Mayor of County Cork issues apology to victims of Bessborough Mother and Baby Home

Mayor of County Cork issues apology to victims of Bessborough Mother and Baby Home

Cork County Mayor Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley was born in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home and said that the apology is to the "the mothers and babies who suffered and continue to suffer".

The Mayor of the County of Cork has issued an apology to the victims of the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home.

In a statement, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley offered an apology to the “mothers and babies who suffered and continue to suffer". 

Mayor Linehan Foley said that she was born in Bessborough and that this is something she will never hide from.

“I was born in Bessborough Mother and Baby Home, This is a fact I never shied away from,” she said.

“I have come to know my birth mother and consider myself to be very fortunate. But I know there are many who have not been so fortunate.” 

She said that she is “deeply” sorry to the mothers and babies who suffered and said that they were “abandoned” by society and the State.

“As Mayor of the County of Cork, I would like to say I am deeply sorry. Sorry to all the mothers and babies who suffered and continue to suffer.

“Sorry to the mothers and babies who endured such appalling mistreatment. Sorry to the mothers and babies who were abandoned. Abandoned by society and state.” 

As the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home was within the Cork County Council jurisdiction at its time of operation, she said that she also offered the apology on behalf of Cork County Council, “to those who were failed by a multitude of institutions including this local authority”.

“As a Council our ultimate priority is the welfare of our residents. Welfare was not afforded to the residents of this mother and baby home."

“The care, compassion and concern which should have been a guiding light was missing. Welfare was replaced by neglect.

“Worst of all, the most vulnerable members of our society were utterly ignored and shunned.” 

She welcomed the announcement by Lord Mayor, Councillor Joe Kavanagh on the establishment of a Working Group to deliver the actions set out in the Government’s action plan.

Mayor Linehan Foley concluded by stating that though it is “almost a contradiction” to offer her apologies, she wants to ensure that we never forget what happened.

“I want all survivors to know that I mean this truly and sincerely. I know that while these actions took place in the not too distant past, as a society we have transformed entirely.

“We must never forget the part we played in this painful past, never forget what happened and ensure it never happens again.”

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