‘Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes must have their voices heard’ – Kilkenny TD
Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion has called on the Oireachtas committee she chairs to ensure survivors of Mother and Baby Homes “have an opportunity to have their voices heard”.
Deputy Funchion, who is Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on children and Chair of the Oireachtas Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Committee, spoke out amid the deepening fallout since the Mother and Baby Homes Bill was passed in the Dáil last week.
The Kilkenny TD said: “Survivors have spoken of their deep distress at the events of the last week. They deserve to be listened to with respect. I will speak with and consult the Committee to get their views on how we can facilitate this and how we can best engage with survivors.”
Deputy Funchion added: “As Chair of the Oireachtas Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Committee, I want survivors to be able to come to the Committee and give their views on what has happened.
“As part of that, the Minister needs to come before the Committee and explain on what legal basis he has proceeded with this bill, as well what advice the Data Protection Commissioner gave him and when.
“The Minister should also come before the Dáil as a matter of priority to explain the advice he was given by the Data Protection Commissioner and why this was not followed.”
Critics of the legislation claim the new law effectively “seals” the records of Mother and Baby Homes for 30 years.
However, the Government insists any individual who wants to access their own private records can do so.