What is presented as the truth is, at best, heavily disputed and, at worst, a whitewashed fiction 

It is astonishing that the Children’s Minster is still standing over the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes – despite conceding its members misapplied the law, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

Deputy Cairns, a member of the Oireachtas Children’s Committee, said:

“Last week, a member of the Commission dropped a bombshell when she told an academic seminar the Commission had discounted the testimony of 550 survivors. Disgracefully, this seminar was the first time a Commission member had spoken publicly about the methodology of the report – having declined invitations to appear before the Oireachtas Children’s Committee.

“Now, it transpires that Children’s Minister Roderick O’Gorman has written to the survivors to  say the Commission got it wrong and misapplied its own terms of reference when it discounted their testimony – failing to give it any weight, or much credence, in the final report.

“The Minister has now accepted the Commission made a fundamental error which goes to the heart of the report’s findings, rendering many of them meaningless. Despite this, the government has yet to repudiate this hopelessly flawed report.

“This Commission was instituted to get to the truth of what happened in a very dark chapter of our past. We now know that, what is presented as the truth is, at best, heavily disputed and, at worst, a whitewashed fiction.

“The Minister, having now admitted the Commission got the most basic element of their solemn task wrong – their interpretation of their terms of reference – can no longer stand over this report as a reliable appraisal of that period.

“I called for the report to be repudiated last week and I am making the same call today. This report is the only official State investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. It cannot omit the testimony of those who suffered in these institutions. That would be grotesque.”

8 June 2021,


Back to all Posts