Tag Archives: Katherine Zappone



Top from left: Professor Geoffrey Shannon, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone, Cormac Quinlan, Director of Transformation and Policy, at a news conference in Government Buildings today about the 126 cases where births were incorrectly registered between 1946 and 1969.

This afternoon.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said that following an initial examination of around 13,500 records from St Patrick’s Guild, Tusla was able to identify the incorrect registrations because, unusually, there was a marker specifying “adopted from birth” on the record.

The minister said further cases may emerge and in some of the 129 cases these people may not know they were adopted.

She said there is no record for 79 of them ever contacting the adoption society, while 31 were in contact but may not be fully aware of the illegal registration.

Tusla will now contact people in the 126 cases according to the minister because “people have a right to know who they are”.

[Incorrect or ‘false’ registrations occur where a child is placed with a couple or individual who was not the parent, but the birth is then registered as if the child had been born to that couple or individual]

126 people identified as having had births incorrectly registered by adoption agency (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Update:

Via The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS):

The Government admitted today they have just “discovered’ dozens or false birth registrations in the Saint Patrick’s Guild adoption agency files.

Once again, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of fraud, forgery, baby trafficking, child abduction and criminal activity by rogue Irish adoption agencies who have destroyed tens of thousands of innocent peoples’ lives.

It’s important to note that the Government has known all about this for more than 20 years when Alan Shatter and Francis Fitzgerald as opposition TDs, in the Dáil, made detailed speeches about illegal practices in adoption agencies and named Saint Patrick’s Guild.

Shatter and Fitzgerald both went on to become Ministers for Justice and yet never lifted a finger while in office. Francis Fitzgerald was also a former social worker and Minister for Children with direct responsibility for these matters, and yet did nothing in office despite constant demands to take urgent action.

It is also important to note that the adoption community has been calling for an audit of Saint Patrick’s Guild files, and other agencies, for over 20 years.

Government after government have willfully ignored such calls while adoptees have died by the thousands.

Perhaps the most vital issue here is that illegally adopted people have spent generations going to their Doctors and hospitals and unknowingly giving false – and potentially lethal – family medical histories that do not in fact relate to them. Illegal adoptees carry on this practice for their children and even their grandchildren.

Theresa Hiney who founded the ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland’ group in 2008, has been a voice in the wilderness loudly demanding immediate action for more than 10 years and has been ignored by officialdom who are terrified of what audits of the adoption agencies will reveal.

Clare Daly T. has tackled successive Governments on these issues in the Dáil since 2012 and has been rebuffed and sneered at by a one Minister after another who have refused to take action.

Daly has been proved the only TD who could see the injustice and campaigned with the adoption and survivor communities while everyone else ran and hid.

The survivor and adoptee communities demand IMMEDIATE ACTION to tackle this issue. Theresa Hiney, ‘Adopted Illegally Ireland’, and the ‘Coalition of Mother And Baby homes Survivors’ renew our years old joint call for a dedicated unit made up of civil servants, Gardai and social workers, to actively investigate this matter and inform illegal adoptees of their status.

CMABS notes the Gardai have been sent in. A through, well resourced, and full criminal investigation needs to follow as a matter of urgency.”

CMABS (Facebook)

Thanks Paul Redmond

From top: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone in the Dáil on June 1, 2017; UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff

Last June.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone made a statement in the Dáil on the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation.

Ms Zappone said she had appointed forensic archaeologist Niamh McCullagh, who carried out the preliminary excavations at the former Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway, to lead a team of international experts to advise the commission.

Ms Zappone said:

 “I sometimes wonder, if I’m around in 2027 or 2037, what will they say, on Reeling In The Years about 2017. Will it be the year 2017, that the international media descended on Tuam as we, once again, declared our outrage at past deeds.

Or will it be a year where we faced up, womaned up and maned up and decided that we will do things better. This is a defining moment for us.”

Further to her previously announced idea of establishing some kind of a truth commission, Ms Zappone also said she would be inviting the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff, from Columbia, to Ireland.

She said

“I am asking my Government colleagues to support me in inviting the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, reparation and guarantee of non-recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, to visit Ireland.

Dr de Greiff has extensive experience and insights which I believe will help me as a Minister and us as a Government to promote truth, justice and reparation, as he has done with a wide range of other governments. He could help ensure we are taking the right approach in terms of our response into the future.”

