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Despite state attempts to wash its hands, the stains remain – Ó Laoghaire

9 March, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Speaking this morning in the Dáil during statements on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, Sinn Féin TD and Children and Youth Affairs spokesperson  Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire called on the state acknowledge its role and responsibility in relation to scandalous institutional abuse.

The Cork South-Central said:

“As I have stated before, many concerns exist as regards the all Mother and Baby Homes. What happened to the children in those Homes?

“In death, as in life, these people were left to be forgotten; they were hidden away from sight of the Irish people, cloaked in shame and disdain.

“This is an indictment of Ireland, and we must face up to this shameful period in our history.

“On Sunday two weeks, we have another day that celebrates women, that is Mother’s Day. Children show thanks for the tender loving care they have received over their lifetime. The bond between a mother and her children is like no other, and one that should always be cherished. 

“Unfortunately, we have learned all too tragically, that for some, that bond ripped was ripped apart at the seams.

“The state is still not facing up to its own role and its responsibility in these events.

“Despite the attempts by the state to wash its hands, the stains remain.

“Huge questions remain, including as regards the other homes, and their records raise further questions

“The register of deaths given to the HSE for Bessborough, in my own constituency in Cork, reflects that 273 deaths were recorded between 1939 and 1944.

“However, the Order reported 353 deaths to State inspectors in this period, which is a significant disparity, and raises some quite worrying questions; did deaths happen which were unreported to the authorities, or were false records created?

“Worryingly, shockingly, at Bessborough, the primary cause of death in some 20% of cases was marasmus, or severe malnutrition. This raises enormous questions around the welfare and quality of life of these children.

Yesterday evening, Deputy Ó Laoghaire wrote to the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs requesting that she publish the 2nd interim report on the Commission of Investigation on Mother & Baby Homes as a matter of urgency.

This morning she announced that she would publish this report by the end of the month; which, despite being long overdue, is welcome. 

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