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Racial profiling, segregation like Apartheid – shocking report reveals racist abuse in Mother and Baby homes

  • Leaked report reveals shocking racism and cruelty
  • Skin colour listed as a defect in files and they were considered unsuitable for adoption
  • Children eugenically rated on nun's assessment of mother's intelligence
  • Treatment of mixed race children likened to Apartheid in South Africa
  • Tusla accused of withholding identity and personal information from applicants detained as children
  • Minister Zappone decided not to publish report on advice of Attorney General

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Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone (Niall Carson/PA)

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone (Niall Carson/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone (Niall Carson/PA)

In an Ireland of another era, a young mother brought her six-month-old baby to St Patrick's Mother and Baby home in Dublin, in the belief that the nuns had found a home for the child who would grow up to have a better life. That baby is now an adult who can attest that neither of those things happened.

"I was abandoned and left unaccompanied for 18 years in institutions… this was because of the colour of my skin, my father was African. I left the mother and baby home with two others, and two out of the three of us were mixed race. So more mixed-race children than white children left for industrial school that day… I remember this well as we were all crying in the back of a car. Even then I was never adopted nor fostered out, I was left without a family life.

"All my records at that time show I was racialised and racially profiled… for example, all records referred to my colour and ethnicity, even my medical records, as if I had a serious disease that marked me out as inferior… this indicated a mind-set that saw me as some problem child."