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Crowe calls for Minister to seek out Morning Star Mother and Child Unit records

28 October, 2005

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Education and Science as well as Community and Social Affairs, Sean Crowe T.D, condemned the uncaring attitude of the state to a victim of abuse, Marie Therese O’ Loughlin who has been protesting outside the Dáil for a week over the issue of the Institutional abuse redress board.

Deputy Crowe said, “The failure of the state to include The Morning Star Mother and Baby Unit as an institution for consideration by the redress board has forced this poor woman to go on hunger strike outside Leinster House.  This woman suffered very bad burning in The Morning Star as an infant under circumstances, which have never been made clear to her.  It is a sad indictment of Irish society that she should feel driven to this action as the only way to have her suffering recognised.

"When I questioned Minister Hanafin on why this institution could not be listed for redress she told me she had consulted with The Department of Health and Children and they had replied that they had no records indicating that a public body had a regulatory or inspection function in relation to this unit.  Well it certainly should have such records.  Children with and without their mothers were sent there by somebody. They were kept there up until the age of three or four at which point they were transferred to institutions such as Goldenbridge at someone else’s direction or request.  It would be an extremely reckless and callous way of treating vulnerable young children if no records were kept at all.

"I would appeal to the Minister to revisit this issue and look again for records pertaining to this particular unit.  It just doesn’t add up that children could be kept under such circumstances with no responsibility on the part of the state."  ENDS

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