From top: Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation in 2015, from left: Mary Daly, Yvonne Murphy and William Duncan, in 2015; Mary McAleese
“I think the Mother and Baby Commission of Investigation report is a magnificent work of scholarship, may I say. I think it’s a superb work of scholarship. It’s cool. It took 5 years. Cool though it is it replete with compassion…
…It is an extraordinarily important archive and I would like to congratulate the authors [Judge Yovonne Murphy, historian Professor Mary Daly and child law expert Dr William Duncan] who put five years of their lives into this. Let’s remember who they were.
Nobody knows more about this story, apart someone like the extraordinary heroine Catherine Corless and the women who suffered through their experiences in these institutions, there are probably few people in the world who know about this situation as these three people do and the team of people who work with them.
…You have to remember this is a report that is going to have to stand the test of scholarship, scholarly analysis, of profound research. These women have important stories to tell, every one of them has their own story to tell and I agree absolutely that it’s so important those stories are given absolute respect.
But then you take all the stories and you analyse them and you research them and you try to tell an overall narrative and as the report says from the very get-go, you’re dealing with complexities that are so profound that you are probably never going to be able to satisfy the hurt, the rawness, the woundedness, the need for vindication, the need for an apology, the desire for sorrow and the lives that can never be restored to them…
I was very impressed by the scholarship of the document and some people might think because it’s, you know, a bunch of lawyers and historians, they might find that, you know, the language of scholarship sometimes can appear, you know, not so much distant but objective but I do think there was huge, huge compassion.”
Former President Mary Mcaleese on RTÉ Radio One, January 16, 2020.
Yesterday, the Dâil heard that a new Mother and Baby Home Commission may have to be established after an admission that the report discussed above ignored hundreds of survivor accounts.
Yesterday: ‘Repudiate The Report’