Mother and baby home secrets: It’s time to take our medicine

Mother and baby home secrets: It’s time to take our medicine

When we joined the EEC all those years ago, habits and standards we thought acceptable were deemed inadequate.

The bar was raised in many areas. Powerful interests were challenged and often discommoded. Improved standards in the residential care offered to adults with intellectual difficulties is one an example of where the adequate replaced the unacceptable.

Though EEC membership helped to make this society the affluent one it is today, that advance came with a price — the EEC forced us to behave in better ways,to be more ambitious and more responsible in areas where we were too complacent.

Our membership of the UN and its Convention on Enforced Disappearance will have a similar impact.

Our Government has signed, but not ratified, the convention. Intent has been signalled but compliance has been deferred. Had the convention been ratified, the Government would have no option but to locate the remains of thousands of children who died in mother and baby homes.

This will be traumatic and probably divisive, but it also seems essential.

After all, if the EEC can encourage us, forcefully, to treat our disadvantaged citizens better than we did, the UN can help us remember those consumed by a system we, all of society, used to hide disadvantage citizens out of sight and sadly, out of mind too.

Let’s ratify the convention and take our medicine.

More in this Section

Dublin is no longer merely a countyDublin is no longer merely a county

#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan#RWC2019: Euphoria and despair will meet in Japan

Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?Climate Change: How many climate warnings do we need?

Jim Daly: A hard career choiceJim Daly: A hard career choice


For an instant supper or lunch, fishcakes can be nourishing, warming and tasty. To complete a balanced meal, all it takes is some stirfried or roasted root vegetables.Taste of the sea: Top 8 fish cakes

My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

More From The Irish Examiner