KCLR listeners are incensed over the passing of a government Bill last night on the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.
Survivors and opposition politicians like Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion say it will seal the information away for 30 years.
But Green Minister Malcolm Noonan and Fianna Fáil’s Jennifer Murnane O’Connor say it was to protect the data and make it available.
Survivor Maggie Corbett told KCLR LIVE about her experience of Bessborough in Cork when she was 19 years old.
She says she feels ignored and abandoned by the government; “I’m afraid I won’t be voting for them anyway” she shared. “I’ll never vote Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael or any of them ever again. The only person I see fighting for us is Kathleen Funchion, here in Kilkenny.”
Deputy Funchion, Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson for Children says the three government parties should be ashamed of themselves for dismissing survivors and rushing this legislation through:
“Shame on them for what they’ve done. They did not listen. I really tried to make an appeal with my speech on Wednesday, to say to people, regardless of your party line, do the right thing by these women and the right thing by these children. They’ve had justice denied for so many years, and it’s just incredible to think that people just strolled into that centre last night, and they voted for something that I actually think they don’t even understand.”
However, Malcolm Noonan is insisting the Bill isn’t covering up the scandal, like the opposition are arguing it does.
He says the Mother and Baby Homes are a shameful part of Catholic Ireland’s history, and claims his fellow Green Party Minister Roderic O’Gorman is actually trying to make sure that the crucial records and information are not lost:
“It is a shameful part of this country’s history, and it’s really tragic what happened, the way the State and Church failed women and children. Just to say as well, I suppose there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding around the intent that Minister O’Gorman brought forward with this Bill. He’s quite clear that it does not seal the archives of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.”