The government is “retraumatising” survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes by threatening to withhold access to their records.
That’s according to local TD Kathleen Funchion, who’s debating the issue today in the Dáil.
If the Mother and Baby Homes Bill is passed, it would see official state records on the scandal sealed for the next 30 years.
Deputy Funchion, Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson for Children, says “I was specifically asked to read a certain amount of testimonies into the Dail record so that they were on record somewhere, that somebody heard their story, and that’s so important for people when you’re trying to overcome any sort of trauma, that you have the opportunity to tell your story and be heard and have your voice heard, and it’s just nearly retraumatising people all over again, just to silence them like this”.
The Carlow Kilkenny Deputy says she’s holding out hope that Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman will side with her and not pass the legislation noting “The amendments and the actual votes take place on it so about 11 o’clock tonight we should know exactly what the outcome of it is so there’s always hope and, you know, the vast majority of the opposition parties are all, ourselves in Sinn Fein, Social Democrats, Labour, People Before Profit, Independents, everybody’s saying the same thing so we can’t all be wrong here, I really hope that they, he will listen to that & take it on board”.
Deputy Funchion adds “He actually could be the minister to finally deal with this issue properly, correctly and actually give justice to survivors and I think if that was all he achieved in his ministery that would be even amazing in itself and I really think he should listen to us and we made that pitch very strongly & hopefully it won’t fall on deaf ears”.