Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff speaking ahead of the motion to be debated on Monday in the Assembly on the scandal surrounding the Bon Secours Sisters' Institution in Tuam Co Galway said:
"Almost 800 children died in the Bon Secours Sisters' Institution while in the care of a religious order and were placed in a mass unmarked grave over a period of five decades.
“The system of Mother and Baby Homes that existed across Ireland has been exposed, especially in recent weeks following the discovery of the unmarked grave at the site of the Bon Secours Sisters Institution in Tuam, Co. Galway.
“This contained the remains of almost 800 children who died in the care of a religious order over a period of five decades.
“This was a system that no one could stand over, and it was cruel and unjust.
“The innocents who experienced this regime, more often than not behind closed doors, numbered in their thousands.
“It is shameful that these experiences had to happen at all. It is something that we should now investigate to give both a sense of closure and justice to victims and survivors.
“I would commend those who have campaigned bravely for recognition and dignity to expose what went on over a period decades.
“I welcome the fact that the Irish Government has now agreed to establish a commission of investigation following a Sinn Féin motion in the Dail.
“What occurred at the Bon Secours home was not unique.
“Sinn Féin is calling for all government departments across the island of Ireland and their agencies, as well as religious orders, to proactively co-operate with any investigation that takes place to establish the truth behind this scandal.”ENDS/CRÍOCH
Note to editor:
Motion: Bon Secours Sisters' Institution in Tuam
That this Assembly acknowledges the scandal that occurred at the Bon Secours Sisters' institution in Tuam, Co Galway, where almost 800 children died whilst in the care of a religious order and were placed in a mass unmarked grave over a period of five decades; notes the intention of the Dublin government to take steps to establish the best course of action to investigate the deaths of these children and the appalling manner of their interment; recognises that the abusive practices which occurred at the Bon Secours Sisters' mother and baby care home were not unique and were replicated in similar institutions across the island of Ireland; and calls for all government departments and their agencies, as well as religious orders, to proactively co-operate with any investigation that takes place to establish the truth behind this scandal.
Mr B McElduff
Ms M Fearon
Ms B McGahan