President Michael D Higgins has said that the “State must bare responsibility” for the mother and baby homes.
In a statement, the President welcomed the report that was released earlier this week.
“The Commission of Investigation’s report reminds us of how far short Ireland fell of fulfilling the promise of our Republic, and of how, the violation of fundamental rights of our fellow citizens was condoned over an extended period of time. State and Church bear a heavy responsibility for this.”
President Higgins believes the mother and baby homes scandal was a direct violation of human rights.
“Those statements are such powerful revelations of a society, Church, a State and their institutions that contradict the traits of any real republic built on equal rights of citizens, care, true freedom, solidarity and compassion.”
In his statement, President Higgins highlighted the fact that more work needs to be done to fully understand how and why this happened.
“Publication of this report is not a conclusion, but an indication of the further work that is required to bring to light a fuller understanding of what occurred, and why, and the need to vindicate the rights of those women and children who resided in these homes.”
You can read the President’s statement in full here.
The publication of this report marks the darkest period in Ireland’s history. Around 9,000 children sadly lost their lives in these homes.
Since the publication of the report, there has been calls to strip the Catholic Church of its assets.
Various TDs believe that the Church should make significant contributions to the victims.
Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he will draft legislation if the Church refuses to compensate victims.
“We need to ensure this time round, that those religious institutions make their contribution.”
“If they don’t make their contribution, we will pass legislation — I will draft it myself — to ensure that we can take their assets to ensure that they make that contribution.”
“We cannot go through what happened in this country before, in relation to them not making their contribution this time around.”