Tuam, Ireland – When human remains were discovered in a septic tank in Tuam, in western Ireland, last month it didn’t come as a complete surprise to everyone.
The unearthing at the site – a former home for unmarried mothers – was the result of a government commission charged with investigating claims of abuse by religious orders. Excavations uncovered an underground structure where human remains were found.
Local historian Catherine Corless had initially uncovered details of a mass grave at the home run by the Catholic Church affiliated Bons Secours, where, according to her, up to 800 infants born to unmarried mothers had been unofficially buried in a disused sewage tank.
But a 2014 email sent by Bons Secours’ PR representative Terry Prone to filmmaker Saskia Weber dismissed the need for an investigation into the site, saying: “If you come here, you’ll find no mass grave, no evidence that children were ever so buried, and a local police force casting their eyes to heaven and saying ‘Yeah, a few bones were found’ – but this was an area where famine victims were buried. So?”