Call for memorial for babies in unmarked Tuam grave

Friday 30 May 2014 19.50
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A housing estate now stands on the site of the former home for unmarried mothers
A housing estate now stands on the site of the former home for unmarried mothers
Hildegarde Naughton has called for an urgen examination of the site
Hildegarde Naughton has called for an urgen examination of the site

A campaign is under way to commemorate the deaths of nearly 800 infants who were buried in an unmarked grave in Tuam, Co Galway.

The infants were buried without coffins in the grounds of a former Bons Secours home for unmarried mothers between 1925 and 1961.

It is understood a small financial donation has now been made by the Bons Secours Sisters to help the community build a memorial.

Local people are also calling on newly-elected councillors in the Tuam area to pledge financial support to the memorial fund.

Fine Gael Senator Hildegarde Naughton has called for an urgent examination of the site.

Ms Naughton has also called for the provision of funds to help the local community build a memorial.

Diocesan Secretary Fr Fintan Monaghan said today that Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary would meet Bon Secours representatives with a view to erecting a permanent memorial.

He said the nuns were separate from the running of the diocese but the Church was sympathetic to the efforts of the local community to erect a memorial.

The unmarked grave was discovered accidentally in 1975.

A total of 796 babies, toddlers, and children were buried in the plot.

Death records show many of the infants died from malnutrition and infectious diseases.

A housing estate now stands on the site of the former home for unmarried mothers, which was run by the Bons Secours Sisters from 1925 to 1961.

A fundraising committee has been formed and it is hoped to raise €7,000 to build a memorial for the infants.

So far the committee has raised more than €3,000 with the help of Tuam Town Council.

The aim is to build a memorial with all 796 names etched into stone. 

Keywords: tuam, bon secours