WION: About 9,000 children died in Ireland’s “mother and baby homes”, where unmarried mothers were routinely separated from their infant offspring, according to an official report published Tuesday (Jan 12).  Ireland’s Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes (CIMBH) found “disquieting” levels of infant mortality at the institutions, which operated in the historically Catholic nation as recently as 1998. Studying such homes over a 76-year period through 1998, the CIMBH determined that 9,000 children died in them, or 15 per cent of those who passed through. The homes – run by religious orders and the Irish state – housed unmarried women who became pregnant, were unsupported by partners and family and faced severe social stigma.Children born in the institutions would often be separated from their mothers and put up for adoption, severing all family ties.
Prime Minister Micheal Martin said the CIMBH report “opens a window onto a deeply misogynistic culture in Ireland over several decades”.
“We had a completely warped attitude to sexuality and intimacy, and young mothers and their sons and daughters were forced to pay a terrible price for that dysfunction,” he added.
Martin – who will make an official state apology on the matter in Irish parliament on Wednesday – said the high infant mortality was “one of the most deeply distressing findings” of the report.
“One harsh truth in all of this is that all of society was complicit in it,” Martin said.
“We are going to need to confront and come to terms with this as a people.”