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Ó Laoghaire calls on Dáil to support motion on Truth Commission

21 March, 2017 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD


Sinn Féin TD and Children’s Affairs spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, speaking at Leinster House today, has called on the Dáil to support his motion, which proposes the establishment of a Truth Commission in to the treatment of women and Children at Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries, and all other related institutions.

The Cork South-Central said:

“The recent finding of Human Remains at Tuam has caused a great deal of anger and sadness, throughout the island of Ireland, and here in Leinster House.

“It has been followed by reports from other Mother and Baby Homes which cause great distress; inconsistency of records at Seán Ross, the malnutrition of Children at Bessborough, and the fear that there may be more children buried at unmarked graves at homes throughout Ireland.

“From the outset of the Commission of Investigation, it was our view that the Terms of Reference and the process were utterly inadequate. This has become increasingly clear in recent times. The exclusion of survivors that were not in the listed institutions and the behind closed doors approach, as well as the lack of access to documentation for survivors. It is simply not good enough, and many survivors are dismayed and frustrated.

“The Commission of Investigation Model is not fit for purpose and Sinn Féin believes that a new model is required.

“There has been a failure to recognise that, though the experiences in Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries, Industrial Schools, and other institutions are varied and different, that these issues are intrinsically linked.

“This was a regime, underpinned by an appalling attitude towards women, particularly unmarried women and their children, which manifested itself across the institutions of the state.

“It is for that reason we are proposing a Truth Commission. This would draw on the best principles of International Practice, from South Africa, Chile, Australia, and Canada and apply them here.

“This model would ensure that the voices of all survivors are heard, as too many have been excluded, and heard in a way that gives them dignity, allowing them to trust in the process. This is about transitional and transformative justice.

“We are also calling in the motion for the Government to ensure that all Mother and Baby Homes & County Home sites are subject to an injunction preventing structural changes or interference to land where excavations or investigations may be necessary.

“This should be an absolute minimum commitment, and we hope the Dáil will support this motion, because the current Commission of Investigation is simply inadequate.” 

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