This afternoon.

The 2,865-page final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has been published.

It can be read in full here.

From the executive summary:

The story of mother and baby homes in Ireland is complex and its nuances cannot easily be captured in a summary. The Commission’s Terms of Reference cover the period 1922 – 1998, a span of 76 years.

There was great change in that period: massive improvements in living conditions and changes in attitudes to religion and morals. The experience of women and children in the 1920s was vastly different from the experience in the 1990s regardless of where they lived.

The institutions under investigation changed considerably over the period: the two largest institutions were in operation for the entire period but they were very different institutions in 1998 than they were in 1922. Ireland was a cold harsh environment for many, probably the majority, of its residents during the earlier half of the period under remit. It was especially cold and harsh for women.

All women suffered serious discrimination. Women who gave birth outside marriage were subject to particularly harsh treatment. Responsibility for that harsh treatment rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families. It was supported by, contributed to, and condoned by, the institutions of the State and the Churches. However, it must be acknowledged that the institutions under investigation provided a refuge – a harsh refuge in some cases – when the families provided no refuge at all.

Improvements in society generally and in the institutions came gradually. Significant changes included the introduction of free postprimary education in the 1960s and the changes consequent on membership of the then EEC from 1973. 1973 also saw the introduction of the Unmarried Mother’s Allowance; this was the first time a direct State payment was available to assist an unmarried woman to rear her child in the community.

A separate report of the confidential committee to the commission can be read here.

Meanwhile, earlier:

Some initial reaction to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman’s meeting with survivors of mother and baby homes via a webinar, ahead of the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes being made available to the wider public.

Survivors receiving long-awaited report on mother-and-baby homes (RTÉ)


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63 thoughts on “It’s Here

    1. Brother Barnabas

      is that not a fair issue to raise though?

      the coercive influence that the church had over the entire of society – a bullying, abusive relationship – and how powerful and pervasive it was, is worth being reminded of

      it wasnt just these young girls who were being manipulated and abused and controlled. it was everyone.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          ah, gotcha – you’re probably right

          would have to read whole thing I suppose to see what they’re getting at

  1. Charger Salmons

    In the early 1940s Ireland’s infant mortality rate was 6.6%, while in the Bessborough mother and baby home, run by the Sacred Heart nuns, the mortality rate was 82%.
    That’s what happens when those in authority are not questioned robustly and made to account for their actions.
    We should learn from history.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        We have because we won’t be putting women and girls into convent run slavery rings and selling their babies on the black market anytime soon.

      2. ce

        ’tis and we won’t – nothing will change until we do what Germany did with info held by the Stasi and until there is proper investigation into the mass graves throughout Ireland, similar to what has been done in cases on genocide in other country.

        2021, fup yeah, keeping it 1800’s

    1. Toby

      Would you ever go away and stop pretending you give a damn about any Irish man, woman or child. You support the British Army who bashed women’s heads in with their rifle butts. You support Lord Mountbatten who is accused of molesting young Irish boys. Take your dirty fake sympathy and give it to your own people. They need it more.

      1. Charger Salmons

        Just musing allowed but in what way do I support Lord Mountbatten?
        I support Tottenham Hotspurs in a mild sort of way as they were the team my old dad supported.
        But Louis Mountbatten ?
        He couldn’t organise a back four with an overlapping full-back to save his life.
        Wahaay !

  2. bisted

    …here’s a thought…the report could be used as providing sufficient evidence for the involvement of nuns in a scam to sell babies, provide children for experimentation and demonstrate wilful neglect resulting in death…their assets should be seized and a Nuremberg type trial get underway…a team of forensic archaeologists immediately be sent to Tuam and Bessborough House immediately…

    1. Brother Barnabas

      noble idea, bisted – but can’t see it getting past FFG any time in the next seven million years

      1. bisted

        …but…but…all the guilty nuns will be dead in a few years – not to mention the victims…what dastardly mind thought up this tactic…

    2. Fergalito

      Just get on and fully secularise all arms of the State and let the Catholics, Buddhists, Jedis etc. get on with whatever it is they want to do in private and within the law.

      In terms of the survivors of the Mother and Baby “homes” – do whatever it is they ask. Provide whatever it is they need and want. The survivors get to call the shots. This should not solely be an opportunity for politicians to tell us how abhorred they are at what happened for anyone with a whisker of decency should be. It’s not about you Deputy.

      1. Cian

        Good luck with that.

        The religions are embedded in education and health. Ninety-something percent of schools and (I’m guessing) three-quarters of hospitals are owned and run by the church(es).

