Illegal adoptions - Action this day

The long road to recognition and justice for Tressa Reeves and her son, illegally adopted 57 years ago, was settled after four days in the High Court.

Illegal adoptions - Action this day

The long road to recognition and justice for Tressa Reeves and her son, illegally adopted 57 years ago, was settled after four days in the High Court.

But standing behind them is a lengthening line of potential litigants casting a shadow over state officials and adoption agencies and a legacy of decisions taken in the middle of the last century, but increasingly judged by modern standards.

The Irish Examiner first revealed the case of Mrs Reeves, neé Donnelly, and her son Patrick Farrell, aka André Donnelly, in 2010 and cynics might say that the slow rotation of the wheels of justice, while they grind exceeding fine, also produce a delay which acts against the interests and human rights of those who wish to discover the truth of their identities.

Many of the people affected by the old decisions are elderly, and some of them are infirm and it is a cruel punishment to build in systemic frustrations and procrastination.

Scoping exercises, audits, and financial impact assessments can continue alongside the quest for truth and fairness. They should not impede it.

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