Cork County Mayor 'deeply sorry' for Bessborough victims

Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, who was born in the Bessborough mother and baby home, has released a statement apologising to all those who suffered in such places
Cork County Mayor 'deeply sorry' for Bessborough victims

Ms Linehan Foley says the Council neglected to prioritise the welfare of mother and baby home residents during this period. Picture: Niall Carson/PA

The Mayor of Cork County has released a statement apologising to all those who suffered in the mother and baby homes.

Cllr Mary Linehan Foley was born in the Bessborough mother and baby home.

“This is a fact I never shied away from. I have come to know my birth mother and consider myself to be very fortunate," Ms Linehan Foley said. "But I know there are many who have not been so fortunate.

“As Mayor of the County of Cork, I would like to say I am deeply sorry. Sorry to all the mothers and babies who suffered and continue to suffer. Sorry to the mothers and babies who endured such appalling mistreatment. 

"Sorry to the mothers and babies who were abandoned. Abandoned by society and State.” 

Ms Linehan Foley says the council neglected to prioritise the welfare of mother and baby home residents during Bessborough's period of operation.

“Bessborough Mother and Baby home was, at the time of operation, within the jurisdiction of Cork County Council.

"As a council, our ultimate priority is the welfare of our residents. Welfare was not afforded to the residents of this mother and baby home."

The care, compassion and concern which should have been a guiding light was missing. Welfare was replaced by neglect. Worst of all, the most vulnerable members of our society were utterly ignored and shunned.

The lands on which the Bessborough mother and baby home was based now come under the jurisdiction of Cork City Council. 

The city council has announced a working group to deliver on the actions set out in the Government's action plan. Ms Linehan Foley welcomed this news.

She continued: “I know that while these actions took place in the not too distant past, as a society we have transformed entirely. But we must never forget the part we played in this painful past, never forget what happened and ensure it never happens again.”

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