In a statement following the Report’s publication this afternoon, Right Rev Dr David Bruce, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said, “The times and circumstances covered by the report make for deeply uncomfortable reading. The terrible cost to every mother and child who suffered in such institutions is upsetting for all of us in society.
“Those children who survived, who have now been given an opportunity to share their stories, along with their mothers who they may never have known, are an ongoing and courageous witness to an era in which the state, society and the churches failed to show compassion to some of the most vulnerable in their care. The Report sheds much needed light on a dark era in Northern Ireland’s history and speaks more of the inhumanity shown to mothers and their babies and their wider families at that time, than the Christian care and compassion they deserved. In any forthcoming inquiry, or process, we will certainly co-operate as far as we are able.”
Dr Bruce concluded by saying, “When the report’s authors approached us asking if we would participate in the research, we encouraged our members who had been residents of any Mother and Baby Home to come forward and share their story. With regards to our own history, we will need to reflect on the findings of this report, and our own association with, for example, what became the Edgar Home in Belfast, which closed some 93 years ago.
“We deeply regret and unreservedly apologise for the damaging effects of institutional care, in which the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, or its members, played a part. We pray that those who still live with the memories of those days will know and experience the peace of God which may only be found in Christ’s love.”