Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts Heritage Tourism & Sport, Sandra McLellan, has said, “the urgency of getting this process right cannot be overstated when establishing the Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes.”
Speaking this evening during the Dáil debate on the establishment of the commission, McLellan said:
“We must be sensitive, respectful and ensure international best practise guides the investigation. The final Report’s findings must be published.
“Special attention should be paid to the State’s regulation and inspection regimes and its statutory responsibilities towards citizens. Furthermore, any financial benefit flowing from associated institutional practices and their beneficiaries should be identified.
“This Commission of Investigation must command the full confidence of the survivors of these institutions as well as the affected families. Only then can it command full public confidence as well.
“The commission must be survivor centred. Full inclusion of survivors and their next of kin and their representative and advocacy groups must be central to the inquiry at all stages of this process. We note and welcome that the Minister has made a positive start in this regard.
“All who went through these institutions deserve a fitting public tribute. There must also be provision for official mourning and commemoration of those who died in these institutions.
“There should be an official memorial and a framework for effective redress and survivors, their next of kin and advocates, should be directly involved in this process at all stages.
“The state should apologies. Given the age profile of the survivors, timeliness of a full public State apology is of the utmost importance. This need not wait for the outcome of the Commission’s Final Report. We would urge you to take the opportunity to issue that apology today.”