Needs of survivors must be front and centre following publication of Mother and Baby Homes Commission report - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD, on the publication of the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes this afternoon, has said that the responsibility for the litany of abuses set out in the report rests squarely at the feet of the State and successive governments - and that any apology must be matched by real concrete actions to support survivors.
She has said that her thoughts and solidarity are with the women and girls, and the children who experienced the horrors of Mother and Baby Homes and other institutions.
Teachta McDonald said:
"I welcome the publication of the report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes this afternoon. The report is vast, and it will take a considerable amount of time to read in its totality and to absorb all of the detail in it. I think it is sufficient at this stage to say that it records a litany of misery and heartbreak, and systemic human rights abuses.
"We should not forget that this network of Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes and other institutions was overseen in full by the Irish State and successive governments, and the responsibility for abuses rests in the final analysis fairly and squarely at the feet of the State and those governments.
"I think it is therefore appropriate that the Taoiseach will make an apology to the survivors, but what is more important than the timing of any apology is the extent to which that translates into action. That apology must be matched by real concrete actions, including changes to the law, and the value of any apology will be measured by the actions taken thereafter.
"In the time ahead, the voices of survivors, their families and their advocates and the adopted community must be front and centre.
"We need to see real redress and we need to see an end to the situation which exists to this day; whereby the State and State authorities still frustrate people in accessing their own records, up to and including their own birth certificates.
"Our thoughts and our solidarity today are with the women and girls, and the children who experienced the horrors of Mother and Baby Homes, County Homes and other institutions.
"I very much hope that they can find the strength that they will need in the coming days to deal again, very publicly with what was very, very private and very lasting grief and trauma for each and every one of them."
If you have been affected by today's report, you can access dedicated counselling services at this link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/12da8-counselling-supports-for-former-residents-of-mother-and-baby-homes/