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Irish historian Catherine Corless is set to receive an award for her work uncovering the Tuam Babies scandal in Ireland. (Picture: Laura Hutton/

IRISH historian Catherine Corless is to receive The Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award 2017 for her work on uncovering the Tuam Babies scandal. 

In 2012 Tuam historian Catherine Corless was working on a local history project when she began researching the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home, a maternity home for unmarried mothers and their children in Co. Galway.

In the course of her research, Corless obtained death certificates for 796 children that had died at the home.

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But contrary to the number of death certs, there were only official burial records for two children.

Corless’ investigation led to two excavations of the site by the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation.

The second test excavation of the site uncovered ‘significant quantities’ of remains both of women and children in two septic tank-like structures earlier this year.

The Commission said they were ‘shocked’ by the discovery and is continuing to investigate who was responsible for the disposal of human remains at the site.

On Wednesday October 18, The Bar of Ireland – the representative body for Ireland’s barristers who are members of the Law Library – announced Catherine Corless would receive the Human Rights Award.

They said: “Delighted to announce The Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award 2017 recipient is Catherine Corless for tireless work re: Tuam Mother and Baby Home.”