Mother And Baby Report Finds

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Mother And Baby Report Finds "Appalling" Infant Mortality In Institutions

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04:32 12 Jan 2021


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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, 9000 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.

Report Reveals "Deeply Misogynistic" Ireland - Taoiseach

Taoiseach Michael Martin says the report makes often harrowing reading.

"It opens a window into a deeply misogynistic culture in Ireland."

He said the report revealed "serious and systematic discrimination against women, especially those who gave birth outside marriage."

The Taoiseach said society is to blame for the horrific treatment of women.

"We did this to ourselves as a society we treated women exceptionally badly, we treated children exceptionally badly."

"We had a completely warped attitude to sexuality and intimacy."

"Young mothers and their sons and daughters were forced to pay a terrible price for that dysfunction."

Meanwhile, 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.

"It's difficult to conceive the scale of the tragedy and heartbreak behind that figure of the 9000 children and babies who died."

Survivors React To "Important Day"

Teresa O'Sullivan, a survivor of the Tuam mother and baby home, says it's an important day:

"My first thought that's coming to my head is that I'm apprehensive, I'm overwhelmed and I'm also relieved."

"I'm thinking of my mum right now and everything she went through."

"I'm thinking of all mums out there and particularly those mums who may not have told their families."

The Taoiseach will give an official state apology tomorrow afternoon.


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