Mother and Baby Home (File Photo)
Kilkenny County Council Chairman Andrew McGuinness issued an apology today on behalf of all Kilkenny County Council elected members, both current and past, from all parties and none, to the victims and survivors of Thomastown County Home.
The apology, supported by all Council members in attendance, was made in light of the 'Final Report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes'.
"It is our desire, duty, and obligation, to apologise unreservedly, to the mothers and babies, survivors and deceased and their relatives and families, for the pain and suffering caused by the treatment they received at the Kilkenny County Home while it was under the control of Kilkenny County Council," Chairman McGuinness said.
"There is no way to undo the wrecking of thousands of lives or to erase the damage done to the reputation of our country. No words can explain the actions or inactions from State or Church, and nothing can undo this horrendous disregard for humanity.
"What happened in these Mother and Babies Homes, locally at the County Home in Thomastown, happened under a blanket of deceit while our institutions and trusted leaders turned a blind eye. It has tarnished the heart and soul of our country and has given us all a sense of shame.
"We accept that apologies are only words and cannot undo the past, but it is an acknowledgment of our deep regret that this ever happened in our country and indeed our County. It is a humble acknowledgment of the extreme lack of humanity towards mothers and babies while they were in these homes and the abject failure of our State to protect them.
"Specifically, this apology is an acknowledgment that Kilkenny County Council was part of that failure and we, as elected representatives are deeply ashamed of that fact. Apologies may not offer closure and in that regard, we fully support survivors and their families in their pursuit of transparency and the upholding of their basic human rights that were so brutally violated."
Statements of apology were also made by Councillor Hilda Kavanagh and Councillor Maria Dollard, supported by all Council members present.
Full details will be published in this week's Kilkenny People newspaper.