‘I came from a mother and baby home’

Eunan Duffy was 47 years old when he found out he was adopted.

After months of extensive research he discovered that his birth mother had been a resident of Marianvale mother and baby home in Newry, County Down.

It was one of a network of institutions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which offered women the voluntary option, for those who were unmarried, to give birth in private and give their babies up for adoption.

Calls have grown in recent years for an inquiry to be held into the homes which operated in Northern Ireland.

Stormont-commissioned research into the institutions has not been published.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “Subject to the necessary approvals, it is intended to publish the report before the end of this calendar year.”

Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International has called for “a human rights-compliant investigation capable of providing justice for victims”.

Marianvale was run by Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. The religious order says it is working with the research team and awaits publication of the report.

In a statement it said: “We utterly reject any suggestion of illegality in regard to any aspect of the much-needed service we provided… All adoptions were conducted strictly in accordance with the legislation, which then applied.”

Video journalist: Niall McCracken

BBC News