January 2021 – Update
Though our UK campaign has stalled, partly as a result of the current political turmoil, and partly because the MPs who stepped forward following the debate have done nothing to help us get justice, in Ireland the story is different.
With the publication of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes on 30 October 2020, the extent of the difficulties, prejudice and injustices faced by unmarried mothers in Ireland has been exposed. The horrors which took place in Bessborough and Tuam, to name but two, have been revealed. Stories are now coming out of babies being sold, and of the appalling suffering endured by mothers and their children.
“Babies died by the thousands in these hellholes directly as a result of the early state’s policy of semi-official discrimination against single mothers and their babies.”
“Where is their truth and justice?”
In the wake of the Report, calls have been made for an Independent Investigation into NI Mother and Baby Homes (see video at 4.5 minutes). As reported by the BBC, First Minister, Arlene Foster, has said that a report is “an important first step towards a full understanding of what happened to thousands of women and their children in our recent past.” The many deaths, the cruelty, the coercion, the dishonesty and the trafficking of babies are among the issues that need to be addressed in any investigation.
Though there have been apologies from both the Taoiseach and Tanaiste, their words have not been well received and have been described as ‘political waffle’, something with which are are all too familiar in our own fight to be heard in the UK.
We have also been told that it was the fault of ‘society’, and it has been suggested that ‘everyone is to blame’, which is little more than an effort to avoid stepping up in the face of a difficult situation. As we watch the events unfolding in Ireland, we look to our own representatives in Parliament to set up an investigation, or an inquiry, here.
What happened in Ireland was horrific.
What took place in the UK, was only a few steps behind.