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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

Judge Yvonne Murphy appointed chair of mother-and-baby home inquiry

Minister James Reilly also published a report examining what the government knew about the homes.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

JUDGE YVONNE MURPHY has been named the chairperson of the mother-and-baby home inquiry.

Murphy was previously in charge of the government investigation into the clerical sex abuse scandal which was released in 2009. She was also appointed to assist in finding closure for victims of symphysiotomy.

The new Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, James Reilly described Murphy as a “widely respected person” with a “very strong track record in effectively establishing the truth in relation to important and sensitive matters”.

She is ideally suited to this challenging role. The Government may give consideration to the appointment of further members to the Commission but I believe Judge Murphy’s agreement
to undertake the role of Chair of the Commission is a very positive development in the process to establish an effective and independent investigation.

The minister also published an inter-departmental report examining what the government knows about these institutions.

Reilly said the government is committed to the early establishment of an effective Commission of Investigation into matters related to the mother and baby home controversy.

On the return of the Dáil after the Summer recess I intend tabling a draft order to establish the Commission under the Commission of Investigation Act, 2004 together with a statement providing an estimate of the costs to be incurred by the Commission in conducting the investigation and a time frame for its work.This is a complex task and it is very important it is completed to the highest standard.


Reilly noted the government’s intention to review and reform arrangements for people wishing to access adoption information, adding that he recognises this is a “pressing concern for many individuals”.

The report published today gives details of numbers of births and deaths in various institutions across the country. It also provides information about vaccine trials involving children from these homes.

Read more of our coverage of the mother-and-baby homes>

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