Archbishop Martin calls for inquiry into mother and baby homes

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, has called for a full inquiry into the deaths at the mother and baby home in Tuam, and all mother and baby homes around the country.

Speaking on national radio Dr Martin called for a "full-bodied investigation," and said the question of adoption also needs to be looked at.

The home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam has been at the centre of controversy, following the revelation that the bodies of nearly 800 infants are thought to be buried on its grounds.

Conor Mulvagh, a lecturer in Irish History in UCD, said part of the background to the Tuam home involved a lack of medical diagnosis and treatment in later decades.

"Babies that are coming into these homes [are] in very poor condition either from malnutrition, or startlingly and extremely tragically from congenital syphilis - so this is venereal disease and syphilis that they have caught from their mothers in the womb."

"What we see in 1945 is that the nuns are beginning to treat this, they're beginning to understand the actual diagnostic tools they can use to treat these babies - but the babies in Tuam, it would appear, never benefited from that medical leap."

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