Europe

Experts find mass grave at ex-Catholic orphanage in Ireland

  • FILE  In this June 7, 2014 file photo members of the public at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Tuam, County Galway.  Forensics experts say they have found a mass grave for young children at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland where suspicions of unrecorded, unmarked burials have lingered for decades. (Niall Carson/PA via AP, File)

    FILE In this June 7, 2014 file photo members of the public at the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Tuam, County Galway. Forensics experts say they have found a mass grave for young children at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland where suspicions of unrecorded, unmarked burials have lingered for decades. (Niall Carson/PA via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE  In this June 7, 2014 file photo, the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Tuam, County Galway.  Forensics experts say they have found a mass grave for young children at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland where suspicions of unrecorded, unmarked burials have lingered for decades. (Niall Carson/PA via AP, File)

    FILE In this June 7, 2014 file photo, the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Tuam, County Galway. Forensics experts say they have found a mass grave for young children at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland where suspicions of unrecorded, unmarked burials have lingered for decades. (Niall Carson/PA via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

Forensics experts say they have found a mass grave for young children at a former Catholic orphanage in Ireland where suspicions of unrecorded, unmarked burials have lingered for decades.

Friday's announcement by the government-appointed Mother and Baby Homes Commission confirms a 2014 investigation by a local historian who found death certificates for nearly 800 children who died at the home in Tuam, County Galway, from its opening in 1925 to its 1961 closure.

The commission says excavations at the site from November to January found an underground structure divided into 20 chambers containing "significant quantities of human remains."

It says DNA analysis of selected remains confirmed the ages of the dead ranged from 35 weeks to 3 years old and were buried when the orphanage was operating.