Some 9,000 children died in Ireland’s church-run homes for unwed mothers, a government report published on Tuesday found. This is equivalent to 15 percent of all children who were born or lived in the 18 institutions investigated over nearly 80 years. The nearly 3,000-page report describes the emotional and even physical abuse some of the 56,000 unmarried mothers — from farmhands to domestic servants — were subjected to in the so-called mother-and-baby homes.
Ireland will return to the highest level of coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Wednesday – with the prime minister suggesting the country will be able to celebrate Christmas “in a meaningful way” if the new lockdown is taken seriously. Micheal Martin warned that the evidence of a potentially grave situation in the weeks ahead is now “too strong” to ignore.
The Irish government apologized on Wednesday following an inquiry into the falsifying of birth certificates to show that adoptive parents were birth parents, a scandal that affected at least 126 children now in their 50s and above. Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar called the disclosure ‘another chapter from the very dark history of our country.’
Sinn Féin will try to form a government in Ireland after apparently winning more votes than any other party in Saturday’s general election – a historic result that upended the political system. Sinn Féin, once a pariah for its IRA links, won almost a quarter of first-preference votes, possibly pipping Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, two centrist rivals that have taken turns ruling Ireland for a century.
Ireland voted decisively to end their abortion ban on Saturday, highlighting the liberal shift in the country. The ‘yes’ vote repealed the 1983 Eighth Amendment of the Constitution which gave equal rights to a fetus and woman and banned abortion under most circumstances. The referendum vote on Friday saw a record 65% turnout.
Irish voters from around the world are returning home to cast their ballot on whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment which effectively outlaws abortion by giving the mother and unborn child equal rights. Friday’s decision could be a major milestone in Ireland’s history of abortion with a global impact on the abortion debate.
A ghost ship last seen floating off the African coast six months ago has washed up in Ireland. The 77-metre MV Alta cargo ship was spotted snagged on rocks near Ballycotton, in County Cork, by a member of the public on Sunday. The vessel, flying a Tanzanian flag, had been drifting unmanned across the Atlantic for more than a year after it was abandoned hundreds of miles from Bermuda.
An appeal over the legality of Northern Ireland’s abortion law brought by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) was rejected by the Supreme Court. Despite the rejection, most judges agreed the law is incompatible with human rights law, suggesting the need for reform. Analysts suggest the defeat occurred due to a technical legal point.