This Commission of Investigation was established by Government in response to significant concerns around the experiences of pregnant women in a specific type of institution, namely mother and baby homes. The comprehensive investigation was framed to provide a clear emphasis on the experiences of women and children who spent time in these institutions. This was a deliberately focused rather than a limited approach.
In previously responding to calls to extend the remit of the Commission into other types of institution, the Government concluded that completing the current programme of work must be the priority. In reaching this decision, the Government was cognisant of the necessity to allow the Commission to complete its extensive analysis of available information before it can be definitively established whether additional matters may warrant investigation.
The Commission is tasked with examining arrangements with other institutions that were part of the entry or exit pathways for mothers into Mother and Baby Homes, and upon their leaving these institutions. These matters are also appropriately incorporated in the social history module of the Commission’s investigations. In addition, the Commission is required to report on any specific matters outside its scope which it considers may warrant further investigation in the public interest as part of the Commission’s work (Article 6). The Government has stated that it will consider any recommendations made by the Commission in this regard.