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Irish government plans probe of all 'mother and baby' homes

Catholic World News - June 10, 2014

The Irish government has announced an investigation of all “mother and baby homes,” in response to an international uproar over the discovery that children were buried in an unmarked mass grave near an institution in Tuam.

Charlie Flanagan, the government’s minister for children, said that the investigating commission would not concentrate exclusively on the home run by Catholic religious in Tuam. “I believe that Tuam should not be looked at in isolation because over the last century we have had mother and baby homes right up and down the country,” he said.

As details about the history of the institution have emerged, correcting the errors of sensational reporting, the focus has shifted to the gross shortage of funding for institutions serving unwed mothers, their children, and other needy groups in Ireland during much of the 20th century. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin had urged a general study of “mother and baby” homes, which were often run by religious orders under state auspices.

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