        1. Brother Barnabas

          “…and run…”

          but entirely financed and maintained by us, which is the big, big, big part of “running” something

          1. Cian

            Don’t get me wrong.

            I’d love to see the churches out of education and health. But it isn’t simple to remove them.

            3,000+ primary schools; 500+ secondary schools owned by the churches.

        2. Fergalito

          I entirely agree that the “Great Disentanglement” would be difficult, controversial, ruffle many feathers and gird the loins of patriots across the entire green, white and gold spectrum.

          It is an ideal, should be aspired to and we need to talk about it.

          Yer right of course Cian, all that said I don’t believe there’s a snowball’s chance in hell it’ll happen any time soon….Nice to say it out loud now and again though.

    3. axelf

      we shouldve seized their assets long ago when they didnt even pay up on woods’ sweetheart deal on abuse

  3. S0Q

    This was within the envelope for deaths at the same and had no impact on the crucially vital all cause deaths rate.

  4. Brother Barnabas

    meanwhile, FG parliamentary party has voted unanimously to readmit the 3 senators who disgraced themselves in august with golfgate

    announced minutes after the publication of this report… curious timing (or great timing if you want to bury an awkward announcement)

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Any word on any garda investigation into Varadkars leaking of confidential documents? He really needs to be taught a lesson. If trump did it, our media would be all over it like flies on poo.
      With things like that and this, he is riding roughshod over decency.

      1. Bitnboxy

        @GiggidyGoo: How is this tawdry comment of any relevance to the Mother and Baby Homes scandal, you deranged cretinous Leo-addled Shinnerbot?

        Back under your flithy rock. You know nothing of decency.


  5. george

    “Responsibility for that harsh treatment rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families”

    He families shunned them because the church told them they should be ashamed.

    1. Darren

      +1 exactly. Strength to those who were hoping less reticent acknowledgement would come from the current representatives of power in ireland. If the survivors a re not satisfied with this attempt then another should be called for immediately.

        1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

          I think Kingfisher was trying not say it took two to tango but it was the Mother who beared the brunt of the so called shame and punishment

          1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            facetious much ?
            did I really have to finish my sentence
            ” in relation to the experience of the wemon in the report “

          2. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            I’m not interested in your high jacking this thread,
            this thread is about the mother and baby homes report not your definition of a woman

          3. benblack

            Sorry, Janet.

            I thought your misspelling was some sort of feminist statement – that is, excluding the ‘men’ part.


          4. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            lol no I’m just a bit crap at spelling, every language I learn the worse it gets, editing is my friend but I’m lazy

  6. bisted

    …more to life than basic biology…really…well I’m sticking with the belief that without basic biology there is no life…

    1. benblack

      The Creator of all life – the life source – is not a biological being.

      So, I guess, it depends on your definition of life.

      John 6:63.

      As I said, believe it or not.

      I wonder what Ripley thinks.

      Would you then agree that basic biology – i.e. a fetus is alive?

        1. benblack

          The question posed is still unanswered – so, not settled.

          Care to have a go, BB? – Even though the question was not asked of you – unless you’re bisted, of course.

          1. benblack

            Unless the chicken is bisted and the egg is Brother Barnabas – that follows.

            I’m NOT a religious crank – a belief in God is the most commonsense deduction a logical being can make.

            There is a guidebook, BTW, it’s called the Bible.

            I understand the nuances and metaphors may be difficult – just think harder.

            Seriously, it’s actually there.

            Not that I have any greater understanding than you – despite my lack of understanding, I can still see what I’m missing.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        Woman, a biological being, is the creator of life… unless you’re a plant or a seahorse, of course.

        Non existent gods create nothing.

  7. Truth in the News

    What about the records of the GRO for births, the records of County Boards of Heath prior to
    the establishment of regional Health Boards, the records of the Adoption Board from 1954
    Records of Gardai who in certain districts gathered and collated statistics on pregnant girls
    in particular in the 1930’s onwards, then there are the adoption societies and their connection
    with the Catholic Church and the hidden hand of the Legion of Mary + The Knights of Columbanus
    An effective method is to go after the money of which there are plenty of details in Bank records
    all over the country, then the property, what was the involvement of Aer Lingus in the movement of some of
    these children to North America….what’s needed is a full criminal investigation.
    As to Martin’s the politician apology is meanless, the vast majority of the Irish People were not
    complicit in any of this, as it was carefully concealed from them by a dysfunctional Church
    and a complicit Government.

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