The Irish government has announced an inquiry into mother and baby homes operated by the Church, Irish Central reports.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the State-run inquiry into the abuse in Church-run mother-and-baby homes will strive to uncover the truth rather than lay blame.
As survivor groups and Catholic orders welcome the inquiry, Mr Kenny bemoaned the fact that unmarried parents and their offspring were treated as 'an inferior sub-species.'
Mr Kenny spoke in the Dail (Parliament) on June 10, following the announcement that an inquiry would be established. This decision came following the allegation that 796 children were buried in an unmarked grave in what was once a septic tank at the home run by the Sisters of the Bon Secours, in Tuam, County Galway. Records show that this number of children died at the home between 1925 and 1961.
The investigation will examine the high mortality rate across several decades of the 20th century, burial practices, illegal adoptions, and vaccine trials on young children.
It is believed that 3,200 other babies are buried in unmarked graves at three other mother and baby homes in Ireland - Sean Ross Abbey, Tipperary, Bessborough, Co Cork, and Castlepollard, Co Westmeath. Between the 1930s and 1940s the infant mortality rate at these homes was between 30 and 50 percent, far higher than average.
The leader of Ireland's government said, 'This was Ireland of the 1920s to the 1960s. An Ireland that might be portrayed as a glorious and brilliant past, but in its shadows contained all of these personal cases, where people felt ashamed, felt different, were suppressed, dominated and obviously the question of the treatment in the mother and babies homes is a central part of that.'
Shocked and shamed Ireland welcomes Catholic homes investigation (Irish Central)