Northern Ireland news

Religious congregations 'will play their part generously' over mother-and-baby home compensation - Archbishop

Archbishop Eamon Martin said `religious congregations will be willing to play their part generously'. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

THE Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin said religious congregations "found themselves in the frontline" running mother-and-baby homes at a time when "the rest of society had basically banished these mothers".

Speaking on RTÉ This Week, the archbishop said, while there was "clear evidence that the day-to-day running of these institutions was very harsh", they were subject to inspection and oversight by the state.

"They were commissioned by the state and local authorities, county councils and expected to intervene when the rest of society had basically banished these mothers. They found themselves in the frontline.

Read More: Mother and baby home survivor says her grandfather 'had to buy her back'

"As soon as women and children went into these places, society didn't seem to want to know any more, be they living or dead."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has apologised for the "profound generational wrong" perpetrated against women and children in the homes.

The archbishop said he accepted that "the church needs to do reparation for this" and can "show our apologies are sincere by being willing to contribute in any way we can".

He said "religious congregations will be willing to play their part generously".

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Northern Ireland news