About 800 skeletons of newborns have been discovered in a cement tank near a former Catholic convent in the town of Tuam, Ireland which was home to women who became pregnant out of wedlock between 1925 and 1961.

“Someone told me about the existence of a cemetery in newborns, but what I found there was much more than that “, historian Cartherine Corless told AFP  after the discovery. Responsible for the investigation of the files of the former convent, situated in the west of Ireland, Corless said that 796 children were buried near the Catholic institution without a coffin or tombstone.

Newborns were buried secretly by the nuns of the Congregation of Bon Secours. According to France Presse, the reasons for the death of children remain a mystery, although scientists suspect several causes, such as pneumonia, malnutrition, tuberculosis and possibly abuse.

The same agency reports that William Joseph Dolan, a relative of a child who lived in this institution has reported the situation to quickly investigate what happened in the years in which deaths were triggered. At the same time, has launched a campaign to raise money locally to build a memorial with the names of every newborn baby who was buried there.

The recent discovery reminds another scandal where single mothers were involved: between 1922 and 1996, more than 10,000 women worked in laundries free exploited by Catholic nuns in Ireland. Young, who were known as Magdalene Sisters, were mainly girls who became pregnant out of wedlock or whose behavior was considered immoral in a country with a strong Catholic tradition.