Minister Stresses Importance Of Mother & Baby Homes Commission

Children & Youth Affairs Minister, James Reilly, has published the Terms of Reference for the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters.

On Thursday, the Cabinet approved the publication of the draft order, which will formally establish the Commission, once it has been considered by the Oireachtas.

The public inquiry into the mother and baby homes was announced last year after a mass grave was revealed to be found at a Catholic Church-run facility in Tuam, Co Galway.

A three-year inquiry has now been outlined by Minister Reilly.

Commenting on the publication, he said: "Last May, people in Ireland and around the world were shocked at media reports about what was described as a mass grave in the mother and baby home in Tuam in Galway. The sense of indignation we all felt about this was palpable. The work of a crusading historian combined with the media reports confronted us with an uncomfortable truth that we had seen fit to largely ignore.

"While some academics had examined these matters, as a State we had failed to come to terms with a harrowing reality in our past; the manner in which single women and their children were treated in mother and baby homes, how they came to be there in the first place and the circumstances of their departure from the homes."

He added: "I believe that this Commission will be critically important in coming to terms with our own history. Some of what we learn will be painful but the Commission will finally allow the experience of individuals to be understood, not only as stories, but as part of a social, cultural system of how we, as a society, organised our response to single women and their children who needed support and assistance and not judgement."


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