11/09/2019 - We note the publication today of the Report commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs dealing with the creation of a DNA database from family members of children believed to be buried in waste/sewerage tanks at the former Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

This is the second Report completed by Dr Geoffrey Shannon at the request of Minister Zappone and like the first, which dealt with the legality of the manner in which the dead bodies of the Tuam children were treated, it is scholarly, comprehensive and cogent.

In respect of the first Report, it did not require the research of a distinguished lawyer to inform us that the disposal of some 800 children in a cess-pit was not simply illegal but criminal.

It did not require the second Report to confirm that the voluntary provision of DNA by family members of those lying in the Tuam pit is unquestionably legal.

In countries with a properly functioning Justice system, incorporating a Coroners Service performing its statutory duty, the use of DNA is part of the day to day work of such bodies.

Only a duly convened inquest into the death of each child who died in the Tuam institution, to determine the cause of death of each child, will meet the requirements of the law and humanity.

The continued failure of the Coroner for North Galway and successive Attorneys General to perform their duty is staggering and indefensible.