Michael Staines
Michael Staines

07.47 14 Jan 2021


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The report from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was biased in favour of religious organisations, according to campaigner Catherine Corless.

The Galway historian said the Taoiseach’s apology, delivered on behalf of the State in the Dáil yesterday, “wasn’t a heartfelt apology at all.”

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Ms Corless, who played a pivotal role in uncovering the mass grave at the Bon Secours home in Tuam, said she felt the Churches actions were “downplayed.”

Mother and Baby Homes report was biased in favour of the Church - Catherine Corless

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“We need to read it all but the overall impression I had first of all, was that I was very disappointed,” she said.

“I felt it was downplayed. As regards Tuam, it just seemed to favour the religious organisations in a lot of parts. People couldn’t make a fair judgement from what was written in it as regards Tuam.

“That is why yesterday, it was a great relief to know the Bon Secours sisters had apologised and acknowledged what had happened because otherwise it could have gone very wrong for survivors.

“I think it was a little bit biased for the religious and for the Church and I don’t think many survivors were too happy with what they have read already.”

Apology

She said Micheál Martin’s apology was not heartfelt and suggested he should have given people time to digest the whole report before delivering it.

“I don’t think it went very well with a lot of the survivors,” she said. “That is all I can tell you from this area.”

Ms Corless noted that apologies and statements are “just words” – and said the Government knows what it needs to do for survivors moving forward.

“First of all, the adoption legislation,” she said.

“I don’t know why it has taken nearly a year to sort that out when we all know that can be done without the red tape.

“Also, the legislation to excavate the Tuam babies. That is dragging into another year and we know they can do that without red tape as well.

“Why put things on the long finger? It is not good enough and I hope they will come back with a better plan.”

"Profound generational wrong"

Micheál Martin yesterday apologised on behalf of the State for the "profound generational wrong" perpetrated against women and children in Mother and Baby Homes.

He said the country embraced a "perverse religious morality and control," and highlighted the churches' 'dominant role' in the institutions.

He admitted that the State failed the mothers and children who were sent to the homes.

The report found Ireland had a “stifling, oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture” towards unmarried mothers and their children.

It highlighted the 'particularly harsh treatment' that women who gave birth outside marriage were subject to.

You can listen back here:

Mother and Baby Homes report was biased in favour of the Church - Catherine Corless

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   


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