The Tuam Home Survivors’ Network has urged the Government to begin collecting DNA samples from the mass grave immediately.
In December, it was announced that excavation of the site would begin at the end of 2019.
Network spokesperson Breeda Murphy writes:
This work should proceed in a way that will be of greatest benefit to the greatest number of survivors, victims and families.
For this to be achieved, as much information as possible should be obtained from each sample of human remains. The quantifying of the DNA extracted is the paramount task to be accomplished.
Based on this quantity, a decision can then be made on the best method to use to achieve best outcome:
High yield of DNA – Standard Forensic testing using Short Tandem Repeat (STR) analysis to determine relationship to those searching for a family member; if no match is found , move on to DNA Microarray technology using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis to search genealogy companies. Then perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) for further information on genealogy, medical history, etc.
Low yield of DNA – Proceed directly to WGS to obtain the greatest amount of information possible.
The methodology of course, should be peer reviewed and/or follow guidelines from other sites for example, World Trade Centre, California fires, ancient sites, etc.
In the event, the quantity is insufficient for current analysis, it should be safely and appropriately stored future analysis when technology advances will present new opportunities for matching.
There is a certain urgency to this process given age profile and health status. R
esults from our ageing and in, some cases, frail membership should be banked to eliminate any delay in returning human remains to identifiable relatives for dignified burial
— Tuam Home Survivors Network (@TuamHome) January 29, 2019