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Statement on Final Report of Commission of Investigation

Following the publication this week of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin issued a formal apology on behalf of the State to former residents of the Mother and Baby Home institutions.

The Government now intends to give detailed consideration to the Report over the coming months with a view to developing a comprehensive Government Action Plan spanning 8 themes, as follows:

  • A survivor-centred approach
  • Apology
  • Access to Personal Information
  • Archiving and Databases
  • Education and Research
  • Memorialisation
  • Restorative Recognition
  • Dignified Burial

The Commission’s Report includes detailed information on one mother and baby home in Westmeath, which was located in Castlepollard. It opened in 1935 and closed in 1971 and was run by the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The public health authorities (including the Council before 1970) contributed towards the costs of people admitted there. The Commission’s Report has identified that during its period of operation, 4,972 women were admitted and 4,559 children were born in the home or admitted there, from several counties; and that there were 247 deaths among children connected with the home, mostly within their first year.

Westmeath County Council wishes to be associated with the State apology issued by An Taoiseach. The Council will actively participate with Government in furthering the development of the Government Action Plan as it relates to local government. The Council is committed to supporting local measures that form part of the suite of follow-up actions, for example, in relation to memorialisation and access to archives and records.



Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 15/01/2021