On December 12, 2017, Ms Zappone told the Seanad:

“In addition, in recognition of Ireland’s absolute commitment to human rights, the Government has decided to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff, to visit Ireland. I will work with my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, to arrange this invitation.”

On January 24, 2018, Ms Zappone, in a written answer to Sinn Féin TD Denise Mitchell, stated:

“…the Government has agreed to invite Mr. Pablo de Greiff, UN Special Rapporteur, to assist Ireland in our response to issues related to former Mother and Baby homes and I am working with my colleague the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to arrange this invitation.”

On February 13, 2018, Ms Zappone told the Dáil:

I have previously relayed my commitment to the House to inviting the UN special rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff, to come to Ireland. I believe he can assist us in our endeavours to establish the truth and advise us on how best to move forward and deal with this part of our history. Arrangements are at an advanced stage and I expect an invitation to be issued to Mr. de Greiff in the coming days.

Fintan Dunne writes:

Guess when Dr de Greiff reaches the end of his term as Special Rapporteur?

Pablo de Greiff was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council… in 2012.

He was renewed in 2015 and will hold the position until May 2018.”

May 2018 is a mere week away!!

Fintan Dunne

Previously: ‘Will It Be A Year Where We Womaned Up?’

‘I Have Had Grown Men Cry In My Presence’


Oh.

This afternoon.

Pro-life activists highlight Minister for Children Katherine Zappone’s apparent interest in witchcraft and the teachings of ‘Starhawk’ drawn from Ms Zappone’s 1991 book The Hope For Wholeness.

Anyone?

Maybe it was just for a spell.

Spell.

Suit yourselves.

Previously: Fly, My Pretties

Starhawk?

Images via Emma Murphy


From top: Minister for Children Affairs Katherine Zappone; Tuam; Options from the Expert Technical Group

This afternoon.

Following a leak in this morning’s Irish Times, The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone has published the Report of the Expert Technical Group (ETG) into the mass grave found at the former Mother and Baby Home, Tuam, Co. Galway.

Minister Zappone said.

“The Report identifies five possible options [see above] for managing the site and appropriately responding to the discovery of infant remains interred at this location.

The Report will now be shared widely and Galway County Council will facilitate a structured consultation process with a strong focus around Tuam.

“I want to ensure that whatever action is taken respects the memory and dignity of those who are buried there and takes account of the concerns and wishes of all who are affected, whether as former residents of thehome, relatives of those who may be buried there, or as local residents who live near the site”

Zappone urges cooperation on future of Tuam site (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

YIKES!

This morning.

Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone arrives at govenment buildings this morning ahead of Budget 2018.

Anyone?

Pic via Journal

Thanks Reg

Professor Ciarán Ó Coigligh

Following the death of Dr Ann Louise Gilligan, wife of Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone:

May the Lord have mercy on the soul of my late good friend and former colleague of almost forty years, Anne Louise Gilligan, and may she rest in peace. It was a privilege to work with Anne Louise and our mutual friend Katherine Zappone over the years on many projects supportive of poor urban and rural students.

I valued Ann Louise’s and Katherine’s friendship all the more because it did not prevent me giving expression to the fact that same-sex attraction is a disorder that can be overcome and affected individuals restored to orderly sexual orientation; that people are robbed of their human dignity by being defined solely in terms of sexual attraction and grouped under the hideous acronym LGBT; and that a (sexual) relationship between two women or between two men cannot be conjugal, cannot be consumated, and cannot constitute marriage.

I hope that these views are respected and not disparaged in the School of Nursing and Human Sciences. I would be happy to deliver a lecture which would present a Catholic Christian response to same-sex attraction, informed by the latest research in the area. It was a great sadness to me when Anne Louise told me that she had outgrown her Christian Faith.

Please God, she may have regained her belief and returned to the practice of the Faith. It is an even greater sadness to me that our mutual friend Katherine gives ever-more strident voice to calls for the liberalisation of legislation allowing the murder of an infant in the womb as a response to threatened suicide.

The death of a relative or close friend is often a time to assess one’s life’s achievements, beliefs and practices. It is my prayer that Katherine will use this time of sadness to reassess her espousal of a number of causes which besmirch a record of solicitude for others and particularly the poor.

I am, with every good wish,

Ciarán Ó Coigligh, survivor of same sex abuse.

