Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Martin said the report from the Commission of Investigation into the homes has afforded the country a “moment for us as a society to recognise a profound failure of empathy, understanding and basic humanity over a lengthy period”.
“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’.”
Micheál Martin apologised for the shame and stigma which the women and children were subjected to and which, for some, he said “remains a burden to this day”.
“In apologising, I want to emphasise that each of you were in an institution because of the wrongs of others. Each of you is blameless, each of you did nothing wrong and has nothing to be ashamed of.”