Dunboyne was the mother-and-baby home with the highest proportion of women under 18, with minors making up 23.4% of admissions.

Over one in ten admissions to Dunboyne were aged between 12 and 16, under legal age of consent.

The mother-and-baby home located at Dunboyne Castle was opened in 1955 and closed in 1991.

While some of the institutions were in very poor physical condition, the commission notes that conditions in Dunboyne were very good.

Dunboyne was established and equipped by a group of local authorities. Six councils got together to set up the home: Longford, Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, and Westmeath. The local authority in Meath took the lead.

It was leased to the Good Shepherd Sisters, who were responsible for the day-to-day running.

Over the period of 1955-1991, there were 3,156 mothers and 1,148 children resident in Dunboyne.

Most women in Dunboyne gave Dublin as their previous address, followed by Cork, Meath, Wexford, and Louth.

It was initially designed for women on second or subsequent pregnancies, but the vast majority were first-time mothers. By the late 1980s, 58% of the mothers were teenagers, and roughly one quarter were students.

Like other institutions, the length of stay varied over time. In the 1950s women spent 383 days on average. Women in the 1970s were there for 85 days on average.

In later years most women did not return to Dunboyne after giving birth.

At the time, children were generally placed with adoption societies or foster parents directly from the hospital and spent no time in Dunboyne.

The children were almost all born in Holles Street.

From the beginning, Dunboyne had much better facilities than the other mother-and-baby homes. It was never as overcrowded as the others, and had a recreation room and central heating.

An extension in the 1960s added several recreation rooms, a visitors' room, and bathrooms.

It was financed by capitation payments from the local authorities.

A total of 37 children born to mothers from the Dunboyne home died. Two thirds of the deaths were in a maternity hospital, with the others mainly in children's hospitals.

In 1980 the home was a designated centre for Intermediate and Leaving Certificate exams.

Classes were provided by a team of part-time teachers who were paid by the local vocational educational committee.

Dunboyne women were tutored for State examinations.

This enabled them to continue their education at a time when most schools excluded pregnant and new mothers, or at best did not encourage them to attend.

The commission has seen no evidence of abuse in Dunboyne.

Dunboyne is the only mother-and-baby home for which substantial information about referrals is available.

Dunboyne opened after the introduction of legal adoption and the most common referral pathway was an adoption society, which was the case for 37% of the women.

Over two thirds of these referrals were from the Catholic Protection & Rescue Society of Ireland, with St Anne's Adoption Society in Cork accounting for 14%

However, one third of the Dunboyne women were referred by a local authority or health authority, and 13% by a voluntary organisation, which was usually Cura, the Irish Catholic Church's support service for women facing crisis pregnancies.

62 Dunboyne women self-referred.

In the 1980s, 40% of the referrals were by an adoption society, 20% from voluntary organisations, and 25% by public assistance authorities.

Dunboyne opened in 1955, by which time adoption had become more common, and two thirds of the women who returned to Dunboyne following the birth of their child are recorded as being placed for adoption.

There were very few complaints about the conditions in Dunboyne or the physical treatment of mothers there.

There are a number of letters in Dunboyne institutional files from former residents expressing gratitude for the kindness shown to them.

One letter in the 1990s from a woman who was in Dunboyne in the 1970s and who kept her baby stated that she was very grateful for the time spent in Dunboyne and described it as "a refuge and a sanctuary".

However, residents did make complaints about the adoption process.

In general, adoptions were arranged by the adoption societies and not directly by Dunboyne.

But the commission found that the Good Shepherd Sisters did talk to residents about adoption and clearly did encourage them to place babies for adoption.

Many of the mothers clearly felt they had no choice about adoption, but it must be recognised that pressure for adoption was also coming from their families.

A small number of residents made other complaints, all of which were firmly rejected by the Good Shepherd Sisters.

One former resident said that from when she arrived in Dunboyne, the nuns and the health board social worker "persistently" talked about adoption.

She said she was called into the nuns' office once a week to sign adoption papers but she refused.

She said she was given tough jobs to do but the other girls who were compliant with the adoption process were not. It was pointed out that the GSS did not look after the adoption process.

Another former resident said she was given another name while in Dunboyne. She said it was to protect anonymity but she said she thinks it was psychologically damaging.

One woman said the regime was very much that women were "all sinners" and had brought great shame on themselves and most especially on their families.

She said her baby's father visited but could not come into Dunboyne, they had to meet at the shops, and although the doors were not locked, it felt like incarceration.

Another former resident provided an affidavit. She was 15 when she spent six months in Dunboyne in the early 1980s. She said she was pressurised into adoption although Dunboyne institutional records show there is a thank you card from her.

She said there were no formal rules but they were made go to mass and confession on a regular basis. She described packing greeting cards and doing cleaning and washing jobs.

She said they were made watch videos showing abortions which were sickening. She complained that the father of her child, who was considerably older than her, was not prosecuted.

A sister who was in Dunboyne between 1964 and 1971 told the Commission that some women were visited by their parents but some did not want their parents to know they were there. She said "it was very tough on them".