Residents from the housing estate constructed on the site of the former mother-and-baby home in Tuam have been invited to a meeting to discuss this morning's revelations that a significant amount of human remains were found at the site.

The meeting has been organised by Galway County Council and is taking place at the Town Hall in Tuam this afternoon.

Residents were informed of the commission's findings in a leaflet drop to all homes in the Dublin Road housing estate this morning.

The council has said it recognises that the scale of the discoveries will be upsetting and difficult for many locals, several of whom tended the site where the remains were located for several years.

It is providing a dedicated helpline for anyone who wishes to make contact and says that the Health Service Executive will offer counselling services to those who would like to avail of them.

This afternoon's meeting is being held behind closed doors and the council has asked that the privacy of residents be respected.

The Commission of Investigation has confirmed to the council that its work at the site has now been completed.

During the course of the most recent excavation, the grass surface was removed in its entirety, as archaeologists carried out a deeper and more detailed examination.

Galway County Council says it will consult local residents about the long term future of the site.

It is understood there are no plans to carry out further excavation in a playground adjacent to the site or in gardens of the homes backing onto the burial ground.

The Commission said it was very unusual for it to report on its work before issuing its final report on a total of 18 homes in a year's time.

But, a spokesperson told RTÉ News that the Commission did not want to back-fill the excavated part of the Co Galway site without allowing other statutory authorities to complete their investigations in relation to it.

The spokesperson emphasised that, should it be decided to rebury human remains currently on the site, this should be done quickly. But the spokesperson added that it was not a matter for the Commission.

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