Survivors of mother and baby homes call abuse Ireland's holocaust.

Irish state sued by women who gave birth in mother-and-baby homes


Survivors of mother and baby homes call abuse Ireland's holocaust.

The Irish state faces legal action over the lack of care provided in mother-and-baby homes following the latest revelations.

Two women who gave birth to children in the controversial homes are taking legal advice on cases against the state.

The news follows the revelation that a home in Cork reported a near 70 percent mortality rate in the 1940s.

The government is already undertaking a full state review of conditions in the homes after the recent Tuam, Co Galway scandal.

Now the Irish Times reports that two mothers are preparing legal cases against the State.

The Irish First Mothers group has told the paper that the women are both members of the organization but will bring their cases in a personal capacity.

The group’s press representative Fintan Dunne told the Irish Times that the cases centered on the women’s parental rights.

He said one of the women is ready to pursue a case based on legal advice from senior counsel.

Dunne said: “The treatment of women and children in Ireland’s mother and baby homes was a societal, cultural and institutional blind spot.

“We trampled all over these women’s parental rights - the State can now expect litigation that may very well proceed to trial.”

Members of the Irish First Mothers group attended an event in Tullamore, Co Offaly for individuals who had spent time in the homes.

Those present included birth mothers and those who were born in or transferred to the homes as children.

Mary Lawlor, who was born in 1960 in Seán Ross Abbey in Co Tipperary and who organized the event, only found out two years ago that she had a younger brother.

She said: “I have spent a total of 11 days in total out of 54 years with my brother - that’s the sad reality.”

John Barrett from Wexford was born in 1952 in Cork’s Bessborough. He told the Irish Times that the forthcoming commission of investigation has to be wide-ranging and all inclusive.

Barrett said: “The Government wants to push us down a narrow corridor: I won’t co-operate with an investigation like that.

“Both the mothers and those who spent time in the homes as children need to be consulted around the terms of the inquiry.

“This is our holocaust, and we have to deal with it. The Government can’t bury their heads in the sand anymore.”


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