Rights campaigner quits ‘cynical’ mother and baby homes forum

Paul Redmond

Adoption rights campaigner Paul Redmond has resigned from the Mother and Baby Homes Collaborative Forum, calling it “a cynical, time-wasting farce”.

The forum was established in July to facilitate dialogue and action on issues of concern to former residents of mother and baby homes. The forum has 20 members and is divided into three sub-committees examining specific issues.

Mr Redmond, who was born in 1964 in Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home in Co Westmeath, is chairman of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors (CMABS).

In resigning, he said the forum was of no benefit to survivors.

He also said he had “engaged an eminent lawyer to bring a formal complaint to the United Nations Committee Against Torture about the complete lack of action on survivor issues as well as this disgusting forum designed to sidetrack and divide the survivor community”.

The campaigner, who earlier this year published a book on Ireland’s mother-and-baby-home system, The Adoption Machine, said that since Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone came to office in 2016, there had been “no real progress whatsoever on the primary demands of the adoption and survivor communities”.

He listed those as the full inclusion of all survivors of forced adoption and illegal adoption into the current Mother and Baby Homes Commission.

Mr Redmond also hit out at delays in implementing the Adoption [Information and Tracing] Bill.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs described Mr Redmond’s resignation as a “disappointing development”.

The spokesperson said Ms Zappone wished to thank him for his “contribution to the process”.

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