At the meeting of Kildare County Council on Monday 22nd February 2021, following the publication of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mark Stafford made a formal apology on behalf of Kildare County Council to former residents of Mother and Baby Homes, in particular to the former residents of the County Home in Athy.
Statement by Cathaoirleach, Cllr Mark Stafford:
In relation to the Publication of the Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes on behalf of the members, the Chief Executive and staff of the County Council of the County of Kildare I wish to apologise wholeheartedly and without equivocation to the women and children who suffered as a result of this councils failure to look after some of the most vulnerable and terrified people entrusted in our care. Forgotten and abandoned, many had to endure the most unbearable cruelties. We remember the many young women and babies that died in tragic circumstances in these Homes.
During the period from 1926 to 1998 the period of the terms of reference of the Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, the County Home in Athy had a maternity unit attached.
Overall responsibility for the homes owned by a local authority rested with the local authority. They were responsible for the upkeep, improvements and oversight. I welcome the Government Action Plan and hope that the Government proceeds with implementation with all due haste.
I wish to acknowledge in addition to those women and children who were resident in the County Home, those from Kildare that may have been sent to similar institutions and in other parts of the country and those survivors who have now made their homes in County Kildare and your families, we acknowledge our failings to support you, protect you and keep you safe and for that we are sorry.
The Chief Executive of Kildare County Council joined the Cathaoirleach in expressing a wholehearted apology on behalf of Kildare County Council.