AN OFFICIAL government report is set to reveal 9,000 children died across just 18 Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland.
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin will issue a formal state apology to all mother and baby home survivors in the Dáil next week following the official publication of the report.
However, the Irish Independent has today published some of the report’s most disquieting findings ahead of its official publication on Tuesday.
The report is due to reveal that an estimated 9,000 children died in the just 18 institutions investigated. That figure represents one in seven or 15% of all children born in homes studied.
These deaths took place across 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four sample State-operated County Homes.
Since the foundation of the State in 1922 up until the closure of the last of these homes in 1998, the commission report found 56,000 mothers passed through these homes and 57,000 children were born within these institutions.
The estimates published in the Commission’s report are based on the evidence indicating that the infant mortality rate in mother and baby homes was twice as high as the one recorded in Ireland’s general population.
According to the Irish Independent, the Taoiseach has read the report and is said to have found it shocking and, at times, difficult to read.
He reportedly described the experiences of those mothers and babies who resided in these homes as "extraordinarily sad and cruel."
Martin is due to make his state apology on Wednesday when the Dáil reconvenes for the first time since the Christmas recess.
Catherine Corless, the historian who helped uncover details about a mass grave at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, welcomed Martin’s state apology but said it must be backed up by action.
"All the words in the world won't matter unless there is action behind them," she told RTÉ.
She also reiterated her belief that survivors should receive a formal apology by the Catholic Church and the religious orders that operated several of the homes around Ireland.
Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman is also set to address mother and baby home survivors prior to the official publication of the report on Tuesday.
Counselling services are to be made available to all mother and baby home survivors once the report is released.
O’Gorman has, however, been left “deeply angered” after these key details from the report were leaked to a newspaper.
"I am deeply angered to see sensitive details of the Commission Report leaked in a newspaper this morning," he tweeted.
"It is completely unacceptable that the people affected by the Report have found out elements of the Report in this way."
The government minister felt the survivors from these homes should have been the first to hear the investigation's findings.