A failure by the Government to deliver answers on how a major report on mother-and-baby homes was leaked to the media before it was due to be published has been criticised.

The investigation in to the leaking of the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was promised by the Taoiseach and other government ministers last year.

However, it has failed - as of yet - to yield answers.

The commission’s final report - which showed 9,000 children died in mother and baby homes between 1922 and 1998 - was leaked prior to its official publication.

Families and survivors - many of whom gave testimony to the commission - learned about the report’s content in the media after it appeared in the Sunday Independent on 10 January 2021.

Today, one year after the incident - families of former residents of mother-and-baby homes slammed the Government’s failure to complete its investigation in to the leak.

The families told Morning Ireland the failure to complete the investigation added to a "litany of broken promises" and added to their "constant state of let-down".

Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway

Anna Corrigan, PRO for the Tuam Babies Family Group - whose two brothers are reported to have died at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway, called for the leak investigation to be completed.

"We are constantly waiting for answers. Again, this report and its leaking … there was a promise of an inquiry and now here we are a year on and nothing - we have heard nothing, absolutely nothing," she said.

"We need to get the answers that were promised. We feel let down, but we are in a constant state of let-down. We do insist that this is done. It was promised. It happened and we haven't had answers"

Ms Corrigan added the leak of the commission’s report last year was upsetting, because families and survivors expected to be the first to see the report.

"It was absolutely distressing because people were in expectation that they would be the first to know … they had gone in … given testimonies, aided the commission, and then to be undermined and it to be leaked to the paper," she said.

Annette McKay - the daughter of Maggie O’Connor, whose baby girl was born and later died in Tuam Mother and Baby home - said the failure to have a completed investigation in to the leak "adds to the litany of broken promises".

"There’s been a leak. There’s been no end to the investigation. It’s just another broken promise in a long litany of broken promises," said Ms McKay.

A Government spokesperson said of the investigation that there is "no specific deadline, but is progressing".

"An investigation into the disclosure of information relating to the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes in the context of a broader examination of the management of confidential documents for Government meetings is being carried out by a senior official in the Department of the Taoiseach and is ongoing".

Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibin expressed concern the leak investigation could lack focus because it is part of a wider investigation by Government.

"Government gave a very strong commitment that there would be an investigation in to what happened. That investigation has not been completed as of yet. A year has passed and yet we have no information with regards the results of that investigation," said Mr Tóibin.

"I would also be cautious as well that given that the lens may be dissipated with regards the Government’s focus on this. They may be looking at the general question leaking from Government and the management of these documents," he added.

"I would urge the Government to put an end to this wait, make sure that we have consequence for the action that has happened , that there is accountability and that this does not happen again," he said.

In a statement, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman, said: "Over the last year I have worked hard to rebuild trust between the State and survivors of Mother and Baby Home Institutions. I have ensured that, in all important initiatives concerning them, they have received a communication in the first instance directly.

"I have met with hundreds of survivors to listen carefully to their concerns and about what kind of actions they want to see from Government. I am focused on delivering Birth Information and Tracing legislation, on delivering legislation to allow for sensitive intervention at the children’s burial site in Tuam, and to enact and open a large redress scheme this year.

"The matter of examining the inappropriate sharing of details of the Commission Report is being led from the Department of the Taoiseach by the Secretary General to the Government, as part of a wider examination of the inappropriate sharing of information.

"I have spoken with the Secretary General a number of times in the past year on the matter, and he has indicated that the process remains ongoing".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

In response to a question from Mr Tóibin, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Dáil in September: "Following the disclosure in a newspaper report earlier this year of certain information relating to the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes in advance of consideration of the report by the Government, I requested that an investigation be carried out.

"A senior official in my Department is carrying out the investigation in the context of a broader examination of the overall arrangements for the management of documents for Government meetings and their confidentiality.

"That process is ongoing."

At the time of the leak last year, RTÉ News reported that Cabinet agreed the Government’s Secretary General would be asked to examine how the leak happened.

He was also tasked with examining the broader issue of the leaking of documentation and other information that related to the work of Cabinet sub-committees and the Cabinet.