Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Dublin archbishop welcomes govt investigation of church mothers’ homes

The Archbishop of Dublin has welcomed the announcement of an Irish government commission over past abuses at “mother and baby homes”. On 9 Jan 2015 the Irish Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly published the Terms of Reference for the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters. Dr. Reilly said “Last May, people in Ireland and around the world were shocked at media reports about what was described as a mass grave in the mother and baby home in Tuam in Galway. The sense of indignation we all felt about this was palpable. … as a State we had failed to come to terms with a harrowing reality in our past.” Judge Yvonne Murphy will oversee the investigation of the treatment of 35,000 women and children, “the manner in which single women and their children were treated in mother and baby homes, how they came to be there in the first place and the circumstances of their departure from the homes,” the minister said. Archbishop Jackson noted that three Protestant homes will be investigated by the Commission including the Church of Ireland’s Bethany Home. “Bethany Home has been a matter of significant concern to a number of former residents, the Bethany Survivors Group, with whom I have met on several occasions. As I have said previously I have been conscious of the strength of their feeling that the State has not examined the Home in a similar way to other institutions, until now. For this reason, among others I welcome today’s news. The plight of those who have suffered and still suffer remains a pastoral concern to me,” he said.

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