Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes

  • "Shocking, disturbing and repulsive" - some of the words used by Galway West TD Catherine Connolly yesterday evening, when speaking in the Dáil about the report from the Commission for Investigation into Mother & Baby Homes.

    The Independent TD addressed the Dail yesterday evening, following the Taoiseach's apology to the survivors of the homes.

    Deputy Connolly- the leas-Ceann Comhairle in the Dáil - described the 3,000 page report published this week as "disturbing and poorly written" and said she found the narrative repulsive.

    The Galway West TD questioned the report's findings that there was no evidence of women being forced into the homes by the Church or State, when she says "the testimonies of survivors jumped off the page".

  • The final report of the Commission of Investigation  Mother and Baby homes will be published in the week starting 11th of January.

    The Children's Minister has told the Dail that he will bring a memo to Cabinet that week for approval.

    Minister Roderic O'Gorman says he received the final report at the end of October, and moves to publish it are now at 'an advanced stage'.

    The Commission was established, following the discovery that up to 800 babies and children may have been buried in an unmarked grave at the former home in Tuam.

  • A five-year investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has found an "appalling" level of infant mortality among children born in the homes.

    Out of the 18 homes examined by the Commission of Investigation, - including the Tuam Mother & Baby Home - a total of 9 thousand children died.

    56 thousand unmarried mothers - ranging in age from 12 years old to women in their 40s - along with 57 thousand 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.

    Taoiseach Michael Martin says the report makes often harrowing reading, while the Children's Minister says Mother and Baby Homes were places of callousness, brutality and shame.

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

    A candle has been lighting throughout the day today, and will light again throughout the day tomorrow in the homes of the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes, who got their first glimpse this afternoon of the 3000 page Report of the Commission of Investigation into the institutions.

     Breeda Murphy of Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance told Midwest News that the publication of this report today is what they've worked towards for 6 years, but for many of the women involved, they have waited 6 decades for recognition.

     

  • The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has discovered back-up tapes which may hold the erased testimony of witnesses.

    The some 550 interviews were destroyed which has led to considerable upset and annoyance among the survivors of the homes.

    The government has been facing calls to extend the lifespan of the Commission, which is due to disband next week.

    Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman though has said there may be some hope for recovering the testimonies:

  • The Mother and Baby Homes Commission report has been submitted to a Garda unit specialising in child abuse.

    The Sunday Independent reports the Garda National Protective Services Bureau will examine the report for possible criminality.

    That includes allegations of rape leading to pregnancies, as well as potential sexual and physical abuse within some of the State-run institutions.

    Gardai are advising anyone who wishes to make a complaint in relation to the report to go to their local garda station.

  • The Commission of Investigation report into mother and baby homes is set to reveal 9,000 children died in the institutions investigated.

    The Sunday Independent says the report, due to be presented to Cabinet on Tuesday, found 56,000 women were sent to the 18 institutions between 1922 and 1998.

    57,000 babies were born there but 1 in 7 didn't survive.

    Speaking to the paper, the Taoiseach says he'll make a full State apology to the survivors in the Dail on Wednesday.

    Micheal Martin says he found the report "shocking and difficult to read".

  • Mayo county council is to hold a special meeting to discuss the Commission Report into Mother and Baby Homes.

    Mayo County Council is referred to a number of times in the 3,000 page document.

    Independent councillor Christy Hyland proposed the special meeting, at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Councillor Michael Kilcoyne seconded the proposal and asked that any records or archival material related to the council’s involvement with the institutions be made available.

    Chief executive Peter Duggan said it was a very sensitive report and members should be given time to read it in detail.

    It was agreed that the special meeting will take place on the 1st of February.

    Cllr Hyland spoke to Midwest News today.

  • At 1.30 this afternoon survivors of Mother and Baby Homes will get their first glance at the long-awaited report by the Commission of Investigation into the institutions.

    The survivors and supporters will be joined by the Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman through a webinar meeting, as Covid 19 restrictions prevent an actual meeting and after that they will get access online to the extensive report.

    Before that, Minister O'Gorman will seek approval from Cabinet for the publication of the Report.

    Over the past five years, the commission has been establishing what occurred in 14 mother-and-baby homes and four county homes.

    The institutions, which are spread across the country, operated between the 1920s and the 1990s.

    The Commission of Investigation was established after Galway based historian Catherine Corless discovered death certificates for almost 800 infants at a home run by the Bon Secours Sisters in Tuam. However, she discovered there were no burial records.

    Public outcry resulted in a Commission of Investigation being established by the then minister for children Charlie Flanagan.

    In 2015, it was given the task of investigating and reporting on what occurred in 18 institutions across the Country, including Tuam.

    Catherine told Midwest News this morning that there is a level of anxiety among survivors ahead of this afternoon’s meeting. They hope, she explained, that the Report will provide the recognition they require about what happened to them and their mothers.

  • The government was pushed by the outcry of the general public to provide the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes the clarification, that they will be allowed access their personal information. That’s the view of long time campaigner Breeda Murphy, of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance. She was speaking to Midwest News today.

    In a statement last night, the Government said it had “a detailed reflection" on the issues raised in recent days and "acknowledges and regrets the genuine hurt felt by many people".

    It follows the passing into law last week of a controversial Bill, which would see records being sealed for three decades and personal data of survivors accessed only through a third part - Tusla.

    The Government last night clarified that adoptees and survivors of mother-and-baby homes are legally entitled to access their personal data.

    However those seeking information through GDPR laws will have to prove their application does not infringe on the rights of others.

    A row over the treatment of sensitive data currently in the possession of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation has caused widespread distress for adoptees and survivors, and led to a political backlash that is said to have taken the coalition by surprise.

    The final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother & Baby Homes is due for completion tomorrow, and will be published at a later date.

    According to Breeda Murphy, it is hoped the report will be in the public domain before Christmas.

    Yesterday’s government statement also said it will urgently proceed with the legislation to provide for sensitive and appropriate actions at the burial site at the former Mother & Baby Home in Tuam.

     

  • The Taoiseach has made a formal state apology to the victims and survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.

    Micheál Martin told the Dáil that basic kindness was not shown to vulnerable women by either church or state.

    The Taoiseach described the treatment of these women as a flagrant breach of human rights.

    He said an apology is not enough and committed to responding to the recommendations of the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes' report.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin made a formal apology on behalf of the state in the last hour.

  • Up to 130,000 mother and baby home survivors could be eligible for the upcoming compensation scheme.

    The Government estimates 60,000 mothers and 70,000 children who went through the institutions are still alive, according to the Business Post.

    The paper reports an inter-departmental group will be set up to devise a compensation scheme that addresses the hurt experienced by survivors.

    The Government expects it to cost the exchequer hundreds of millions of euro.