The Taoiseach has issued an apology on behalf of the Government to the survivors of homes for unmarried mothers for the emotional abuse and social stigma they suffered.
Speaking in the Dáil this lunchtime he said: "On behalf of the Government, the State and its citizens, I apologise for the profound generational wrong visited upon Irish mothers and their children who ended up in a Mother and Baby Home or a County Home.
"As the Commission says plainly - “they should not have been there”.
"I apologise for the shame and stigma which they were subjected to and which, for some, remains a burden to this day.
"Each of you deserved so much better.
"The lack of respect for your fundamental dignity and rights as mothers and children who spent time in these institutions is humbly acknowledged and deeply regretted.
"The Irish State, as the main funding authority for the majority of these institutions, had the ultimate ability to exert control over these institutions, in addition to its duty of care to protect citizens with a robust regulatory and inspection regime.
"This authority was not exerted and the State’s duty of care was not upheld.
"The State failed you, the mothers and children in these homes."