Sinn Féin has launched its submission on the proposed commission of investigation into the abuse of women and children in Mother and Baby Homes and related institutions.
The document was launched by Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD and Sandra McLellan TD in Dublin today.
Speaking at the launch, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“We commend the efforts of those campaigners who have helped to force the Government to give the commitment to establish the commission of investigation and we express our solidarity with survivors at they continue their journey to uncover the truth.
“We have no doubt that the truth will be exposed and that the survivors will be vindicated.
“We are told that terms of reference of the Commission are yet to be agreed. The composition of the Commission has to be finalised.
“The government’s proposal to establish a Commission is supposed to be brought before the Oireachtas by recess tomorrow. Minister James Reilly must get this process right. It must be inclusive, open, and transparent and command the full confidence of the public.”
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD, said:
“It is critical that the terms of reference for the commission be brought before the Oireachtas for approval. Minister Flanagan had promised that the terms of reference would be published before the recess. It is disappointing that this has not happened.
“The terms must be comprehensive and include Protestant homes, Magdalene laundries, and county homes. This should be done way of open list in order to give the commission scope and flexibility.
“We have proposed eight board thematic areas for investigation and we are arguing that the commission be cross-border and account for international dimensions.
“I t also our strong belief that the proceedings should be held in both private and public hearings based on survivor choice.”
Sandra McLellan TD added:
“It is imperative that survivors are provided with legal advocacy representation and representation and all documentation and evidence, currently at risk of destruction, must be secured with urgency.
“The state must apologies. There should be an official memorial and a framework for effective redress must be included.
“All these matters require urgent clarification from the Government.”