Mother and Baby Homes report will not be available until November or December

It is understood that the report is over 4,000 pages long.
Mother and Baby Homes report will not be available until November or December

Minister for Children, Disability, Equality, and Integration Children Roderic O Gorman TD will bring a memo to Wednesday's Cabinet meeting outlining the next steps in the Commission's reporting. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation will not be released until late November or early December.

The Commission is due to report to the Government this week, but the report will first be sent to the attorney general, An Garda Síochána, and the Director for Public Prosecutions. 

It is understood that the report is over 4,000 pages long, so the process of those bodies reporting back their findings is expected to take a number of weeks.

A bill related to the Commission's data was passed in the Dáil last week by 78 votes to 67 and provides for the transfer of a database of 60,000 adoption records compiled by the Commission to Tusla. Other records will be sealed for 30 years under the 2004 Commissions of Investigation Act.

The Government's decision not to vote to unseal those records has caused outcry over the last week and has seen more than 100,000 people sign a petition against the move.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth Roderic O'Gorman will bring a memo to Wednesday's Cabinet meeting outlining the next steps in the Commission's reporting. 

It is also understood that Mr O'Gorman has asked attorney general Paul Gallagher to examine ways in which the archive can be opened up to survivors of institutional abuse. 

That process may also take a number of weeks, it is understood.

Mr O’Gorman has said that his advice from the attorney general was that access to the records had been explicitly restricted by the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004.

However, the Irish Examiner last week revealed that this is entirely contrary to the observations provided to his Department by the Data Protection Commission.

Cabinet will also be briefed on the latest situation on Ireland's fight against Covid-19. Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Tony Holohan on Tuesday played down suggestions that the country had "turned a corner" in its battle against the virus. 

It is believed that the Government will hear similar advice, 10 days after the country entered Level 5 of the framework of restrictions. 

The six-week lockdown will be reviewed after four weeks.

Also at Cabinet, a memo will be brought by public expenditure minister Michael McGrath on a review of the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan. 

Government sources say that while there is still full support for the plan, launched in 2018, the country's financial situation in light of Covid-19 means that a review may be necessary in order to decide the priority of the infrastructure projects which Ireland will commit to in the coming two decades.

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