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Inquiry into Mother and Baby homes will ‘bitterly disappoint’ some – Ó Caoláin

9 January, 2015 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D has expressed disappointment with the terms of reference for the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes announced today.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“While welcoming that the number of institutions included in the terms of reference of the inquiry has been expanded, I am mindful of the fact that there will be a number of people who will be bitterly disappointed by their exclusion from the inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes.

“James Reilly is the third Minister we have engaged with on this issue, and while the number of homes to be addressed has increased from nine to 14, significant exclusions such as the Magdalane Laundries and Westbank remain. We presented an extensive submission to the Minister with significant recommendations following continuous consultation with survivors and advocacy groups.

“Many of those who remain outside the scope of the inquiry will find that personal exclusion hurtful. A lifetime of marginalisation is now to continue with little prospect of even an acknowledgement of their pain.

“As the inquiry will span from the foundation of the state to 1998, it is also a matter of serious concern that there will be many survivors who are in senior years and may not live to see either an acknowledgement or redress. This will be cold comfort for many.

“That said, we will use the upcoming Dáil and Seanad address of the Government resolution to try and secure the inclusion of all survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and similar institutions.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of Catherine Corless and of those in the NGO sector who have striven for truth and justice for all whose lives have been blighted by their experiences in these institutions.” 

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