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Irish government to investigate mass graves at old homes for unwed mothers

On Tuesday, Ireland's government announced it will launch an investigation into the alleged burial of babies and children in mass graves at homes for unmarried mothers.

Iframe Code

Through the 1960s, Ireland had 10 homes for unwed mothers, operated by various religious orders. Many of the women who found themselves at the homes worked as indentured servants until they were able to leave, and several left without their children. Researcher Catherine Corless recently discovered while looking through documents that between 1925 and 1962, 796 children (mostly infants) died at the "Home" in Tuam, County Galway. Corless says that those children were buried in an unused septic tank, with no coffins or gravestones. The causes of death included tuberculosis, pneumonia, measles, malnutrition, and convulsions, according to The Irish Mail on Sunday.

Irish Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan told RTE that the investigation will take a closer look at "these dark periods" and get more information on the burial practices, illegal adoptions, high mortality rates, and allegations that the children were forced to participate in vaccine trials.