Helpline created for Mother and Baby Homes survivors 

Helpline created for Mother and Baby Homes survivors 

The survivors said people need to be heard. File picture. 

Two former residents of the Mother and Baby Homes system have set up a helpline for other survivors of the institutions.

Francis Timmons and Terri Harrison said those placed in the network of institutions "need to be listened to".

To begin with, volunteers in west Dublin will staff the phone lines between 6.30am and 8.30am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Francis Timmons was adopted from Madonna House in Blackrock, Co Dublin, where sexual and physical abuse of children was uncovered in the 1990s. 

The South Dublin County Councillor said that some people have never felt their voices have been heard and this service could help many survivors of the homes in Ireland.

"Myself and fellow survivor Terri Harrison believe that it is important that the voice of survivors is heard,

"And we believe that this listening service will be important to many survivors across Ireland because all too often when we were children, 

"When I was a child, as a survivor, many of us felt that no one would listen and secondly we felt that no one would believe us," said Mr Timmon. 

The helpline's co-founder also believes the language used to describe the Mother and Baby Homes needs to be revised. 

"I mean they refer to these places as homes. A home is where you feel safe, where you feel looked after. These weren't homes, these were institutions. 

"The Mother and Baby Institutions, the County Institutions, the Industrial schools, the Magdalene laundries. 

"They were all institutions and we believe that the language used around that should be the proper language instead of calling them homes.

Society of Survivors is offering to help people research what happened to them or their relatives.

The final report on the State's inquiry into the institutions is due next month in January.

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