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Ireland to investigate deaths at church-run homes

DUBLIN (AP) - Ireland's government is launching an investigation into mistreatment and burial of babies who died decades ago in nun-operated homes for unmarried mothers.

Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan told RTE it was important to shine a light on "these dark periods" following revelations that hundreds of children died at former church-run home in western Ireland.

Flanagan said Tuesday he wants a look at the high mortality rates at the homes, the burial practices at these residences, illegal adoptions and whether vaccine trials were conducted on the children.

A researcher has found records showing that 796 children, mostly infants, died in a home in Tuam, County Galway, which operated from 1925 until 1962.

Ireland had some 10 such "mother and baby homes" run by different orders until the 1960s.