Ireland sings ‘mea culpa’ for decades of horror in maternal and child homes


Ireland apologizes for a _ “black, difficult and shameful chapter” _ in its recent history, in the words of its prime minister. Forgiveness for decades of abuse of single mothers and children in state and religious foster institutions. The events occurred between 1922 and 1998. Many of the mothers were forced to give their babies up for adoption, outside the law. Like Fionn’s, Jane, who was then 19 years old.

“Right after I was born, she changed her mind and said that she wanted to keep the baby, and the nuns told her no, that it was not allowed, that she had signed the documents, the forms, and therefore gave up. any rights to the child. It took 40 years for Jane and I to find out that it was a terrible lie, that she was lied to. That under the terms of the 1952 adoption act, in all adoptions that take place in Ireland, the biological mother can change her mind until the baby is six months old, and the nuns should have known “says Fionn Davenport, born in a foster home in Dublin.

Mother and son were brutally separated. Jane was never allowed to breastfeed Fionn, only bottle-feeding other babies.

According to the experience of Mary, also born in a foster home, the mothers lived through very harsh and humiliating situations:

“She had knitted my baby clothes, and after I was put up for adoption, the nuns gave back to my mother what she had knitted for me, threw it in her face and said, ‘Mary won’t need it anymore, now He’s got real clothes. ‘And that broke my mother’s heart. “.

9,000 children killed

A report of more than 3,000 pages, the result of five years of research, reveals that 9,000 minors died in these foster homes, for “conditions of neglect, malnutrition and disease”.

The Irish chief executive blames a “dysfunctional society”, with “twisted attitudes”.

“Opens a window on a deeply misogynistic culture in Ireland for several decades with severe and systematic discrimination against women, especially those who gave birth out of wedlock” said Micheál Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland.

Martin appears before the Irish Parliament on Wednesday to offer an official apology.

The Commission on Mothers and Babies was created in 2014, after the discovery of 800 skeletons of children in the underground chambers of a convent.


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