An announcement could be made today on whether the remains of hundreds of young children feared buried in a mass grave in Tuam will be exhumed.

According to today’s Irish Independent, Children's Minister Katherine Zappone is expected to brief Cabinet members after considering legal advice on what action to take in relation to the remains, discovered at the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home.

An international Expert Technical Group (ETG) report, which was prepared for Minister  Zappone last year, gave a menu of five options for the site, ranging from memorialisation with no further excavations to exhumation, forensic examination and further investigations.

The ultimate decision is expected to take into account advice received from Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon, who was asked by the minister to examine human rights issues raised by the ETG.

It is anticipated that ministers may agree on the best way forward at today's Cabinet meeting.

Minister Zappone will then brief the various parties involved in the campaign to remember the Tuam babies, before making a public announcement.

The decision is described as  "extremely sensitive" and financial implications are likely to be down the list of priorities.

 It’s thought to be be "impossible" to take an option that will please all of the interested parties.

Should the exhumation option be taken, it is likely to be a difficult task.

The ETG report found the site in Tuam would test the boundaries of forensic investigation.


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