The Gardaí have issued a public appeal regarding criminal activity that may have occurred at a Mother and Baby Home in relation to a pregnancy and/or abuse.
An Garda Síochána released the appeal on Thursday asking people to report such crimes to a dedicated email address MotherandBabyhomes@garda.ie or to a confidential freephone number 1800 555 222.
In Cork, there was a Mother and Baby Home located at Bessborough.
The policing authority offered an assurance that anyone contacting them on such matters will receive personal contact within 48 hours.
In a statement issued on Thursday, An Garda Síochána said they were “fully aware of the profound impact on the lives of those who were in Mother and Baby Homes and the concerns of the wider public on how Mother and Baby Homes operated.
“An Garda Síochána is inviting anyone who was the victim of a criminal act arising out of the Mother and Baby Homes, or who has information likely to assist an investigation into a criminal act committed at a Mother and Baby Home, to please come forward and report this.” For the purpose of reporting to An Garda Síochána, the following options are available:
1. By emailing MotherandBabyHomes@garda.ie 2. By phoning the Garda Child Sexual Abuse Reporting Line on 1800 555 222. This is a confidential and free service available 24/7 3. Calling to your local Garda Station The Irish policing force offered assurances that all matters would be dealt with in “a sensitive manner and will, where possible, progress matters through investigation.” The Garda statement did also say that “While it is our intention to effectively deal with all complaints and information received, there will be limitations as to the action we can take in some cases due to matters such as the loss of evidence over time or suspects and/or witnesses being deceased. Where these factors are present, An Garda Síochána will diligently explain such limitations to complainants. “ The policing authority said that a dedicated team in An Garda Síochána has reviewed the report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission to determine whether information in the report could form the basis for commencing criminal investigations and have determind this not to be possible.
“An Garda Síochána is of the view that there is insufficient detail in the report to commence criminal investigation at this moment. The report is anonymised and any proper investigation would not be possible without identification of individual parties affected by specific occurrences.” Following on from this, An Garda Síochána is appealing to anyone with information about crimes at Mother and Baby Homes to make contact with them so that such crimes can be investigated where possible.