Text of an e-mail sent to all Dublin City University (DCU) academic staff yesterday from Professor Ciarán Ó Coigligh, President of Newman College, Dublin and formerly of the Irish Departments in NUI Galway, NUI Dublin and Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, DCU.

Thanks Philip

This afternoon.

In the Dáil.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone made a statement on Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation.

During her statement, Ms Zappone said she has appointed forensic archaeologist Niamh McCullagh, who carried out the preliminary excavations in Tuam, Co Galway, to lead a team of international experts to advise the commission.

She said the team – whose terms of reference she is publishing today – will carry out further geophysical surveys to examine “the extent of potential burials on the site”.

The minister said she will receive an initial technical report by the end of June, while a more detailed report on options for the future of the commission will be submitted to her by the end of September. She said the reports will be available to the public.

Starting from July, on the first Friday of every month, Ms Zappone said she will publish a monthly update on her department’s website.

And she said she’s appointed an “experienced, qualified facilitator with an international reputation” to help her hold a series of consultations with former residents of the homes who were in the homes without their mothers.

An open invitation to these consultations in Dublin and elsewhere – depending on the expressions of interest – will be sent out tomorrow, she said.

Further to her previously announced idea of establishing some kind of a truth commission, Ms Zappone also said she will be inviting the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence Pablo de Greiff, from Columbia, to Ireland.

She said, over the summer, she will undertake a “scoping review” in relation to possibly extending the commission’s terms of reference.

Readers will note Ms Zappone said in March that she would be carrying out this same scoping exercise.

Finally, she said:

I sometime wonder, if I’m around in 2027 or 2037, what will they say, on Reeling In The Years about 2017. Will it be the year 2017, that the international media descended on Tuam as we, once again, declared our outrage at past deeds. Or will it be a year where we faced up, womaned up and maned up and decided that we will do things better.”

“This is a defining moment for us. As a member of Government, and the only Independent woman in Government, I feel a huge sense of responsibility to begin to heal the fractured trust between our citizens and our State. It is a time that someone shouted stop, it is a time that we all shouted stop and I believe that a model of transitional justice will help us move forward with that. “

Meanwhile…

In response…

Catherine Connelly said:

I’m extremely concerned about the distinction you’re drawing between children who were in the homes with a mother and without a mother. I believe you are misinterpreting, either deliberately or unintentionally, the report that was done by the commission.

“On page three of your speech today, you’re going to set up consultations with those who were resident as children without their mothers.

I think that is a shocking distinction, maybe I’m misreading it, perhaps you can explain it. I believe that you’ve taken that, inappropriately from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation where the commission  simply, in their interim report, and I believe the motivation for the interim report was to draw attention to the way that this government and previous governments have dealt with the mother and baby homes and left them outside of the redress scheme most unjustly.

“And they made the point that children without mothers had a particular grievance, they did not say that babies who were in there with their mothers should not be included.”

Dáil proceedings can be watched live here

Previously: ‘I Have Had Many Grown Men Cry In My Presence’

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Minister for Children Katherine Zappone arriving at the Central Criminal Court of Justice today

Earlier today.

The trial of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six other men – who are  charged with falsely imprisoning Ms Burton during a water charges protest in Jobstown, Tallaght in November 2014 – continues.

The six other men are Kieran Mahon, of Bolbrook Heights, Tallaght; Michael Murphy, of Whitechurch Way, Ballyboden; Scott Masterson, of Carrigmore Drive, Tallaght; Ken Purcell, of Kiltalown Green, Tallaght; Frank Donaghty, of Alpine Rise, Tallaght; and Michael Banks, of Brookview Green, Tallaght.

They deny the charges.

RTÉ reports:

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone has told the Circuit Criminal Court she was “deeply concerned and frightened for the safety” of former tánaiste Joan Burton during a water charges protest in Tallaght in 2014.

However, it was put to her that she previously refused to condemn the protesters during a  pre-election television debate.

She was giving evidence in the trial of Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and six other men who are charged with falsely imprisoning Ms Burton and her assistant during a water charges protest in November 2014.

Ms Zappone, who was an independent Senator at the time, said she dialled 999 twice as she felt deeply concerned for the safety of the then-tánaiste after protesters surrounded her car as she left a graduation ceremony in Jobstown.

