No Criminal Investigation
Mar 31, 2017 — Galway Independent -Wednesday 22nd March
No criminal investigation into Tuam Home
Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017 1:01am
No evidence of suspicious deaths has so far been uncovered at the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home site, according to the Department of Justice. As a result, there is no criminal investigation taking place at the site, although Gardaí are continuing to liaise with the Coroner’s Office.
“In the course of any coronial investigation, it is open to a coroner to call on the support of the Gardaí and any other authorities as he may deem necessary,” stated a spokesperson for the Justice Department.
The spokesperson added that “a critical part of the role of a coroner is to determine as far as possible, the cause of a death reportable to him by law, particularly in the case of deaths that may have occurred in a violent or unnatural manner.”
The Coroner would not normally be involved in conducting an investigation “where a person has died naturally and a death certificate from an attending doctor was provided.”
“At this point, the Commission’s investigations in Tuam has found no evidence of suspicious deaths. No criminal investigation is underway.”
For now, the Coroner of North Galway is considering what steps are necessary and appropriate “in accordance with his independent statutory functions, on the basis of the information now made available. At this early stage, it is not possible for the Coroner to be in a position to indicate definitively the direction, extent or outcome of any investigation.”
Meanwhile, Galway County Council stated that it remains available to local residents living close to the former Tuam Home site. It added, “The work of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes is ongoing and they have not reached any formal conclusions about the site or its future. The Council advises all those with a personal connection to the Home to contact the Commission of Investigation with regard to any submission they may wish to make.”
It added that a burial site identified in 1970s council drawings relate to when the building was a Workhouse, before the Bon Secours Order were brought in to run it as a Mother and Baby Home. The council reiterated that it had reviewed all relevant files connected with the development of the houses and a playground, in the vicinity of the site and “there is no record to indicate the discovery of human remains during the construction of the houses in the 1970s. The relevant files and records have been made available to the Commission.”
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