The Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has written to the Pope, asking that the Catholic Church take responsibility for the role it played in Mother and Baby Homes.

In a memo to Pope Francis after meeting him at thes weekend, Minister Zappone outlined the details of the Tuam Baby case and asked that the Catholic Church contribute to the cost of either excavating the bodies at the site or to create a memorial.

In her letter to the Pope, she outlines that the Commission of Investigation confirmed the presence of human remains on the site of the former Mother & Baby Home in Tuam, which was run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925-1961.

The former home was demolished in the 1970's to make way for a local authority housing estate, while a small memorial garden in maintained by local residents.

The Minister explains to the Pope that the Commission of Investigation believes there are a significant number of childrens' remains buried in a sewage system at the site, and says she has instructed an expert team to do further work at this site to determine the options on offer - which include a full excavation of the site and DNA analysis of the remains buried there.

The Minister's letter says it is her strong conviction that, given the role of the Church in this shameful chapter of recent Irish history, it must play a practical role in addressing the hurt and damage.

She says the Church should contribute substantially to the cost of whatever option is decided by the Government, and this should be done willingly, unconditionally and quickly.

The Pope last night confirmed that he received Minister Zappone's memo, and says he will study it.


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