However, defence counsel Sean Guerin played an excerpt from a pre-election television debate in which Ms Zappone was accused by an audience member and one of the protesters of “condemning us”.

In reply the then-senator said “I do not condemn at all what was going on in Jobstown that day”.

However, in the witness box today she did not agree with Mr Guerin that this was a public refusal to condemn the protesters.

Zappone ‘deeply concerned and frightened’ for Burton at protest (RTE)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 16.23.55Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 16.26.07

From top: Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone

 

You’ll recall the second interim report from the Commission into Mother and Baby Homes which was given to the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone last September.

This interim report was to identify any matters that the commission felt warranted further investigation as part of the commission’s work.

Last week Fiach Kelly, in The Irish Times, reported that the indemnity agreement signed in 2002 between the then Minister for Education Michael Woods and 18 religious congregations – which served to cap the orders’  liability – may be extended to include children abused in mother and baby homes.

Mr Kelly reported:

Well-informed sources said the delay in its publication was due to the controversial nature of the proposed form of redress.

One source suggested that it may never be published if there had not been public outcry over the commission’s confirmation last month of the discovery of the remains of babies and infants at the site of a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

Further to this.

This afternoon.

In the Dáil, during Priority Questions.

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire raised the second interim report in the Dail this afternoon after asking what steps the State is taking in regards to protecting unmarked graves – other than the remains recently found at the Bon Secours mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway – in order to prevent them from being interfered with.

Mr Ó Laoghaire also claimed that the second interim report does not recommend widening the terms of reference in the Commission into the Mother and Baby Homes.

From their exchange…

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire: “It’s my understanding, Minister, that the second interim report was before Cabinet this morning. The 27th of July last year, you issued a press release saying that the commission was to report back in September. That report has still not been published. Now you’ve committed to publishing it by the end of the month. It’s not published today, to the best of my knowledge. I presume it will be published in the coming days so I want to hear from you, when you intend to publish it.”

“But also, minister, to outline the reason for the delay because it has been with your department and with you for some six months now. And that has caused a great deal of concern and anxiety among survivors and I think it’s important that we get a sense of, for what reason was, what I think, was an inordinate delay in publishing this report was.”

“And also to state, Minister, it’s my understanding or has been reported that the report does not recommend an expansion of the terms of reference. That being case, I believe that the Commission [into Mother and Baby Homes] is no longer fit for purpose.”

Katherine Zappone: “Thank you, deputy Ó Laoghaire, I’m interested in your comments in that regard. I’d like to bring my comments though, responses, back to the question that you actually have asked me. As I know, I will take up some of those issues later on in terms of other questions and I think again in terms of the question about making decisions to bring forward injunctions. The Government, arguing, has the responsibility, something that we should consider, I’m saying I’m not necessarily, not willing to consider that. But my understanding and in terms of the advice that I have received that in order to do that, we need to have it brought to our attention, that there are some real concerns in relation to a preventative measure, in terms of different sites that may require, that may require an injunction. On the basis of people who have an interest in that regard. And so I would be open to hearing from those and consider the issue again in that regard.”

Acting Ceann Comhairle: “Thank you, Minister…”

Anyone?

Previously: ‘What’s In It That’s So Frightening?’

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 12.52.21

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone

This morning.

On RTE’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone spoke to Mr O’Rourke about several matters.

These included the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes; Sgt Maurice McCabe; Taoiseach Enda Kenny telling RTE about a fictitious meeting with Ms Zappone prior to her meeting Sgt McCabe; and the results of yesterday’s Comptroller and Auditor General’s report which showed 18 religious congregations have, up to 2015, paid just 13% of €1.5billion redress costs associated with the compensation scheme for victims of abuse at religious residential institutions.

They began discussing the announcement Ms Zappone made yesterday that a scoping exercise will be carried out to examine calls for an expansion of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes’ terms of reference “to cover all institutions, agencies and individuals that were involved with Ireland’s unmarried mothers and their children.”

Sean O’Rourke: “When will you announce an extension or a broadening of the terms [of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes]?”

Katherine Zappone: “It’s a, it will be a number of weeks I expect. One of the first things that my department is doing is pulling together the ways in which the country dealt with these issues when the Commission of Investigation was established in 2014, looking at these issues about what institutions, what settings should be included and what should not.”

