Independent county councillor Mary Linehan-Foley hasproposed that Bessborough, formerly a mother and baby home in Cork, be bought by the Government rather than allow it fall into the hands of private developers.
Ms Linehan-Foley, who was born in a mother and baby home, got the full support of members of Cork County Council when she asked the local authority to encourage Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to buy Bessborough and use it for something that would benefit the vulnerable in society.
There is an appealing symmetry about the proposal; it rings true on so many levels. However, it might also be an idea to write to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy and ask him to intervene and consider how the opportunity might be used to help resolve the housing crisis.
That would give Mr Murphy a chance to disprove Fr Peter McVerry’s accusations of ideological limitations and put in place the kind of social supports that made mother and baby homes redundant.
A great idea, a great opportunity, and one that could so easily become a win-win solution.