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12th Jan 2021

The Mother and Baby Homes report is due to be published today

Trine Jensen-Burke

It has been a long wait for survivors and relatives of women and children who were once kept in one of Ireland’s many so-called mother and baby homes.

Today, after almost six years since it was initiated, marks the publication of the long-awaited Commission of Investigation report into these mother and baby homes, a report that includes 1,000 pages of survivor testimony.

According to the Irish Examiner, the 3,000-page final report is a result of the judicial commission of investigation established back in 2015 to investigate claims of the improper burial of infants, illegal adoption and cruelty to the women kept in the institutions.

The records and practices of 14 mother and baby homes and four “county homes”, a fraction of the entire number of these institutions that operated throughout the country, are included in the report, which was initially due in February 2018.

This morning, the report will be distributed to survivors, and 400 of these will this afternoon meet virtually with Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Minister of Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman and Minister of State Anne Rabbitte for a full briefing.

The full report will be published for the public at 3pm, with a Government press conference expected shortly after.

Survivor groups have already called for a redress scheme to be implemented upon publication of the report and that all survivors are given unfettered access to their personal information, and survivor Philomena Lee, whose story was made into an Oscar-nominated film, has called for mother and baby homes survivors to be paid compensation for their “unbearable suffering and loss”.