Statement from the Bishop, the Rt Rev Patrick Rooke
in relation to the Report of the Mother and Baby Homes
Commission of Investigation
I welcome the Statement from the two Church of Ireland Archbishops in relation to the
Report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation. The Report makes for
grim reading and our hearts go out to all those who continue to live with the scars of what
they had to endure.
In our own Diocese, the horrific history of what took place at St Mary’s Mother and Baby
Home in Tuam has brought particular shame and shock to all of us. I ashould again like to
applaud the work of Catherine Corless and others for the significant part they have played
in bringing the horror of what happened in Tuam and elsewhere to our attention. Such
memories of the past are painful but it is important for society as a whole, and not just for
the individuals involved, that we all learn and acknowledge the truth of what happened.
I share what my Roman Catholic colleague the Most Rev Paul Dempsey, Bishop of
Achonry, has said with regard to the cramped conditions in Direct Provision. In
acknowledging that ‘we cannot change the past but we can change the present’ he states
that ‘real action to improve the lives of mothers and children today, would be a fitting
tribute to those who suffered in Mother and Baby Homes.’ It is surely imperative that the
State and all Agencies of Care receive our full support and encouragement as they seek to
address the urgent need for suitable accommodation for asylum seekers and others who
have come to Ireland in the hope of a better future for themselves and their families.