“At the time it was decided that it was appropriate to have a sample representative of settings but I suppose, in light of the discovery of, in terms of Tuam and the ways in which we are all trying to come to terms with this and Sean, you know, in the last number of days, I’ve listened to so many people, trying to reflect on the meaning of what has gone on in our history.

“And I have had, you know, many grown men come to me and cry in my, in my presence, trying to come with an understanding of what this meant for unmarried women and their children but also, you know, who is responsible, what was it about our society, how could people behave in this way. So, I’m sorry, I’m just trying to come to terms back to, you know, you’re saying how long will it take?

“There were decisions made in terms of the terms in 2014. Now that we’ve had this discovery, we’re trying to come to terms with it, as a nation. We need to look again at whether or not we need to include other institutions.”

Sean O’Rourke:Does every person who has a story to tell, and wants that story to be told, have a right to have it heard?

Zappone: “And so, yes I think so. And so, as the minister for children, another thing that I’ve identified that I would like to progress is not only perhaps to look at the extending the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation but also to initiate a process throughout the country whereby there may be other ways in which we can keep the victims and the survivors at the centre of our attention to provide them with opportunities maybe for publicly to speak their truths which so many of them wish to do. And isn’t a possibility in the context of the Commission of Investigation.”

O’Rourke: “You spoke in the Dáil yesterday about museums of mercy, for instance, of memory, I beg your pardon, in Argentina and Chile. I think reference as well to South Africa – what model might you be thinking of?”

Zappone: “I’m referring to what’s known as a transitional justice approach to dealing with, now that we’re coming to terms with the fact that there was a wide scale large scale human rights violations on behalf of unmarried mothers and their children throughout the country, four decades. Is it enough? Is it enough to have a legal process of Commission of Investigation? It’s very important that we have that. But, in other countries, when they try to move on from what are considered to be repressive regimes, into a new era, they know that there maybe other ways in which there are opportunities for people to tell their truths, to remember what happened. Or to commemorate, a national day of commemoration, would be an example. Or other people are suggesting, perhaps the State ought to acquire some of the properties of where unmarried mothers were affectively put in against their will.”

“And to use that in other ways, as we try to, as a society, cope with, understand and move beyond and to heal, to a new way and a new time where we wish to be.”

O’Rourke: “It’s been quite a tumultuous month, not just for the Government, or the country, but also in particular for you, as minister for children and youth affairs. It was, I think, the 9th of February, when Katie Hannon had that report on Prime Time about the shocking allegations, false allegations, made against Maurice McCabe and then there was a political crisis

Later – speaking about the confusion over who knew what when in relation to Sgt Maurice McCabe 

O’Rourke: “You seemed to want it both ways at a certain point. A statement was issued on your behalf saying, initially, that you had informed relevant Government colleagues about the meeting, and then, subsequently, the position was oh it would have been highly inappropriate to brief Cabinet colleagues about matters pertaining to a protected disclosure. To what extent did you yourself add to the confusion?

Zappone: “Well, as you indicated there, I was out of the country for a very brief time. A long-standing family commitment. So I was not able to, I suppose, add my own voice, to offer the clarity in the way that I think I normally do in terms of issues that arise and coming to the media to address that. And so, given the time difference, distance, sorry the time differences, and the geographic distance I wasn’t able to be there, be there myself in order to offer that clarity about what happened, why I made the decisions and I think still, those decisions, I accept that, I have learned from, in terms of the way that we operate as a Cabinet. To perhaps be more explicit with information that one carries in the decisions that are being made. I said then, as I continue to say now, my prime concern was the protection of the McCabes and my understanding was that, with the information that I had shared, particularly with the Taoiseach, that their concerns would be incorporated into the tribunal of inquiry.”

O’Rourke:Did you fear, at a certain stage maybe, in the earlier part of this week you were still away, that your own membership of the Government was on the line. That you might have to leave Cabinet?

Zappone: “I, no, I, I didn’t think that, Sean?”

O’Rourke: “Or be forced out?”

Zappone: “Sorry?”

O’Rourke:Or be forced out? That you might have been sacked?

Zappone:Oh, ok, I’ll tell you, what, again, no, what was most on my mind was to ensure that a way of responding to this kept us moving to an appropriate response to the McCabes and I think, as you know, things have continued and certainly, under my own direct, sense of powers, as minister of children, I have, I ordered the establishment of a statutory investigation by HIQA, in terms of the way in which Tusla manages child abuse allegations, and I’m very pleased to say that I….

