A five-year investigation has concluded that at least 9,000 children died in the 18 mother and baby homes that are under investigation in Ireland.
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation’s long-awaited report reveals the experiences of women and children who lived in 14 mother and baby homes and four county homes between the years 1922 and 1998.
The report stated, “In the years before 1960 mother and baby homes did not save the lives of ‘illegitimate’ children; in fact, they appear to have significantly reduced their prospects of survival. The very high mortality rates were known to local and national authorities at the time and were recorded in official publications.”
The report also added that human remains were discovered buried in coffins during an excavation at Sean Ross home in Tipperary which differed to the situation in Tuam where remains were discovered in a chamber of a disused septic tank.
In relation to these burials, the report stated that all the individuals were less than one year old. By use of radiocarbon dating, 13 samples of skeletal remains provided estimated dates of death for those individuals in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, and as the Sean Ross home was in operation from 1931 to 1969 this indicated that the burials did take place while the home was operating.
Armed with this evidence, the Commission’s report notes, “There can be little doubt that they are the remains of children who died in Sean Ross,”.
The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation recommended a state apology, redress and access to their birth information to the survivors of the homes.