The report of the Expert Technical Group (ETG) dealing with the site of Tuam's former mother and baby home has been delivered to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone.

In a brief statement, the Minister says she intends to publish the document after bringing it to Government. She also promises to consult "stakeholders" in the controversy before making any decisions on the matter.

Ms Zappone's statement says the ETG report "explores a number of possible options for managing the Tuam site and appropriately responding to the discovery of interred human remains by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes".

The commission was established following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies in Tuam over a number of decades and the manner in which they were buried.

Ms Zappone says the report examines the options in the context of internationally accepted best practise in such cases and that the report will help to inform the decisions which must now be made concerning the site.

The ETG was established by the minister following the commission's announcement last March that it had found "a significant number of human remains" on the site of the home which had been run until the early 1960's by the Bon Secours Sisters.

Four years ago, a local volunteer historian, Catherine Corless, discovered official records showing that 798 infants and children had died there.

She believes most of them are buried on the site, part of which had a local authority estate built on it in the 1970s.

Subsequent monthly briefings on Ms Zappone's departmental website revealed that the ETG had consulted the International Committee of the Red Cross which has extensive experience of excavating large numbers of unidentified remains.

Last July's update added that the ETG had also liaised with An Garda Síochána and the coroner for north Galway, whose office has the responsibility of investigating sudden and unexplained deaths. 

The notice recalled that it had also been in communication with the National Monuments Services and Forensic Science Ireland.

Thanking the ETG's members for their work on the highly "complex and sensitive issue", Ms Zappone says the report will help everyone involved to understand the nature of the options now open to them "so that we can make well-informed decisions".

"My primary concern is to ensure that whatever action is taken respects the memory and dignity of the deceased children who lived their short lives in this institution."

The minister has given a copy of the report to the Attorney General and says she will consider, in conjunction with her Cabinet colleagues, "the next steps to help all stakeholders move towards a consensus on what should happen next".