More than one in 10 children admitted to Ireland’s mother and baby homes died, a report said.
The major causes of death were respiratory infections and gastroenteritis, an independent commission which investigated the “appalling” toll said.
It added: “The absence of professional staff, combined with what must be acknowledged as a general indifference to the fate of the children who were born in mother and baby homes, contributed to the appalling levels of infant mortality.”
The institutions were established for unmarried women and their mothers at a time when society looked down on them.
The proportion of women admitted to such homes in Ireland was probably the highest in the world in the 20th century.