On October 30th the Irish government released a major report into the much-criticized ‘Mother and Baby Homes’ run by Catholic religious sisters. These looked after women who had children out of wedlock who, in the first half of the 20thcentury, faced severe social sanctions in Irish society. When their families did not want to support them, these religious sisters did: and worked to find homes for the children, if the mothers wished to have them adopted, and set the women back on their feet in terms of employment.
Except that isn’t the narrative the mainstream media, including in Ireland itself, have been setting out. According to them, these institutions were little short of torture chambers for abuse and oppression. The Irish Government and the Archbishop of Dublin have offered public apologies. So, what is the truth?