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Cross party group of Senators condemn the rushing of Bill to seal mother and baby homes records

16 October, 2020 - by Senator Lynn Boylan, Fintan Warfield

A cross party group of Senators has condemned the Government rushing through the Oireachtas the Mother and Baby Homes Bill, which would seal the records of survivors for 30 years. 

The Senators include Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin’s Fintan Warfield, Labour’s Ivana Bacik, Independent Lynn Ruane, Independent Alice Mary Higgins and Independent Gerard Craughwell.

Speaking today, Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan said: “We’re calling on Minister Roderic O’Gorman to do the right thing by these women. Every survivor who has given testimony has a right to that information. This is their lived experiences. We must ensure this never happens to women and children again.”

Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield said: “What we’re saying is that Minister Roderic O’Gorman can do the right thing today. He should do the right thing by these women and finally sort this problem out. People should have a right to this essential information- it shouldn’t be stolen and sealed away.”

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said: “The Labour party are opposed to the way that this Bill has been rushed, we’re opposed to the lack of access that it will provide for survivors and their families for these important and vital records.”

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane said: “Today is another important day in Irish history but also the Irish present. Survivors have submitted a huge amount of evidence on the trauma and pain that they’ve endured for many years. To now be faced with the prospect of the records being sealed for 30 years without them being able to access them is extremely disrespectful.”

Independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins said: “I’m very unhappy with the way the Bill is being pushed through all stages in the Seanad this week. It is vital that there is a clear message from the Minister that he will ensure people can access information that is about them, their families; their essential information.”

Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell said: “I am particularly against the way that this Bill is being rammed through the Oireachtas. It’s an affront to democracy but more importantly it shows total disrespect for the victims. We’ll do everything we can to slow this Bill down."

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