Katherine Zappone to hear views on Tuam home site

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone is to visit Tuam next Monday to hear from people affected by the mother and baby home scandal.

Former residents of the Co Galway home and their relatives have overwhelmingly voted for a full forensic excavation of the site and DNA analysis of all remains.

Ms Zappone has said she wants the views of people on the future of the site of the Tuam mother and baby home.

“As I prepare to make a recommendation to Government on the future of children’s remains and the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam, I am anxious to have another opportunity to hear first-hand the views of people affected,” she said.

“The consultation by Galway County Council as well as legal and expert advice will help inform my decision.

“However, I do firmly believe that all voices must be given an opportunity to be heard.”

She said while there were “complexities” surrounding the future of the site, it was important the decisions taken were credible and transparent.

A consultation process carried out by the county council on what to do with the location was heavily criticised by survivors and relatives who said it was designed to delay and prevent a decision being made.

They called for an inquest to be opened into the deaths of children at the home.

Earlier this month, Tuam Home Survivors Network chairman Peter Mulryan, whose sister was recorded as having died there, wrote to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to say he regarded the attitude of Ms Zappone to the matter as “an outrage”.

“You need to inform yourself if you have any comprehension of how important this matter is,” he wrote. “No more public hand-wringing or apologies thank you, those are of no value to us. Just be assured, we the survivors of this Irish holocaust are not going away.”

Ms Zappone, who is hosting a meeting at 7pm at the Ard Rí House Hotel, Milltown Road, on Monday, said: “I am inviting all those who believe they have yet to be heard, and those who wish to support previously expressed views, to attend.”

However, her department said discussions will be closed to the media.

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