Nine thousand children died in Ireland's brutal homes for unmarried mothers and babies run by the Catholic Church in the 20th century, a damning report has revealed (pictured: survivor Carmel Larkin at a memorial in Co. Galway today, main; radio host Niall Boylan, bottom right; a mother and daughter pay their respects today, top right; babies at a home in Dublin inset top; and children at the Tuam home in 1924, inset bottom). In total, 15 percent of the 57,000 children at the 18 institutions investigated by the Mother and Baby Home Commission died between 1922 and 1998. The report published today said the homes 'provided refuge' for the mothers when they had nowhere else to turn and found that blame 'rests mainly with the fathers of their children and their own immediate families.' But the women faced appalling emotional torment at the hands of the nuns - forced to work scrubbing floors while being called 'fallen,' 'sinner', 'dirt' and 'spawn of Satan.' The Commission said that the high deaths rates among infants were 'probably the most disquieting feature of these institutions.'
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