 bodies of babies and young children into a hole in the ground. Think about that number. Get 796 of anything – smarties or footballs, whatever – and think about all those kids.
      Then come back and see if you want to make stupid comments about whether the sewerage tank was used or unused. Because NOTHING can be said to make this OK.

      1. Cian

        Can we put this in context? The infant mortality rate in the 1940 was ~66/1000.

        In 1945 there were ~66,000 births; so there were ~4,350 deaths of children before they hit their first birthday. 4,350 in one year. That is almost 12 each day.

        Babies dying was, not be be crude, normal. And their disposal was equally grim. We shouldn’t judge Ireland of 70 years ago by today’s standards.

        1. Blonto

          So. Everything is grand. Nothing to see. Move on.
          You’re some bottomhole because there is no defence for what happened. And by trying to defend this you are sticking two fingers up to relatives of the dead.

  3. Vanessa off the Telly

    is that hero worship going on there
    with that gaze from Zappone towards Leo’s head

  4. sheskin

    I don’t think anyone said they were illegally buried,but why they were buried in a sh… hole literally.

  5. ollie

    If you come here you’ll find no mass grave, no evidence that children were ever so buried and a local police force casting their eyes to heaven and saying, ‘Yeah a few bones were found – but this was an area where famine victims were buried. So?

    1. Vanessa off the Telly

      You know
      I thought about that letter today, when I saw a tweet from Kevin Higgins (@boglawyer btw)

      And rather than it being excused as a place were famine victims were buried
      what if it was a known former Travellers Halting Site / encampment

      I doubt there’d be any ‘so?’ about it
      do you

      I’ll let Kevin himself have the last word on that
      He would do it far more justice

      but I reckon they’re would have been lads in plastic boiler suits swarming over that place
      and taking it apart with tweezers since the 90s

  6. Ron

    Let’s have a little thought experiment here. Imagine it was discovered the IRA had possibly dumped 700 odd bodies in a septic tank. What do you think the reaction of the state would have been. They would have had a legion of forensic analysts in white biohazard suits on full display for the media and the Irish people to see it. Sinn Fein would be getting vilified in the houses of Oireachtais every day.

    Why have we not seen the same reaction? Because the church and state were so attached that to even acknowledge it on any criminal level would be to implicate the state in what can only be described as vile vile acts.

    The Irish electorate owe all these families an apology for allowing the political filth in this country to whitewash over this disturbing part of our history.

    1. SOQ

      We have the FG teeth ‘n tits brigade in front view but also accept that they were they ones who had the balls to push through on the last two referendums, and again, they will on this.

    2. rotide

      This is a bloody awful analogy and it says a lot about people fawning over it.

      You can in no way compare a terrorist organistion who went out of their way to kill people to a religious order charged with housing and caring for children. While obviously there are very serious questions to be asked about the nature of quality of that care , the two are so far apart that it is utterly ridiculous to make this claim.

      1. Ron

        And just to clarify Rotide. The thought experiment went completely over your head. It’s not about motive or the what happened or why. We will never get those answers. This is about the states response or lack of to said potential crime. But don’t let all that get in the way of your rush to post your usual bile.

  7. sheskin

    On any level this not normal behaviour by any civilised society,never mind a functioning western government.
    In fact it’s an embarrassment to all decent Irish people.

  8. sheskin

    On any level this is not normal behaviour by any civilised society,never mind a functioning western government.
    In fact it’s an embarrassment to all decent Irish people.

  9. Truth in the News

    This particular site in Tuam has implications for FG and those who preceded them
    at one end is site where anti treaty soldiers were murdered by servants of the so
    called “Free State” and a stone throw away is the site where the children were
    “Dumped” all this coincided with the establishment of the “Free State”…..is it any
    wonder there is no excavation of the site…..yes if the provos could be blamed there
    would be a shortage of white coats and bio hazard suits.

  10. Steph Pinker

    The beauty of archaeology – particularly forensic archaeology – is that the truth will always be unearthed.

  11. Cian

    I’ve changed my mind.
    I just found out that none of those children were vaccinated! And that’s why many of them died. The nuns were obviously anti-vaxx. Any nuns in that order that are still alive should be arrested for child abuse.

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