LAOH President Karen Keane
By Irish Echo Staff
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians is taking issue with the Irish government’s decision to dissolve the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
“The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians demands justice and accountability for all survivors of the Irish Mother and Baby Homes here in America, in Ireland, and around the world," said LAOH National President Karen Keane in a statement.
"We have written to the Irish Government after the release of the Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters) Records Act 2020, demanding such justice and implore other survivors who may be reading this letter to join in the fight,” Keane said.
“Members of the LAOH are survivors, both as mothers and babies, and have reported that the Irish Government’s Tulsa and the FOI departments, who are supposed to be there to help survivors, have failed these women on all levels. We view being able to review timely and accurate information about birth certificates and health issues as a basic human right,” Keane added.
And she continued: “Further, the assertions made in the reports that there was no evidence of maltreatment of mothers and babies is an insult to all who have gone before us and are still living as survivors.
"There are several ongoing scandals regarding thousands of illegal adoptions, but these matters have been willfully excluded from the current report. The Commission is planning on dissolving on February 28, 2021. This cannot be allowed to happen.
"The Commission has revealed that the transcripts and tapes collected in the course of the investigation have been destroyed. We view this as further evidence that the Commission’s report, while horrifying, is covering up important facts that may help survivors process the post-traumatic effects of their experiences in the mother and babies Homes.
“In addition, the Commission acknowledges the deaths of over 9,000 children, which accounts for about 15 percent of the children who passed through the home. However, our member survivors believe the number of deaths is much higher.”
The LAOH statement pointed to words from Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
"Taoiseach Micheál Martin delivered an apology in the Dail Eireann stating, ‘The final Mother and Baby Homes report describes a dark, shameful chapter of recent Irish history. The survivors showed great bravery in sharing their stories. The Government is now focused on a comprehensive implementation of the recommendations in this report.’
“The LAOH finds these words empty, especially in the fact that the government admits a vast majority of children were sent to America, but we are unable to receive any information, until it is redacted completely,” said Keane.
“The LAOH demands that the Irish Government stop this rush to end the Commission and in contrast work to secure the rights of all survivors here in America, especially in their quest to receive information."
With regard to this issue the LAOH can be contacted at