Mother & Baby Homes

Mary welcomed the unreserved apology from An Taoiseach last week on behalf of the state to the survivors of Mother and Baby and County homes.

Mary says the report from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes doesn’t comprehensively capture the totality of experiences of unmarried mothers and their children over the 75 year period. The commission of investigation only examined 14 Mother and Baby Homes and 4 County Homes. 

Mary is critical of the tone, language and conclusions in the executive summary of the report which she finds insensitive, offensive and inaccurate. 

The survivors testimonies describe how unmarried mothers in Ireland were systemically rejected, abandoned, shamed, neglected and abused over a period of more than 70 years. 

Over 100,000 Irish citizens were denied their personal identity, dignity and respect.  Their treatment was inhumane and barbaric. 

Mary welcomes the Taoiseach’s apology on behalf of the state, Governments commitment to make the personal information available to the survivors and to deliver adoption tracing and dignified burial legislation. 

Mary has received assurances from Minister O’Gorman that his department it is properly resourced to handle subject access requests from survivors of mother and baby homes.

Free counselling for survivors is available and Government has committed further to redress. 

Mary has urged the Minister to work with survivors to create appropriate memorialisation. 

Mary says the role of Local Authorities which registered, funded, inspected and paid employees in county homes like Pelletstown and Tuam must be examined. 

The religious orders who operated the homes must be compelled to release all information they hold and make reparation. 

The failure of the Gardaí to act or investigate the 1,000s of infant deaths, widespread rape and abuse documented in the testimonies must be challenged. 

The pharma companies who sponsored the unethical vaccine trials must be held to account and contribute to reparations.

Governments commitment to place a full copy of the report in every public library and secondary school in the country is welcome. 

Additionally, Mary has called for the state to establish a national Archive of all historic institutions so that the lessons from the past are never forgotten. 

Due to Covid19 restrictions attendance and participation in the Seanad was limited for the debate on the report, you can watch Mary’s brief contribution below.