Calls Made For Kilrush Memorial To Honour Lives Of Women & Children

The Tuam Home Photo © Mother and Baby Home

Calls have been made for a memorial in Kilrush to honour the lives of women and children in the mother and baby home there.

It follows yesterday’s publication of the long-awaited Commission of Investigation report, which found an “appalling” level of infant mortality among the children born there.


As many as 168 babies are believed to have died in the home between 1923 and 1932.

The Taoiseach will issue a formal State apology later, after the Bishop of Killaloe issued an apology on behalf of the Diocese earlier today.

The Commission found what was described as an “appalling” level of infant mortality among the children born in Mother and Baby homes.

9,000 children died in the 18 institutions examined between the 1920s and 1990s.

The County Clare Nursery in Kilrush was run by the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy between 1922 and 1928, and by directly employed lay staff from then until its closure in 1932.

The report found that as far back as March 1922, when the west Clare institution was recently opened, a nursery committee suggested mothers were ‘neglected.’

The death rate of what were described as ‘illegitimate’ children in Clare was very high, and it is ‘probable’ at least the majority of the 168 infants who died in this county in that time passed away in Kilrush.

Historian Rita McCarthy, who contributed to the report believes a memorial dedicated to survivors should be erected in Kilrush.

The Bishop of Killaloe has “humbly” apologised to all who suffered.

Bishop Fintan Monahan says he’s sorry for the degradation caused, the suffering inflicted and for what he calls “the failure of the Church to demonstrate its commitment to the sacredness of human life.”

He told Clare FM’s Morning Focus that he’s ashamed by the findings of the report.

The Sisters of Bon Secours, which ran St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, says its willing to participate in a redress scheme for survivors.

In a statement, the order has apologised for its part in the scandal and says that it did not live up to its Christianity when running the home.

It also acknowledges that infants and children who died at the Home were buried in a disrespectful and unacceptable way.

The Taoiseach will make a formal state apology to Mother and Baby Home survivors in the next hour.

Micheál Martin is expected to address the next steps the government will take following publication of the 3,000 page Commission report.

That’s likely to include issues like memorialisation, access to records and restitution for the survivors.

In the Dáil Taoiseach Micheál Martin has disputed the allegation that he has not fully held the state and church to account in his statements on the Commission report: