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Ireland cannot treat abuse of women and children as ‘merely a part of history’ – Funchion

22 March, 2017 - by Kathleen Funchion TD


Sinn Féin TD for Carlow-Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion has said that it is completely disingenuous to pretend the idea of children being failed by the state is unknown and that we must, as a society, face our past and vow that the discriminatory type of treatment towards women and children we have witnessed end once and for all.

Deputy Funchion said:

“Recently, the UN Committee published a report on Ireland’s record on women’s human rights. The Irish State was examined under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women resulting in a wide range of recommendations designed to redress significant shortcomings in the protection of women’s human rights in Ireland.  

“The report noted ‘the unresolved issue of historical abuses of women and girls’, and the ‘narrow’ terms of reference of the mother and baby homes inquiry and called for ‘prompt, independent and thorough investigations, in line with international human rights standards, into all allegations of abuse in Magdalene laundries, children’s institutions, Mother and Baby homes, and symphysiotomy’. These recommendations substantiate the calls of survivors and of Catherine Corless.

“We cannot place the notion of this kind of abuse and neglect towards children and women in the past, as simply part of history as if it’s foreign to us. It is completely disingenuous to pretend the idea of children being failed by the state is unknown.

“There must be an end to the compartmentalisation, secrecy, and disrespect surrounding the State’s handling of Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland and an acknowledgement that Tuam was only one of approximately 180 similar institutions.

“We must, as a society, face our past and vow that this discriminatory type of treatment towards women and children end once and for all.” 

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