February 8, 2021
Statement by An Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council Councillor Colm Carthy on the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes
As Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council and on behalf of the elected members, I wish to apologise unreservedly to the women and girls who were incarcerated, their babies, the survivors, those now deceased and their relatives, for the pain and suffering caused while resident in Mother and Baby Homes or in the County Home in Castleblayney, while it was under the control of Monaghan County Council.
An Taoiseach Michéal Martin T.D. issued a formal apology on behalf of the State to former residents of the Mother and Baby Home and County Homes institutions, following the publication of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, (on January 12th).
The Government now intends to give detailed consideration to the Report over the coming months with a view to developing a comprehensive Government Action Plan to address eight specific themes to include:
• A survivor-centred approach;
• Access to Personal Information;
• Archiving and Databases;
• Education and Research;
• Restorative Recognition;
• Dignified Burial.
Monaghan County Council, as a public assistance authority, had responsibility for unmarried mothers and their children and the operation of the County Home in Castleblayney until 1970.
The Council sincerely apologises to the residents, their children/adopted people, their families and the relatives of those who resided in the Mother and Baby Homes or the county home, who suffered and were mis-treated while resident there.
Monaghan County Council will actively participate with Government in furthering the development of the Government Action Plan as it relates to local government and as it relates to County Monaghan.
Monaghan County Council commits to supporting local measures that form part of the suite of follow-up actions, for example, in relation to memorialisation and access to archives and records.
In this regard, the Council will request that Government brings forward, as a priority, the legislation required to enable survivors and adopted people the right to access their records and personal information, which will be an important step in addressing the concerns expressed by the residents. We also call for robust supports* to be put in place that are unconditional. Most of all, we ask that the women and girls, and their now adult children, are listened to and respected.
While the Council’s apology cannot undo the pain and suffering, it is an acknowledgement of our deep regret that the women and girls, and their children, were failed by the State and a recognition that the Council was part of that failure.