SURVIVORS of Protestant-run mother-and-baby homes in the Irish
Republic are hoping that these institutions, which operated between
1922 and 1960, will be included in a new inquiry which is to be led
by a former Circuit Court judge, Yvonne Murphy.
The retired judge led the government's commission investigating
clerical sex-abuse of children, which caused a significant rift
betweenthe Vatican and the Irish State. Her remit on the new
inquiry will include the home in Tuam, in which almost 800 babies
and children died between 1925 and 1961, and several other
Campaigners are also hoping that four homes run by Protestant
Evangelicals, in Dublin and the adjoining Co. Wicklow, will be
added to the list.
The boards of these institutions were populated by members of
Reformed Churches, including the Church of Ireland and Plymouth
Brethren, although the Churches themselves did not run the
Support groups have called for a comprehensive review of all
institutions involved with unmarried mothers and their babies, as
well as the illegal adoptions that are allegedly associated with
Paul Redmond, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home
Survivors, said that the whole issue of society's approach to
unmarried mothers should be examined. "If the terms of reference
fail to meet our expectations, we will bring the issue to the UN
Committee Against Torture to try and force the government to widen
the terms of reference to include everything and everybody," he
The leader of the organisation Adoption Rights Alliance, Claire
McGettrick, said that a timely inquiry was essential, as some
witnesses of advanced age, who could provide vital evidence, needed
to be interviewed while they were still able to do so.
The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson,
has welcomed Judge Murphy's appointment. "It is my hope that this
inquiry will lead to deeper compassionate understanding of what
people have experienced, and provide lessons for the present and
the future," he said.
The Irish government's Minister for Children, Dr James Reilly,
said that the terms of reference for the inquiry would not be
decided until the autumn.