'Brutally misogynistic culture' robbed mothers and children of their future, Minister says

'Brutally misogynistic culture' robbed mothers and children of their future, Minister says

THE IRISH Government have reacted to the Mother and Baby Homes report, which was published yesterday after the Commission was established almost six years ago.

The report details the horrific conditions endured by the girls, women and children who were detained in the institution between 1922 - 1998, the emotional abuse suffered, and the extremely high infant mortality rate within the homes.

Around 56,000 women gave birth to 57,000 children in the homes investigated by the Commission; of those 57,000 children, 9,000 died while under the care of those in charge of the homes-- approximately 15%.

Following the release of the report, the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, commented on behalf of the government, stating:

"The publication of the Commission’s report is a landmark moment for the Irish State. The Commission’s investigation reveals the truth of what happened, within the walls of Mother and Baby Homes and beyond them, to many thousands of women and children.

"Importantly, it also inscribes for posterity, those journeys, those heartbreaks, those truths in the words of those who experienced them first-hand.

"The report makes clear that for decades, Ireland had a stifling, oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture, where a pervasive stigmatisation of unmarried mothers and their children robbed those individuals of their agency and sometimes their future.

"Publication of the Commission’s report is an expression of truth. For decades, Irish society was defined by its silence, and, in that, its complicity in what was done to some of our most vulnerable citizens. With its publication, we are affirming that their stories and their truth, will be heard, acknowledged and understood."

The Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said the report reveals a "dark, dificult and shameful chapter of very recent Irish history".

"The regime described in the report wasn't imposed on us, by any foreign power," he said.

"We did this to ourselves as a society."

Describing the "warped" view of intimacy and sexuality held by Irish society, unde rthe influence of the church, Mr Martin said "We treated women exceptionally badly, we treated children exceptionally badly."

The Taoiseach is to make a formal State Apology to all the victims of Ireland's Mother and Baby Homes later today.