In 1975, 12-year-old boys Barry Sweeney and Francis Hopkins were outside of an old Irish home for unwed mothers when they made a gruesome discovery.
“It was a concrete slab and we used to play there, but there was something hollow underneath it, so we decided to bust it open, and it was full to the brim with skeletons,” Sweeney told Daily Mail.
The slab is believed to be covering the septic tank of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home, also known as St. Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, a town in County Galway. You’d think that some kind of investigation would have been launched right then and there, since they were the skeletons of children, but it didn’t cause much of a stir back then.
The home run by the Bon Secours Sisters, a Catholic order of nuns, housed unmarried mothers and their children between 1925 and 1961. It is now a private housing estate, but the tank remains.
In 2014, historian and genealogist Catherine Corless published an article with her research about the babies and young children who died at the home.