New site in Tuam 'to be excavated for unmarked children's graves' 2 years ago

New site in Tuam 'to be excavated for unmarked children's graves'

An area in the town of Tuam is reportedly set to be excavated to find out if an unmarked children’s grave is at the site.

The ground penetrating scan is due to take place on the grounds of the former religious-run Grove Hospital in the town.

The site, previously owned but the Bon Secours nuns, was purchased by the HSE in 2001.

They sought to develop a mental health facility on the grounds last year.

A similar ground penetration scan was previously carried out in the town’s former mother and baby home.

Now the Irish Daily Mail reports a group of people who think the new site may contain human remains has appealed the case to An Bord Pleanála. 

As stated in the Freedom of Information (FOI) documents released to the publication, An Bord Pleanála ruled conditions of the planning permission include an excavation at the site.

According to the document, dated July 31, the developer must facilitate “preservation, recording and protection of archaeological materials or features that may exist within the site".

It continued on to say that a “suitably qualified archaeologist” should be employed to monitor all investigation works and to “secure the preservation and protection of any remains that may exist' there”.

An HSE spokeswoman confirmed to that the organisation had received planning permission from An Bord Plenála.

She said:

“The HSE recently received planning permission from an Bord Pleanala for the part demolition, refurbishment and remodelling of the Grove Hospital, along with new extensions and site works to provide a Mental Health facility and Early Intervention and Disability service facility for HSE West.”

The spokeswoman for the HSE emphasised that there will be “no works carried out” at the site referred to as the Garden Area.

She added that the area is outside the boundary of the development but said it “will be protected during any construction works”.