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Massive legacy issues in Mother and Baby Homes Investigation - McLellan

21 January, 2015

Sandra McLellan, Sinn Féin TD for Cork East, has outlined the limitations of the Commission of Investigations into Mother and Baby homes in addressing legacy issues such as trial vaccinations on children within care.

Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy McLellan said:

“It’s welcome that Bessboro House of Blackrock Cork is included in the list of Institutions in the Investigations. I would urge the inclusion of Braemar House and the Nursery Rescue society, Fermoy. However we would look for all victims from other related institutions to also be included.

“Sinn Féin also would argue that the time span as outlined is too limited. It covers the period between 1922 and 1998. This presumes that, with the closure of Mother and Baby Homes, all related concerns disappeared. This cannot be farther from the truth.

 “Massive legacy issues remain – issues such as the inaccurate recording of children and mothers’ deaths, causes of deaths and unidentified burial grounds. Another significant and alarming legacy issue is the matter of trial vaccinations on vulnerable children within care.

“In my own constituency of East Cork I have met with several individuals who have been subjected to vaccine trials while in Mother and Baby Homes. The main concern for these individuals is the lack of information around the drugs prescribed. In some cases there have been residual effects. Understandably this causes huge ongoing distress.

At least ten Mother and Baby homes were involved and it is believed the trials took place between 1960 to 1976. Fresh reports suggest that at least 3,000 children in 24 residential institutions and as many as 40,000 children among the general child population were administered experimental vaccines.

 “We need to find out exactly what happened, who sanctioned these decisions, and why these children were held in such low regard by those who should have protected them. The State must ensure that the orders and other institutions are held fully accountable and make a full proportionate contribution towards remedy and reparation.”

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