Questions for Minister over Mother and Baby Home testimonies u-turn – Kathleen Funchion TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has said Minister Roderic O’Gorman must answer questions on why he reneged on his earlier commitment to establish an International Expert Group to review testimonies provided by survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.
Minister O'Gorman will today appear before the Oireachtas Children's committee.
Teachta Funchion said:
“As my parties spokesperson and Cathaoirleach of the Committee, I have been steadfast in my commitment to all survivors, and that their stories would be heard.
“The Ministers decision to do a complete u-turn was a devastating blow to many who felt completely let down by the final Mother and Baby Homes Report. It is crucial the Minister comes before the committee to give a full and unequivocal account of his decision.
“Survivors accused the authors of the Commission of Investigation Report of either misrepresenting and or amalgamating their evidence. The Minister, at the time, seemed concerned with such reports and I believe in good faith confirmed he would establish an International Expert Group to review testimonies.
“Which makes his decision to abandon any further expert investigation as perplexing – nothing has changed.
“The Minister has recently stated he is addressing 'key asks' from survivors through enacted legislation, the establishment and further progression of the new national records and memorial centre [NRMC].
"I too am fully committed to the new NRMC. It will be a very significant national and international site of historic importance for the country.
“However, it cannot be forgotten that many mothers have passed away in the intervening years, and my fear is that incorrect and completely distorted accounts now remain on the record in the seriously flawed Mother and Baby Homes Report.
“I look forward to hearing more of the detail around how the Minister will support survivors to tell their stories, so they can be formally recorded and that these records become part of the official record."