(by Agence France-Presse) -- Almost 800 babies and children were buried in a mass grave in Ireland near a home for unmarried mothers run by nuns, according to new research Wednesday which throws more light on the Irish Catholic Church’s troubled past.
Death records suggest 796 children, from newborns to eight-year-olds, were deposited in a grave near a Catholic-run home for unmarried mothers during the 35 years it operated from 1925 to 1961.
Historian Catherine Corless, who made the discovery, says her study of death records for the St Mary’s home in Tuam in County Galway suggests that a former septic tank near the home was a mass grave.
The septic tank, full to the brim with bones, was discovered in 1975 by locals when concrete slabs covering the tank broke up.
Until now, locals believed the bones mainly stemmed from the Great Irish famine of the 1840s when hundreds of thousands perished.