The report said that the Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin formally apologized for the State's "profound failure" in its treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies in a network of Catholic Church-run homes from the 1920s to the 1990s. A Government-commissioned report found an "appalling" mortality rate of around 15% among children born at the homes, reflecting brutal living conditions. Around 9,000 children died in all.
"On behalf of the Government, the State and its citizens, I apologize for the profound generational wrong visited upon Irish mothers and their children who ended up in a Mother and Baby Home or a County Home," Martin told Parliament. "I apologize for the shame and stigma which they were subjected to and which, for some, remains a burden to this day," Martin said.
The same report said that anonymous testimony from residents compared the institutions to prisons where they were verbally abused by nuns, while women suffered through traumatic labours without any pain relief. Relatives have alleged babies were mistreated because they were born to unmarried mothers who, like their children, were seen as a stain on Ireland's image as a devout Catholic nation.
The report further said the head of the Irish Catholic Church "unreservedly" apologized for its role.