Catherine Corless honoured by Red Cross for her work on Tuam babies

Historian’s work is the subject of a documentary to be broadcast this week

Catherine Corless at the site of the former Tuam mother and baby home in 2019. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Catherine Corless at the site of the former Tuam mother and baby home in 2019. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 

Catherine Corless has received a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Red Cross for her investigations into the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway.

The award was presented to Ms Corless by Irish Red Cross secretary-general Catrina Sheridan at the Ard Rí House Hotel in Tuam.

Previous recipients include the late Pat Hume, World Health Organisation director Dr Mike Ryan and former Mountjoy Prison governor John Lonergan.

Ms Corless’s investigation uncovered the fact that an unmarked mass grave at the institution in Tuam contained the remains of up to 800 babies.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Historian Catherine Corless, who was key to the discovery of the death and burial of hundreds of children at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, is honoured with the Irish Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award, as the shortlist for the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2021 was announced. Photograph: Andrew Downes/Xposure
Historian Catherine Corless, who was key to the discovery of the death and burial of hundreds of children at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, is honoured with the Irish Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award, as the shortlist for the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards 2021 was announced. Photograph: Andrew Downes/Xposure

In 2017 the Commission of Investigation concluded that an underground structure on the site, which appeared to have been a septic tank, contained the remains of children.

The discovery attracted international attention and will be the subject of a documentary on ITV broadcast on Monday, The Missing Children, which will also be broadcast on RTÉ on Tuesday night.

Ms Corless has already received a number of awards in recognition of her work on the Tuam babies.

These include the Bar of Ireland human rights award in 2017 and a special award for investigative research at the Newsbrands Ireland journalism awards in the same year.

She was a recipient of the Rehab Group People of the Year award in 2018 and she has been awarded honorary doctorates by NUI Galway and UCD.