Regina Doherty: 'Cold' mother and baby home report must be independently reviewed

Regina Doherty: 'Cold' mother and baby home report must be independently reviewed

Seanad leader Regina Doherty said report does a huge disservice to our women. Picture: Steve Humphreys/PA Wire

The mother and baby home report cannot be accepted by the Government and must be independently reviewed, Seanad leader Regina Doherty has said.

Describing the report as "cold" and "callous", the Fine Gael senator hit out at the Commission for ignoring and refusing to believe the testimony of women who gave birth in mother and baby homes and their children.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly has also called for an independent review of how the Commission dealt with the evidence given by survivors.

Ms Doherty said it is "wrong" to accept the report and she will now be calling on Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman to sanction a new independent review when he comes before the Seanad this week, as "at the very least" we should say that we "absolutely believe" the survivors.

She said: "I don't think it's good enough to stand as our nation's response to our women and I think it should be reviewed.

"This report does a huge disservice to treat them with language that's so callous and as cold and completely lacks in empathy."

Ms Doherty added: "I think the mantra of 'no evidence' completely ignores the testimony of the women's lived experiences when we asked these women to come forward and to share their experiences so that we could listen to them. I think in lots of places the Commission's report feels like we only listened to them to reply, we didn't listen to them to hear them or to heal them."

She hit out at the report claiming that "we accepted the report and I think that's wrong".

Ms Doherty told RTÉ's Brendan O'Connor show: "The Seanad is returning on Tuesday and the only business that we have on Tuesday is with Minister Roderic O'Gorman and I am going to ask him to independently review, to have a document that actually acknowledges with empathy with care, with understanding, of the real lived experiences of these women."

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