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Irish PM apologizes for "profound failure" at unmarried mothers' homes

CA, 14 Jan 2021
Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin formally apologized on Wednesday for the state's "profound failure" in its treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies in a network of Catholic Church-run homes from the 1920s to the 1990s.

A government-commissioned report published on Tuesday found an "appalling" mortality rate of around 15 per cent among children born at the homes, reflecting brutal living conditions. Around 9,000 children died in total.

"On behalf of the government, the state and its citizens, I apologize 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," Martin told parliament.

"I apologize for the shame and stigma which they were subjected to and which, for some, remains a burden to this day," Martin said. "The state failed you."

The report detailed how many infants were taken from mothers and sent overseas to be adopted, while a number of children were vaccinated without consent.

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