DUBLIN: The Irish government has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the treatment of children at Catholic church homes for unmarried mothers, including accusations of forced adoptions and unusually high mortality rates among children housed there.
Dublin has come under increasing pressure to examine practices at the institutions used to house children born out of wedlock between the 1920s and 1960s following the discovery of an unmarked grave with the remains of hundreds of babies near Galway. “It is not an exaggeration to say the treatment of the women and their babies was an abomination,” Prime Minister Enda Kenny, a practicing Catholic, told parliament.
Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan said the government had decided to establish a commission of investigation with full statutory powers to investigate “mother-and-baby homes” throughout the country. Terms of the inquiry have not yet been established, but he said he hoped it would deal with high mortality rates, burial practices, adoption procedures and testing of medicine on children at the homes, and would seek church records.