The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes could find little information referring to a mother-and-baby home that operated at Mountjoy Square and Merrion in Dublin in the 1920s and 1930s, because its records are part of a larger file that has not yet been fully processed.

St Patrick's opened in 1920 and was later called St Gerard's, initially at Mountjoy Square and then at Herbert Lane in Dublin 4, before it closed in 1939.

Having been established by a Ms Cruice, the institution was taken over by the Sisters of Charity in 1943 but not used again as a mother-and-baby home. It was used for some time in the 1940s as an adjunct to the Vergemount Fever Hospital.

Ms Cruice had already set up the St Patrick's Guild (SPG) in the 1910s and the files relating to St Gerard's are part of a larger SPG file.

"These were handed over to the Child and Family Agency (Tusla) in 2017 but are not yet fully processed," the commission says in its report.

"To date it has not been possible to extract the St Gerard's files from the overall SPG files. As a result, the Commission has not had access to the St Gerard's files."

There is "very little information" available on St Gerard's, according to the report.

The mother-and-baby home founded in 39 Mountjoy Square, St Gerard's, by St Patrick's Guild was for the care of "unmarried expectant mothers and nursing mothers and their babies" and was also used as a training facility for nurses.

A total of 45 babies were born there between 1933 and 1938, with no babies recorded as having been born there between 1920 and 1932.

"On the basis of its capacity and the recorded births in the 1930s, it seems likely that it catered for no more than 200 women and their children," the commission said.

According to an inspection report carried out in 1937, there was accommodation for 19 patients in five wards, with two baths and four WCs. 

The inspector found that the home was adequately staffed, at the time, and the babies born in the home were kept there until being (informally) adopted. 

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid put St Patrick's Guild and all its component parts, including St Gerard's, in the charge of the Irish Sisters of Charity in 1941, but not before a full examination of the organisation's finances was carried out by the Hospitals Commission, supported by Archbishop McQuaid. 

The commission reports: "It is clear that the Archbishop did not have great faith in Miss Cruice: 'I have obtained nothing from Miss Cruice except flamboyant declarations of goodwill'."