More than 9,000 babies died in homes for unmarried mothers in Ireland between the 1920s and 1990s, many of whom were run by Catholic religious orders, a long-awaited investigation that ended after years of campaigns by survivors and their descendants.
In some years in the 1930s and 1940s, the report said, more than 40 percent of children in orphanages died before their first birthdays, high mortality rates often known to the government and local authorities.
Throughout the study, about 15% of all children who were in the 18 institutions investigated died in homes, some of which were owned and run by local health authorities and others by religious orders.
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said the report described a “dark, difficult and embarrassing chapter in recent Irish history”
Some of the religious orders in charge of the homes have apologized. Former Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said that “the church has gone beyond its role and become a controlling church” and must apologize in a comment to RTÉ, Irish television. He said those responsible for the abuse had betrayed the vulnerable women and their vocation.