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.



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