Tuam group want Gov to take survivors' DNA samples to 'bank' them for analysis

Members of the Tuam Home Survivors Group have lost faith “in the process” after the Government recently granted a one-year extension to the commission, which had been due to report next month.

The group wants the Government to immediately take DNA samples from survivors and to “bank” them for analysis at a later date.

Liam Tansey of the group, told RTE’s Morning Ireland that many of their members are elderly and frail with some under hospice care.

“Time is of the essence,” he said.

Taking the DNA is a way of addressing the wrong that was done to these people, he said.

Over 20 members are ready to contribute their DNA so it can be banked and be used at a later date when exhumations have been completed.

Even if current DNA techniques cannot offer immediate identification, technology is advancing all the time so it is important that DNA be taken and stored for future analysis, he explained.

This would ensure that at some stage in the future remains could be identified and given a dignified burial by their relatives. This had happened in New York at the World Trade Centre and recently following the wildfires in California, he said.

“We are now calling on the Minister to meet us, we want to be constructive partners in the process.

“The work (taking DNA) should start immediately.”

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