Knowledge Base

Mother & Baby Homes Redress

The Mothers and Baby Homes residency in Ireland is a complex matter that spanned across 76 years, from 1922 – 1998. From the final report released by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation on the 30th of October 2020, it is estimated that there are over 130,000 Mother and Baby Home survivors.

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In January 2021, officials from relevant Government departments began examining the scope and parameters of a financial redress scheme for the survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes following the report from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Tracey Solicitors have provided advice over many years to those affected by the legacy of historic institutional abuse. Our senior solicitors are available to assist any individuals that have been affected by the Mother and Baby Homes residencies by evaluating your situation and assisting in the application process should a redress scheme be initiated.

Our team recognise the difficulties of those affected by the Mother and Baby Homes residencies. The resource below contains a collection of our knowledge and content thus far, which we hope will help guide you towards justice.

On 13 January 2021, the Irish Taoiseach, Micheál Martin announced a formal apology to mother and children survivors on behalf of the State. The Commission was subsequently dissolved on the 28th of February 2021.

The Irish Government is currently establishing a compensation/redress scheme to compensate the mothers and children who endured much pain and trauma whilst in the care of these homes. Redress may be financial or may be in the form of enhanced services. The Commission considers that services such as counselling and enhanced medical cards should be made available to those former residents who need them. The Government are yet to finalise how these Mother and Baby Home cases will be dealt with but the discussions on this matter are ongoing.

List of Institutions under Investigation by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission:

Mother and Baby Homes:

  • Ard Mhuire, Dunboyne, Co Meath
  • Belmont (Flatlets), Belmont Ave, Dublin 4
  • Bessboro House, Blackrock, Cork
  • Bethany Home, originally Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 and from 1934 Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6
  • Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home, Tuam, Co. Galway
  • Denny House, Eglinton Rd, Dublin 4, originally Magdalen Home, 8 Lower Leeson St, Dublin 2
  • Kilrush, Cooraclare Rd, Co. Clare
  • Manor House, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath
  • Carr’s (Flatlets), 16 Northbrook Rd, Dublin 6
  • Regina Coeli Hostel, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
  • Sean Ross Abbey, Roscrea, Co Tipperary
  • Gerard’s, originally 39, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1
  • Patrick’s, Navan Road, Dublin 7, originally known as Pelletstown; and subsequent transfer to Eglinton House, Eglinton Rd, Dublin 4
  • The Castle, Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal

County Homes:

  • St Kevin’s Institution (Dublin Union)
  • Stranorlar County Home, Co Donegal (St Joseph’s)
  • Cork City County Home (St Finbarr’s)
  • Thomastown County Home, Co Kilkenny (St Columba’s)

Official and historical sources may cite some of the above institutions by different names, some of these institutions may have changed the location of their premises during their time of operation.

Government Action

In the coming weeks and months, the Government are planning to release a phased approach to the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes final report. The Government aims to devise a comprehensive action plan which has been divided into 8 categories:

  1. A survivor-centred approach
  2. Apology
  3. Access to personal information
  4. Archiving and databases
  5. Education and research
  6. Memorialisation
  7. Restorative recognition
  8. Dignified burial

Seeking Help

Confide in family or friends

Speaking with a close friend or family member who you can trust can be a good step to take in the recovery process. This person can often help and encourage you to seek the required help, especially if the survivor feels they are not ready to disclose their traumatic event to a stranger.

Speak to your GP

If you are struggling with your mental health after this traumatic time in your life, speaking with your GP can often help. Also, your GP will be in a position to refer you to other suitable help provided by the HSE.

Speak to a Therapist

It is imperative that the survivor seeks help with a qualified professional, such as a counsellor or a therapist, and it is more often than not very beneficial for the survivor to speak to one of these professionals about their traumatic experience in a Mother and Baby Home.

Here are some common forms of therapy that a psychiatrist may suggest to help to manage a victim’s illness:

  • Counselling: A counsellor offers professional assistance and guidance and helps to find ways for the victim to manage their issues.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: The therapist will try to manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
  • Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: This involves the therapist trying to target the specific issue or emotion that the victim is struggling to overcome and the destructive effects of early trauma.

At Tracey Solicitors, we are aware and understand the difficulties you may have in discussing the suffering you received in the care of a Mother and Baby Home, but it is important that those who have suffered in this manner seek support where needed.

Support Contact Details

All former Mother and Baby Home residents will be able to receive counselling support through the National Counselling Service in the HSE.

These services will include telephone and face-to-face counselling through an established nationwide network of counselling locations. Additional support resources will be made accessible to the National Counselling Service to underpin this commitment.

A Patient Advocacy Liaison Support service will also be made available to all former residents. This service will provide survivors with an appropriate point of contact within the HSE.

Details of the National Counselling Service and contact details for each HSE region and area are listed below.

HSE Region, Area covered  & Telephone number

  • CHO Area 1 – Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim – 1800 234 119
  • CHO Area 2 – Galway, Mayo and Roscommon – 1800 234 114
  • CHO Area 3 – Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary – 1800 234 115
  • CH Cork, Kerry – Cork and Kerry – 1800 234 116
  • CHO Area 5 – Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and South Tipperary – 1800 234 118
  • CH East – South Dublin, South East Dublin and East Wicklow – 1800 234 111
  • CH Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow – South West Dublin, Kildare and West Wicklow –  1800 234 112
  • CHO Area 8 – Midlands: Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath – 1800 234 113
  • CHO Area 1/8 – Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan – 1800 234 117
  • CHO Area 9 – Dublin North and Dublin North City – 1800 234 110

Outside of office hours, Mother and Baby Home survivors can contact Connect Counselling on 1800 477 477. This service is available between 6pm and 10pm Monday to Sunday.

Additional mental health support organisations provided/funded by the HSE are also accessible to former residents. Further information on these support organisations can be found here.

For survivors living in the UK, here are some support organisations that can be contacted to help:

ICAP (Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy)

The London Irish Centre

Irish Community Services

Leeds Irish Health and Homes

  • Phone: 0113 262 5614
  • Website: lihh.org

For survivors now based in the United States, the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centres can offer support to individuals. Contact details for local centres can be found here.