Mother and Baby homes inquiry must not be restricted

With the announcement of the terms of reference for the Commission of Investigation into ‘Mother and Baby’ homes due very shortly, there is deep concern among survivors, that the remit will be much too narrow.

Mother and Baby homes inquiry must not be restricted

Along with other survivors, I had the opportunity of meeting the then Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Mr Charlie Flanagan. After putting our concerns and requests to the Minister, in the presence of his departmental officials, Mr Flanagan stated that he was “anxious” that, such institutions as Mayil and Westbank (Greystones, Co. Wicklow), the Church of Ireland Magdalene Home (Leeson Street, Dublin) and Avoca House (Co. Wicklow) were included in the Investigation.

But then, Mr Flanaghan was removed. Dr Reilly has not given any such expectations.

Indeed, survivors of many other institutions are not hopeful that their establishments will be included in the Investigation. As I explained to Mr Flanagan, the only fair way forward, would be to follow the example of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. In that, every survivor from any residential institution, can contact the inquiry and be heard.

If the State restricts the upcoming Commission to just the ‘Mother and Baby’ institutions, is there a case for all survivors to stand together and refuse to take part in the investigation, until all survivors from all institutions, irrespective of creed, are included?

Victor Stevenson

Rathmore Avenue

Bangor

Co Down

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