Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called for a “full public inquiry into what has become known as the Tuam babies case and into the treatment of women and children in mother and baby homes”.
Teachta Adams said:
“The news that the remains of some 800 babies were found on convent grounds in Tuam has shocked citizens.
“Were it not for the Trojan efforts of a local historian Catherine Corless these children would forever remain nameless, in the ground, forgotten in death as they were in life.
“This case warrants an immediate full public inquiry into the neglect and maltreatment which caused the deaths of these children.
“Unfortunately, this case is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the treatment of women and children in mother and baby homes.
“Dozens of these homes were in operation in Ireland from the late 1800s well into the 20th century.
“How many more of these mass graves exist?
“The Tuam babies case demands a full public inquiry by the government which must include in its remit the wider issue of mother and baby homes.
“The church and state cannot be allowed to abdicate their responsibility for what occurred. It is time now for the government to face up to this shameful period of our recent history and shine a light on the dark secrets of mother and baby homes.”