Mother and baby home group backs call for forced adoptions inquiry

Call made in letter to Taoiseach by a former top official with HSE child and family services

A call for a commission of inquiry into forced adoptions has been strongly supported by the Coalition of Mother And Baby Home Survivors (CMABS).

The call was made in a letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny by former assistant national director of child and family services with the Health Service Executive, Phil Garland.

He was also director of child protection in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin from 2003 to 2009.

There was “undeniable evidence of cases of forced adoption within the mother and baby homes that had been uncovered as a result of the Magdalene inquiry” which published its report in February 2013, he said.


In a statement, the CMABS said “we applaud Mr Garland, who is currently going public with a number of very serious allegations about senior civil servants and ministers knowing about an explosive internal report into forged infant mortality rates, illegal adoptions and industrial scale child trafficking inside and outside of mother and baby homes”.

It continued that "CMABS understands there are many more serious matters to be revealed by Mr Garland, who has recently founded a charity for the survivors of church and State abuse in Ireland and abroad."

Sunrise Organisation

Mr Garland is a director of the charity, the Sunrise Organisation, which was set up in Dublin last August.

In conjunction “with Mr Garland’s revelations”, the CMABS posed questions of its own. “Who knew about the internal Tuam/Bessboro report prepared for the Magdalene/McAleese inquiry reporting mortality rates in two mother and baby homes and when did they know about it?”

"Did [then minister for children] Francis Fitzgerald know about the Tuam/Bessboro report when she was minister for children?

"Minister Fitzgerald was also handed a separate private report into the sky high infant mortality rates at three mother and baby homes ('Report into Adoption In Ireland since 1922 and Bessboro, Sean Ross Abbey and Castlepollard Mother and Baby Homes') in July 2013, several months before the Tuam 800 story broke. Why did the minister bury that report and was it also with knowledge of the HSE's Tuam/Bessboro report?"

CMABS also asked: "Did Ministers James Reilly and Charles Flanagan know about the internal HSE report, and when did they know?"

CMABS includes Adoption Rights Now, the Bethany Home Survivors, Beyond Adoption Ireland, Adopted Illegally Ireland and the Castlepollard Mother & Baby Home group, and is in equal partnership with the Adoption Coalition Worldwide.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times