Paul Redmond of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors
Yesterday representatives of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors delivered a letter to the offices of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes – addressed to chair of the investigation, Judge Yvonne Murphy – calling for the commission’s terms of reference to be widened.
Last night, on RTÉ’s Nine News, Paul Redmond, from the group, said:
“Only about one third of the entire total of people who were separated as single mothers and children are being included in this inquiry. We need everyone included. And we need everyone to be immediately offered an acknowledgement, an apology and redress while there is still time for an ageing survivor community [of about 50,000] that is quite literally dying by the thousands every year.”
Further to this, Paul explained to Broadsheet:
“It’s the fact that the people who are excluded were born outside of mother and baby homes which means they were born in places like Holles Street, Rotunda – an awful lot of them – or they might have been born at home. And they were then were all scooped up from there and put into a couple of holding centres or mother and baby homes around the country. But because they weren’t born in mother and baby homes, they were excluded.”
“The only people who are included in this inquiry are people who were born in mother and baby homes. Anybody who was born outside of a mother and baby home was excluded.”
“In the bad old days when the mother and baby homes were around, there was also an awful lot of people, in the very early days, who were born in county homes and they’ve been kind of vaguely looked at but as time progressed, an awful lot of people were born in maternity hospitals from, say, the Fifties onwards and they’re all completely excluded.”
“This is not a repeated [request] as such in that we asked, when we were kind of lobbying and meeting ministers to discuss the terms of reference for the inquiry, we actually wanted them to be about the issue of the separation of the single mothers and children since the foundation of the State but the problem was, as we discovered later, was that [Taoiseach] Enda Kenny, when he gave us a promise of an inquiry – this goes back to last June – after the Tuam story broke in June 2014, he promised an inquiry into mother and baby homes and basically the Government, when the realised how big this entire thing was, they literally had a conniption and decided, well, we promise a mother and baby home inquiry, that’s all we’re giving and nothing else. And no matter how hard we lobbied or what sort of case we put forward, it was always looking likely that they were going to restrict it down as much as possible and that’s exactly what they did.
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Previously: A Waste Of Copy And Paste