Fermanagh women did not escape horrors of mother and baby prisons

FERMANAGH women and their babies did not escape the horrors of the South’s mother and baby homes, the recently published commission report into the institutions has revealed.
While another report into the operation of institutions for women and babies in the North was due to be published yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), the Mother and Baby Homes Commission Investigation Report published in the South earlier this month had already revealed the suffering of local women from here in the county.
The 2,865 page report was the result of a five year investigation and looked into the experiences of those in the South’s mother and baby homes between 1921 and 1956, where unmarried women who became pregnant were sent.
  The report revealed a shockingly high infant mortality rate at the ‘homes’, more commonly described as prisons by those who were held in them, with around 9,000 children dying in their ‘care’.
It also revealed many Fermanagh women among those held at the ‘homes’. 
Indeed, for decades Fermanagh women were sent to ‘homes’ the length and breadth of the country, including to the infamous Bessborough home in Cork where is believed up to 75 percent of babies died at one stage, with the deaths often going unreported.
It is feared many of the babies’ bodies may be buried in an unmarked location on site.
The report due to be published yesterday into similar institutions in the north, run by both Catholic and Protestant churches, is expected to reveal that many more local women endured the horrors of the homes.
“They were failed by those who should have cared for and protected them when they needed it most,” said First Minster Arlene Foster, speaking after the publication into the southern investigation and ahead of the publication of the northern report.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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