July 4, 2022

‘Mother and Baby Home survivors must be told full truth’ – Kilkenny TD

Survivors must given an advanced copy of the Mother and Baby Homes report, a Kilkenny TD has said.

Deputy Kathleen Function said she welcomed the news that the report will now be published in the second week of January. But she has urged the Government “to engage with survivors to ensure their concerns are at the centre of the process”.

The Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman made the announcement in response to a question from Deputy Funchion in the Dáil.

The Kilkenny TD said afterwards:  “I welcome that the Minister has now announced the publication of this important report.

“This will be significant day and I want to pay tribute to all the survivors and families who have been advocating for the truth to be heard. I want to commend their bravery in coming forward to share often deeply personal and distressing experiences.

“The Commission began its work over five years ago and I am mindful that during this period many of the survivors including mothers and children of the homes have since died.”

The Kilkenny TD said she supports calls from survivors for them to be given a hard copy of the report before it released in the public domain.

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) added: “I am concerned that it is the intention of the minister and Taoiseach to make public the report immediately after they deliver an online presentation to the survivors that merely outlines some of the key findings from the report.

“Surely survivors and families having waited over five years for the Commission’s final report and having lived with a lifetime of injustice should be entitled to more time to consider the report in full?

“I am also alarmed by the minister’s disclosure that the report is now 3,000 pages having told the Oireachtas Committee on the 3rd of November that the final report ran to 4,000 pages. The Minister needs to urgently clarify this matter.”

The Sinn Féin spokesperson for children also called on the Government to ensure that “dedicated, tailored services providing emotional wellbeing supports are put in place immediately to meet the survivors’ needs”.

She added: “Many survivors are suffering significant financial hardship and this is causing difficulties accessing housing. Victims and survivors need access to dedicated case workers, welfare support, talking therapies, complementary therapies and other services.”

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