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RTE: ‘Commission investigating Mother and Baby Homes will not examine illegal adoptions’

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes will not be asked to examine illegal adoptions that took place outside such institutions.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the plight of the dwindling number of survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany Home was one reason she had asked the commission to advise on whether the investigation’s scope should be widened.

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Credit: Irish Central

Irish Examiner: ‘Scrutinise Protestant mother and baby homes, says Church of Ireland Bishop’

Church of Ireland Bishop Paul Colton was so moved by the experience of a survivor of the Westbank orphanage that he has called for all Protestant homes to be included in the Mother and Baby Home investigation.

In a letter to the head of the Mother and Baby Home Commission, Judge Yvonne Murphy, Dr Colton said he had been contacted by Victor Stevenson with an enquiry about Cork Mother and Baby Home, Braemar House.

Although the institution was not formally linked to the Church of Ireland, Dr Colton was so moved at a “human level” by Mr Stevenson’s life story, that he has called on Judge Murphy to call on Children’s Minister James Reilly to widen the scope of the inquiry to include Protestant Mother and Baby Homes.

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Bessborough Mother-and-Baby Home, Ireland

TheJournal.ie: ‘Over 9,000 Irish women or ‘inmates’ went through these doors, forced to repent’

Paul Redmond tells the journal what he learned about St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home in Dublin.

Saint Patrick’s was by far the largest of the nine Mother and Baby homes in terms of the numbers who passed through and approximately 9,000 to 12,000 women and girls went through it’s doors. It was also a massive ‘holding centre’ in it’s own right for unaccompanied babies and children. It was certified for 149 beds for unmarried mothers and 560 cots/beds for babies and children.

Babies and children who passed away were sent for burial to the national Angel’s Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery in north Dublin. There are two periods when exact numbers of deaths are known and rough estimates from other years would indicate that at least 2,000 and possibly above 3,000 babies and children died during its 81 years of operation on the Navan Road.

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The entrance to the site of a mass grave of hundreds of children who died in the former Bons Secours home for unmarried mothers is seen in Tuam, County Galway

Mother and baby homes inquiry seeks to hear from residents

Survivors who were resident in Mother-and-Baby Homes are invited to confidentially give evidence to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation, which is now hearing evidence from Survivors or those who were involved in staffing such homes. The commission also wants to hear from people who have personal knowledge about the homes, including family members of residents, regular visitors or those who supplied services to them.

The commission has a wide brief, including the power to investigate alleged forced and illegal adoptions from the homes and the relationships between the institutions and children’s homes, orphanages and adoption societies.

IWSSN supports Survivors with providing more information about this investigation, and providing holistic and practical support to give evidence, should Survivors wish to do so.

If you are Survivor who was resident in a Mother-and-Baby Home, or if you know someone who is, please invite them to get in touch with us, so we can see if we can help.