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Government ‘failing Tuam Home survivors’

Thursday, 18th May, 2017 2:06pm

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to challenge her Cabinet colleagues to do much more to bring clarity to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home scandal, and allow access to records and documents which would help survivors to come to terms with what happened to themselves and their family members.

Speaking during a Seanad debate in relation to the Interim Report of the Commission on Mother and Baby Homes, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said, “The relatives and campaigners don’t want sympathy and feign praise, they want information and access to records and the truth. Many of them believe that the state and establishment are closing ranks to ensure that doesn’t happen and are becoming increasingly frustrated and angry.

“When we debated this issue with the Minister in March I asked questions on a number of specific issues which have not been answered. I challenged her to clarify if she had questioned Galway County Council in relation to allowing relatives and researchers such as Catherine Corless access to public records.

“If documents have been passed on to Túsla, which falls under her remit as Minister, will she direct them to allow these people access to the records?”

Senator Ó Clochartaigh also asked the Minister if she had challenged her Cabinet colleagues as to what is on record in their Departments in relation to the Mother and Baby Homes, be that in relation to monies changing hands, sanction for actions taken, the issuing of passports for the trafficking of minors and birth, death and baptismal certificates.

“It is simply unbelievable that there is nothing on file in the Government departments in relation to all of this,” he said.

The Galway Senator also asked if the Minister had asked Galway County Council if they were aware of any other burial sites that warrant investigation such as the graveyard at County Buildings, St. Anne’s in Taylors Hill and Letterfrack Industrial School.

“I believe that members of certain political dynasties and parties locally and nationally know well what went on and were complicit in the appalling injustices that happened in Tuam and other Mother and Baby Homes. They cannot be allowed to put political expediency ahead of the need for truth.”

“The local authorities, Gardaí, medical professionals, as well as the clergy and other ‘pillars of society’ need to answer for their actions in this regard also and it is simply not acceptable that the Government and  various departments would continue to frustrate efforts to bring the truth into the public realm as is the case at present,” said Senator Ó Clochartaigh.

 

 

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