Speak over each other

Zappone: “…terms of reference have been agreed within the last week and that investigation will be initiated.”

O’Rourke: “And that’s an important part, perhaps the most important part of the bigger picture. But to go back to the politics of this for a minute. What did you think of what emerged afterwards to have been a fictitious account given by the Taoiseach on [RTE’s] This Week about having met you before you met the McCabes and told you ‘be sure you take a good note’.

Zappone: “Well, as you’ve already indicated. I was in the States when that programme [Prime Time] happened. When I came back, I responded to the media, I put on the record in the Dail, in terms of what happened. And that I know now, and I think everyone else knows that the Taoiseach has agreed with that account.”

O’Rourke: “At the same time, by all accounts, and his own not least, he’s been forced into a position where he’s brought forward, and significantly, it would appear, the date of his departure as leader of Fine Gael and as Taoiseach.”

Zappone: “I suppose, Sean, those are issues and decisions in relation to the Fine Gael party. I, as a Cabinet minister and engaging with this very,very, very difficult issue in relation to the McCabes, obviously, had a history, a complexity, my focus was on them. I behaved in relation to a concern for them. I communicated with the Taoiseach in a way that I thought that was appropriate. And what happened after that is outside of my control.”

O’Rourke:Should you have been more explicit in Cabinet. And I know there’s a constitutional bar on you giving details of Cabinet discussions but could, and should you have been more explicit about insisting Tusla needs to be brought into much more, front and centre, into the terms of reference of what was originally setting out to be, or being set up, as a Commission of Investigation?”

Zappone: “I suppose everything we do at the Cabinet table, Sean, comes as a result of a discerning process. And as I said, I have learned some lessons from this in terms of, you know, maybe bringing to the table things that before I might have felt were appropriately kept with me. But, at that particular moment, my discernment, as I said, my understanding and my reading of the terms that were in front of me, my communication with the Taoiseach was what I knew, from the McCabes, would be part of the investigation. And the judge who was leading that subsequently confirmed that, even before we actually enlarged the terms of reference.”

O’Rourke: “I suppose we have so many strands to the, our relationship with our troubled past and talking about, particularly, where children are concerned for now. We’ll talk politics later but, that are on the agenda at the moment, not least what’s emerged about the amounts of money being paid as part of the whole Redress arrangements which cost now over €1.5billion. The expectation, hope that it would be a 50:50 split between the State and the Church, mainly the Catholic Church, hasn’t materialised. What do you think should happen?”

Zappone: “I would be very much in agreement with my colleague, Minister [Richard] Bruton and support him in his re-engaging with the religious orders in order for them to make contributions to the redress scheme. Because they do share the burden of the responsibility. And I will support him in those discussions.”

O’Rourke: “And what about something that Micheal Martin, the Fianna Fáil leader, said to us on the programme a few days ago. That he felt it would be appropriate, now it wasn’t exactly in the context of redress, that the Catholic Church should hand over its hospitals is what he identified specifically to the State?”

Zappone: “Yes, I, you know, I reflect on that. I think, underneath that recommendation, is that the desire for all of us to ensure and to see that people are held accountable for what has gone on and in terms of the abuses that were done in relation to children, as well as women over the last number of years. Who is responsible? And if those people who are responsible? How much of they pay? How much should the State pay? Should we extend terms of reference, even for the Commission of Investigation that I’m overseeing and supporting and does that, does that mean that, ultimately, those people, the survivors, who are looking for compensation, ought we, the State, the religious orders, who ought to pay for that and how do we make those decisions. It’s all part of that space, Sean. And, I think, you know, if people are offering solutions on how to move forward, I’m listening to those. But I think we need to spend time reflecting on how to do this in the best possible way.”

O’Rourke: “The Taoiseach said, briefly, if possible, you might respond to this. That during the week, ‘women did not impregnate themselves, nuns did not reach into family homes and take babies out’. Do you think in any truth-telling process, you would set up, there’s any possibility, remote or otherwise, we will hear from men in large numbers, other than those who have suffered in the institutions? About what they knew? What they did?

Zappone: “That’s a great question, Sean. You have asked it. And I hope that the men here, you as a man, asking that question, I would love to see that happen.”

Previously:  ‘They Exclude And Stall While We Die’

‘Running Out The Clock’

Rollingnews