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Pressure is growing in County Galway for a memorial to be erected to 796 babies and children believed to have been buried in a septic tank beside a home for unmarried mothers run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam between 1925 and 1961.
According to records that local woman Catherine Corless provided the Irish Mail on Sunday, many of the hundreds of children who lived at the home suffered deformities, malnutrition and neglect. Causes of death included malnutrition, measles, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.
The site may be excavated following complaints by a relative to the Irish police.
Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, said a number of government departments were looking at how the issues raised by the discovery of the tank might be addressed. “I am particularly mindful of the relatives of those involved and of local communities,” he said.
According to the Guardian, church leaders in Galway said they had not known that so many children who died at the orphanage had been buried there, and have pledged to support local efforts to mark the spot with a plaque listing the names of all 796 children.