Irish Government to issue state apology and to publish final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Other Related Matters

On Sunday this week the Irish Government confirmed that the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Micheál Martin will issue a state apology to all victims and survivors of the mother and baby homes in the Dáil later this week, the apology is expected to be made tomorrow afternoon.

The Irish Cabinet met this morning to approve the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Other Related Matters.

The Commission is a judicial commission of investigation it was established in 2015 by an order of the Irish Government.

It was set up following claims that the bodies of up to 800 babies and children may have been interred in an unmarked mass grave in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home, located in Tuam, County Galway.

Its remit also covers investigation into the records and practises of an additional thirteen mother and baby homes.

The members of the three-person Commission are Judge Yvonne Murphy (chairperson), Dr. William Duncan and Professor Mary E. Daly. The Commission is continuing in existence until 28 February 2021 in order to deal with its archives and other administrative matters.

Originally scheduled to issue its final report by February 2018, the Commission was granted a series of extensions but the final report is now to be published. The report will address how women and children in 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes were treated during the period 1922 to 1998.

The contents of the report (which was partially leaked on Sunday this week) are to be shared in the first instance with victims and survivors later this afternoon in an online forum which will be hosted by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

In Sunday’s statement the Irish Government went on to say that “The Minister for Children and Taoiseach promised the government would not be found wanting after this report was published,” and this has been widely interpreted to be an indication that a range of measures and supports will also be announced by the Irish Government tomorrow when making the apology and that those measures may include a package of financial redress which has long been called for.

Subsequent blogs later this week will update you on the contents of the report, the recommendations made and what steps the Irish Government propose to take on foot of the same.

Katrina Gray is a Partner at BLM

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