The Commission on Mother and Baby Homes prophetically warned about its report: "The conclusions it reaches may not always accord with the prevailing narrative."
Certainly it didn't accord with the "prevailing narrative" of RTÉ presenters and Mary Lou McDonald, determined to pin all blame on church and State and to let Irish society off the hook.
As an atheist, I am normally slow to defend the Roman Catholic Church or the pieties of Official Ireland - such as its lip service to Irish unity.
But, as a historian by training and a journalist by profession, I am committed both to historical truth and balance, and to challenging whatever pious political consensus is cosiest.
So let me congratulate the commission for having the courage to tell the truth that sets us free - but that we don't want to hear - as in the following conclusion:
"Responsibility for that harsh treatment rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families."
It says that church and State supported, contributed to, and condoned the familial and social stigma.
Sadly, that's the correct hierarchy of blame - society, church and State - no matter how much politically correct critics try to avoid it.
The first people to fail a pregnant girl were her family, particularly her father. They, in turn, sent her to the cold arms of the Catholic Church. Finally, the State failed her by not preventing clerical abuses.
The commission is also correct to courageously conclude: "The institutions under investigation provided a refuge - a harsh refuge in some cases - when the families provided no refuge at all."
That said, the historian Diarmaid Ferriter rightly asks what caused the culture that made families act so uncharitably. "Surely there are clues in the vitriol that emanated from the altar?"
Ferriter is correct in condemning the church's mistreatment of pregnant women. Like him, I am sickened by the litany of clerical cruelty.
But my reading in Irish history convinces me the churches, especially in rural society, reflected a social consensus rooted in economic concerns about dowries and inheritance.
The Synod of Thurles, 1850, is often seen as creating a puritanical form of Irish Catholicism obsessed with sexuality.
But even before the Famine, when the Catholic Church was not as strong as it became after the synod, Kenneth Connell, the great historian of Irish peasant society, says the social stigma of illegitimacy followed a woman who transgressed: "It weighed on her family for 20 years, even her children bore some of the brunt."
These pre-Famine social attitudes hardened even further after the Famine.
Determined to avoid the disastrous pre-Famine subdivision of land, farmers callously but rationally decided that nothing - not their second and third sons and certainly not their own daughters - was going to interfere with clean farm inheritance and suitable marriage by the eldest son.
The historian Joe Lee came to a cold conclusion showing that economic attitudes - and not clerical pressure - were the primary forces behind Irish rural families' harsh treatment of their pregnant daughters.
"The integrity of the family was ruthlessly sacrificed, generation after generation, to the priority of economic man, to the rationale of the economic calculus."
Then comes his clincher: "Priests and parsons, products and prisoners of the same society, dutifully sanctified this mercenary ethos but they were in any case powerless to challenge the primacy of economic man over the Irish countryside."
The report shows how these socio-economic forces were primary as recently as the 1960s. "An unmarried mother returning home with her child, and an 'illegitimate' child/grandchild as a long-term resident would have jeopardised an heir's marriage prospects."
But last week, RTÉ presenters, none of whom seemed to know any Irish history, rushed to criticise church and State and absolve society of any blame.
Predictably, they soon turned into blaming Micheál Martin - who has never been forgiven for not bringing Sinn Féin into government - for commission conclusions on society's culpability that Martin was only quoting.
Despicably, RTÉ teed up some vulnerable survivors to criticise Martin for blaming society. Despicable because these hapless survivors were caught in a cleft stick.
If I were a survivor, I would not want to point the finger at society in the form of my own family, but would look to blame church and State first. That is only human nature.
By dumbing down a complex report into an ideological row, RTÉ also glossed over difference between town and country.
Brenda Power was eaten on Twitter for pointing out that Phil Lynott's Dublin mother raised him herself.
But Caelainn Hogan, an Irish Times writer reluctant to blame society, admitted: "Priests and social workers both told me working-class families in Dublin would often find ways to support their daughters or take in their children but wealthy farming families in the country would disown them."
RTÉ also missed one of the most harrowing subplots - strong farmers' abuse of serving girls.
Kevin Danaher, the great folklorist, once told me that farmers in Limerick would sic their sons on serving girls like "bulls to a cow".
The callous attitude of these wealthy farmers is perfectly caught in Jim Cogan's merciless cartoon above.
It could also be used to illustrate a chilling short story by Seán Mac Mathúna set in the 1960s.
A big farmer's son is expelled for getting a servant girl pregnant in Rockwell College. In silence his father drives them to a hill. We expect a reprimand, but showing his son the land he will inherit, he nudges him slyly: "What was she like?"
As I often write about country topics, I've collected a number of clued-in correspondents like Nora (not her real name), a retired north Galway teacher.
Last week in a long email, Nora was cynical about RTÉ presenters' efforts to excuse society, based on ignorance of rural history: "In pre-mechanised agriculture, manual labour was in high demand and 'servant girls' far from home were thrown into close working relations with farmers' sons.
"The abuse of young, vulnerable, inexperienced girls in this near-feral setting gave rise to many of the problems that would show up at the doors of the mother and baby homes.
"Protecting the reputation of the farmers' sons and the pathological fear of a threat to the farm would result in pregnant girls being banished from the farm gate."
Nora concludes: "Their only refuge were places like the mother and baby home in Tuam where they were delivered by their families, often arriving late in their pregnancy, weak from 'dieting' to hide their condition, having received no medical attention up to that point."
And a male Limerick correspondent gave me this callous detail: "My first cousin, now in her 80s, remembers hearing this crude comment on the fate of serving girls on farms in post-independence, post-civil war Ireland: "Hired, f****d and fired."
Yes, church and State failed Irish women - but Irish society failed them first.