Saturday 20 December 2014

Treatment of mothers and babies in church run homes an 'abomination' - Taoiseach

Published 10/06/2014 | 15:57

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has called the treatment of mothers and babies in church run homes an “abomination”.

Mr Kenny was speaking in the Dail following the announcement of a Commission of Investigation into mother and baby homes run by religious orders.

The move follows weeks of controversy after the discovery of an alleged mass grave containing the remains of almost 800 babies in Tuam, Co Galway.

Mr Kenny said he felt a “sense of sadness” when the shocking details emerged but said he had a duty to resolve the issues.

The Taoiseach said young women were “banished” from areas of the country or forced to face “shame and suppression” when they became pregnant outside of marriage.

He said babies born outside wedlock were deemed an “inferior species” and their mothers silenced in Church run homes.

“It is not an exaggeration to say the treatment of the women and their babies was an abomination,” he added.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin called for cross party engagement in drawing up the terms of reference for the forthcoming Commission of Investigation.

Mr Martin also said a counselling service and confidential telephone line should be set-up for the former residents of mother and baby homes.

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