Irish government to apologize over mother-and-baby homes

The Irish government will apologize after an investigation found an “appalling level of infant mortality” in the country’s mother-and-baby homes.

Established in the 19th century, they housed women and girls who became pregnant outside marriage. About 9,000 children died in the 18 institutions under investigation.

The government said the report revealed the country had a “stifling, oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture.”

The Irish Prime Minister said the report described a “dark, difficult and shameful chapter” of Irish history, and “As a nation we must face up to the full truth of our past.”

The commission that investigated the homes found the number of children who died was 15% of all those who were born in the institutions.

There were about 56,000 unmarried mothers and 57,000 children in the homes investigated by the commission. Many children born in the homes were adopted or taken to orphanages run by Catholic nuns.

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