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Listen: Taosieach Says Commission Report On Mother & Baby Homes Opens "A Window On To A Deeply Misogynistic Culture In Ireland.

: 12/01/2021 - 16:10

A five-year investigation into mother and baby homes has found an "appalling" level of infant mortality among children born there.

Out of the 18 homes examined by the Commission of Investigation, 9 thousand children died.

56,000 unmarried mothers - ranging in age from 12 years old to women in their 40s - along with 57,000 children lived in the institutions.

The Commission says women who gave birth outside marriage were subjected to "particularly harsh treatment" in the period looked at from 1922 to 1998.

It found that was "supported by, contributed to, and condoned by" the institutions of the State and the Churches.

The report, in full, is available here

Taoiseach Michael Martin says the report makes often harrowing reading:

16mm.mp3, by Ciara Plunkett

Taoiseach Michael Martin says the regime described in the report wasn't imposed on us by any foreign power;

16mmadd.mp3, by Ciara Plunkett

The Children's Minister says Mother and Baby Homes were places of callousness, brutality and shame.

Roderic O'Gorman says the death rate was truly shocking.

16roderic.mp3, by Ciara Plunkett

Survivors groups say the report is a "whitewash"

Paul Jude Redmond of the Catlepollard Mother and Baby home group said; "The Taoiseach has let it be known that he intends to issue an apology on behalf of the state but they will be hollow words without concrete action to back them up. Illegally adopted people must have their basic human rights vindicated by the state immediately. They are entitled to the truth without further delay. The Coalition of Mother and Baby home Survivors (CMABS) will leave none of our adopted brothers and sisters behind and will continue to campaign until ALL survivors of forced adoption receive justice."

Clodagh Malone of Beyond Adoption Ireland said; "We may think this is history but it is every day lives for survivors. History is certainly not done with us!"

Theresa Hiney Tinggall of Adopted Illegally Ireland said; "Illegally adopted people have been left out of this investigation without any explanation therefore this report is not fully inclusive. Stonewalled once again!"

Dr.Niall Meehan (Bethany homes Survivors group '98) said; "We must always remember the minority Protestant churches in Ireland were also deeply involved. Remember the Bethany Home and the Church of Ireland Magdeline Home. The former was run by Protestant evangelicals on behalf of all the Protestant churches, while the Church of Ireland ran the latter."

While the Irish First Mother's group says "The official inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes has absolved both the Church and State of any systemic responsibility for what it admits is the effective incarceration of pregnant mothers.
The report also fails to find that mothers were coerced into giving up their children. It merely reports that "some" mothers 'claim' they did not properly consent.
And the inquiry also seems to have made no recommendation of significant redress for affected mothers. Destroying a mothers life by forcibly removing her child is fine by the Commission.
The plug that embarrassing hole the government says a 'restorative recognition' scheme with still-unspecified awards will be launched in a few months. We can expect little or nothing by way of redress."

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