Tuesday, March 07, 2017

IRL : Gardaí in contact with coroner over Tuam babies

The coroner has not made any public commentGardaí say they are liaising with the local coroner in Co Galway, following the revelation that significant quantities of infants' remains were found on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam.

It is understood any decision on garda involvement in the matter will be made following considerations by the coroner.

The matter was referred to the north Galway coroner by the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation, following analysis of bones found in two underground structures.

The 1962 Coroners' Act states that unexplained deaths have to be reported, regardless of when they are thought to have occurred.

Scientific analysis of the remains found in Tuam has dated them to the same period when the Bon Secours sisters operated a home in the town.

Legislation provides for referral to a coroner under several criteria.

These include the death of a child in care; when human remains are found or where there is any doubt as to the cause of death.

Records from the mother-and-baby home in Tuam list the cause of death in some but not all cases.

The Coroner for North Galway is charged with investigating the circumstances surrounding deaths in the Tuam area.

He is not making any public comment about the manner in which investigations regarding the mother and baby home may proceed.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for the sites of other mother and baby homes to be secured.

She also said it had been clear from the beginning that the inquiry cannot be limited to a select few homes.

She called on Minister for Children Catherine Zappone to publish the interim report of the commission of investigation.

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