The submission deadline for the final report of the investigation into the infamous mother and baby homes in Ireland has been delayed yet again.
The submission date, initially slated for Feb. 18, has now been pushed back to June this year to allow for the setting up of a new government.
The long awaited report from the Irish Mother and Baby Home Investigation Commission was confirmed to be on schedule as recently as Jan. 7, but now survivors must wait until June 26.
The February deadline was in itself an extension of a previous deadline after the Commission experienced earlier delays.
The Commission noted in January last year that more people had come forward with additional information, and the commission needed more time to analyze it.
Outgoing Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone has received a sixth interim report into the mother and baby homes in the meantime.
The interim report reportedly deals with "complex issues" related to the completion of the Commission's work.
Zappone said that the most recent interim report would be published as "soon as practical."
The report is likely to be published in March.
Zappone said that former residents of the homes and their families were "anxiously awaiting" the final report. She said that an end was in sight, but that she didn't want to risk the outcome of the investigation by rushing its conclusion.
“We can now confidently say that we are nearing the conclusion of this critically important and comprehensive investigative process,” she said in a statement.
The Investigation Commission was initially set up by the Irish Government in 2015 to "to provide a full account of what happened to women and children in these homes during the period 1922 to 1998."
The Commission was founded after historian Catherine Corless published research detailing the deaths of nearly 800 children at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway.
The Commission has scope to investigate several specific areas of practice and procedure in the care, welfare, entry arrangements and exit pathways for the women and children who were residents of the named 14 institutions across the country.
The most recent interim report, published in April 2019, outlined how the bodies of more than 950 children from mother and baby homes in Dublin were sent to medical schools over a 60-year period.
The Commission also investigated how the children's bodies were buried after they were used in the schools.