No member of the Tuam Home Survivors Network was extended an invitation to attend a civil reception in Dublin this Saturday afternoon for the Visit of Pope Francis, despite a request by historian Catherine Corless  to allow a member of the Network take her place on the guest list.

Catherine Corless, whose work uncovered details of the deaths of close to 800 babies at the former Tuam Mothers and Baby home, confirmed today that she declined an invitation from the Taoiseach's Office to attend the civil reception in Dublin Castle.

She told Midwest News that she had asked that a member of the Survivors Network take her place, but said that request was refused and added it would have meant a lot to those affected.

Catherine explained that she had refused the Taoiseach’s invitation as she believes her place is at the planned protest in Tuam on Sunday at 3pm at the site where it is suspected that 796 babies are buried.

She also wrote to the Vatican asking for Pope Francis to meet one of the survivors of the home but that request has not yielded any result.

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