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Minister must authorise full public inquiry into practice of symphysiotomy – Adams

15 March, 2012 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has called on the Minister for Health to authorise a full public inquiry into the practice of symphysiotomy saying that “nothing less will suffice.”

Mr. Adams was speaking during this morning’s Dáil debate on Symphysiotomy in which he described the practice as “institutional abuse involving acts of butchery against women.”

Deputy Adams said:

“Unless the victims are given satisfaction, the campaigning but more importantly the hurt, the anguish, the grief, the bereavement goes on. Given the increasing age of the victims and the chronic pain and constant medical intervention they require as a result of symphysiotomy, it is urgent that the Minister deal with this now.

“Our focus must be to ensure that this deep wrong is finally brought to a conclusion and in a way that is acceptable to the victims.”

The Sinn Féin leader also appealed to the Minister to ask the government to “agree to the lifting of the statute bar to enable victims to seek redress through the courts.” He pointed to other justice campaigns which he said can be resolved in this term of the Dáil.

“These groups include Justice for the Maggies, for other victims of institutionalised abuse, including in Bethany Home, and in our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, and victims of symphysiotomy.

“All these causes are crying out for justice. Victims and survivors of symphysiotomy deserve the support of this Dáil and this government.

“They have been failed by this state. That wrong can be righted. We as Teachtaí Dala, elected by our peers, have a duty to make this happen.”

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