Cork TDs call for State and Church to take responsibility for 'harrowing' details of Mother and Baby Homes report

Cork TDs call for State and Church to take responsibility for 'harrowing' details of Mother and Baby Homes report

Publication of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission Report An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O'Gorman T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte T.D., and Minister of State for the Department of Education, with responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion, Josepha Madigan T.D. holding a briefing on the publication of the Report at Government Buildings. 

Cork TDs have called on the State and the Church to take responsibility for the "harrowing catalogue" of abuse found within the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Speaking after its publication, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the report describes “a dark, difficult and shameful chapter of very recent Irish history”.

“It holds up a mirror to aspects of our past that are painful and difficult and from the present-day perspective, often hard to comprehend,” he said.

The report found that a total of about 9,000 children died in the institutions which are currently under investigation.

West Cork TD Holly Cairns described the report as a “harrowing catalogue” of the abuse that occurred in Irish mother and baby homes.

“The report is a harrowing catalogue of abuse carried out by the state and religious orders because of a twisted morality. The survivors have endured some of the most horrific crimes, including abduction, concealment of death, illegal adoption, and assault - all carried out by people acting on behalf of the church and state.” Deputy Cairns has called on State and religious orders to take responsibility for the abuse, but said that the priority this week must be to support survivors.

“State and religious orders must take responsibility for the decades of abuse. We need to listen to survivors and out their needs at the centre of this, their voices are the ones we need to hear now. The recommendations need to be fully implemented and any promise made to survivors must be kept. Nothing less will be acceptable.

 “The government needs to put in place a proper redress scheme in line with the recommendations of survivors collaborative forum,” she added.

Cork North Central TD Mick Barry criticised the government’s comments following the publication of the long-awaited report yesterday.

"The Government are trying to spin the Mother and Baby Homes horror story to emphasise the failings of 'society' and individual families and to de-emphasise the responsibility of the Church and the State for what happened,” he said.

“The reality is that the Mother and Baby Homes were part and parcel of the backward, conservative Ireland presided over by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. There must be no whitewashing of that fact. Lessons must also be learned and one such lesson is that we must separate the Church from the State."

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