Fintan O’Toole: Mother and baby report cannot be left to stand

Flawed process deprives survivors of their stories and compounds injustice to them

Mother and baby homes protest at Phoenix Park: The procedure adopted by the commission re-victimised the women by depriving them of ownership even of their own testimony. File photograph:  Tom Honan

Mother and baby homes protest at Phoenix Park: The procedure adopted by the commission re-victimised the women by depriving them of ownership even of their own testimony. File photograph: Tom Honan

It is now entirely clear that the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes cannot be allowed to stand. In the past week, deep doubts about the methodology and assumptions of the commission have turned into one abiding certainty: this report fundamentally misrepresents the experiences of the 550 survivors who gave evidence to the confidential arm of the commission. 

 Two big things have happened. The first is that one of the three members of the commission, the highly respected historian Prof Mary Daly, told an Oxford seminar that the commission effectively disregarded the evidence of those survivors in reaching its conclusions.

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