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We must do the right thing – Kenny

22 March, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan, and South Donegal Martin Kenny told of a conversation with a constituent of his who had been incarcerated in Tuam Mother and Baby Home.

Deputy Kenny said:

“It was horrific to sit for 30 minutes and listen to this lady about what her life was like and about her early memories of childhood.  In most cases, people’s childhoods are joyous and happy.  It is about the people one grows up with in a loving family; feeling cared for, sheltered and looked after.  Her childhood was the direct opposite.  It was about fear and the very worst horrors one could imagine.

“It is just so horrific, so terrible, and such a shame on Ireland that we worked through all of this and that we were part of it.  People say that they did not know about it.  The truth is that everybody knew about it but they just did not look because they did not want to know.  Some were afraid and some were fearful.  At the end of all this, we have to come to a place where we can acknowledge that these are our people, the best of our people, and Ireland let them down.  We allowed the church to do all of that. 

“We must create a new society where none of those things can happen.  I think of the refugees today who I met in many of the direct provision centres. Their situation is not that much different in 2017.  We have a long road to go, but let us make the start together.  I know the Minister has her heart in this and that she wants to do the right thing.  She will have the support of everyone here and in the country to do the right thing.” 

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