AN TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has issued a State apology to former residents of Mother and Baby Homes.
Martin issued the apology in a statement in the Dáil this afternoon.
It follows yesterday’s publication of the report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.
“We honoured piety, but failed to show even basic kindness to those who needed it most,” Martin said.
“The report presents us with profound questions. We embraced a perverse religious morality and control, judgmentalism and moral certainty, but shunned our daughters.
“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.
“To confront the dark and shameful reality which is detailed in this report we must acknowledge it as part of our national history.”
Martin said that the women and children ‘who were treated so cruelly’ now deserved ‘deep remorse, understanding and support.’
He said: “On behalf of the Government, the State and its citizens, I apologise for the profound generational wrong visited upon Irish mothers and their children who ended up in a Mother and Baby Home or a County Home.
“As the Commission says plainly: they should not have been there. I apologise for the shame and stigma which they were subjected to and which, for some, remains a burden to this day.
“In apologising, I want to emphasise that each of you were in an institution because of the wrongs of others. Each of you is blameless, each of you did nothing wrong and has nothing to be ashamed of.
“Each of you deserved so much better.”
Martin acknowledged that the State had failed the mothers and children.
He said that there was a ‘profound failure of empathy, understanding and basic humanity’.
He said: “Throughout this report former residents talk of a feeling of shame for the situation they found themselves in
“The shame was not theirs – it was ours. It was our shame that we did not show them the respect and compassion which we as a country owed them. It remains our shame.
“I want to reassure survivors, their families and the country, that this Government is determined to act on all the recommendations of the report and to deliver the legislative change necessary to at least start to heal the wounds that endure.”Tags: