Children's Minister Katherine Zappone wants the Vatican to contribute up to €2.5m as part reparation for its role in the Tuam mother and baby home scandal, according to today’s Irish Independent.

In a two-page letter to Pope Francis, the minister did not ask for a specific sum ,but rather asked the Church to "contribute substantially" to one of five potential options for dealing with the Tuam home's legacy.

The Government is said to be weeks away from deciding on the future of the Tuam site, with options ranging from a simple memorial to a full-scale forensic and archaeological excavation.

The latter could cost between €3m and €5m and involve the exhumation of close to 800 remains over a two-year period.

Minister Zappone briefed the pontiff on the story ofTuam in Italian when they met at Áras an Uachtaráin on Saturday last.

She then handed over a letter which gave greater detail about the hundreds of "little ones whose remains are in a sewage system".

The memo also asked that the Church contributes to the cost of giving the babies some "dignity in death".

Although she didn't put a figure on her demand, the Irish Independent understands she wants at least half of the costs to be covered by the Catholic Church.

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