Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Arts, Heritage. Sports and Tourism, Sandra McLellan TD, has today called for, “a full public inquiry into the practices at all Mother and Baby Homes across the State.”
Speaking at Leaders Questions, McLellan said:
“News that the remains of some 800 babies have been found on convent grounds in Tuam has shocked the people of Ireland.
“Only for the efforts of a local historian Catherine Corless, these children would forever remain nameless, in the ground, forgotten in death as they were in life.
“This scandal of neglect and maltreatment, causing the deaths of children has understandably made headlines across the world.
“Unfortunately and tragically, Tuam is not an isolated case.
“Dozens of these homes were in operation in Ireland from the late 1800s well into the 20th century. We simply don’t know how many of these mass graves might exist.
“Church and State cannot be allowed to abdicate responsibility. The Government must face up to this shameful period of our recent history and shine a light on the dark secrets of Mother and Baby homes.
“Citizens need to know who died and why, and the location of their remains.
“The Government must ensure a full audit of the 25,000 files currently in the possession of the HSE so that we can know how many concern illegal adoptions, who was responsible, who knew about it, and what they did or did not do?
“What is needed now is a full public inquiry into the practices at all Mother and Baby Homes across the State, to shed light on what led to the shocking infant mortality rates, the burial of untold hundreds of babies in mass graves, and the routine illegal adoption and trafficking of an unknown number of the surviving children.
“The Government must initiate a full public inquiry into the practices at Mother and Baby Homes across this State.”