‘The Legal Options Regarding DNA Sampling’


This morning.

Following a call last week by the Tuam Survivors’ Network, The Terms of Reference and timeline have been set for an examination of legal options regarding DNA sampling in connection with the former Mother and Baby Home at Tuam.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs KatherineZappone said:

“These issues will ultimately  be addressed within the bespoke legislation that is currently being scoped by my Department.

However, I am very sympathetic to the concerns of survivors that their ages and health profiles introduce an element of urgency.

Accordingly, I have asked Dr. Geoffrey Shannon to consider what may be possible within the current legislative  framework, with particular reference to:

The collection of biological samples for comparison purposes

The extent to which any relevant family rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights might apply; and how best to ensure that the rights of those who wish to give biological samples could be safeguarded in respect of sensitive personal data and informed consent.

Dr Shannon will consult with my officials in the course of his work and provide a report to me within  8 weeks.”

Terms set for examination of DNA options at Tuam Mother and Baby Home Minister Zappone sympathetic to request from survivors network (Department of Children)

Report into legal issues over Tuam DNA samples requested for eight weeks’ time (RTÉ)

Previously:  Tuam And DNA


The burial plot at the former mother and baby home at Bessborough in Cork has been examined by the Commission of Investigation into 18 such institutions.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the probe at Bessborough involves “initial testing”.

She said she understood that the commission has examined the burial plot at Bessborough but has not conducted a geophysical examination of the site.

Burial plot at Bessborough Mother and Baby Home examined by Commission of Investigation (RTÉ)

Previously: Burials As Late As 1990

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5 thoughts on “‘The Legal Options Regarding DNA Sampling’

  1. ollie

    This govt had no issues with the PSC card and the safeguarding of personal data and informed consent.
    Likewise signing everyone up to the private entity that is irish Water.

    Jeez, Zappone really is in good company in the seanad, dumb and dumber

  2. Conall

    DNA sampling is a fantastic way of righting wrongs which would otherwise have gone unexplained. Every day in the US now cold cases are being resolved by DNA. Parents of murdered children who thought that they would never know the identity of their child’s killer are now getting closure many years later as skill in extracting, analysing and identifying DNA increases. The schoolbag in the Philip Cairns case and the remnants of the clothes of Bernadette Connolly, if preserved, may finally provide answers.

    Sadly, one obvious DNA case has never been looked at – that of the baby of Cynthia Owen, 13 years old when she gave birth. The father of this child was a statutory rapist – why has no attempt been made to trace his identity and prosecute?

      1. Conall

        Only 11. Even worse!

        When such a horrifying crime is committed, all efforts should be made to bring the perpetrator to justice.

  3. Jake38

    An ethical, data protection, scientific and legal quagmire.

    I have a prediction.
    The lawyers will make out like bandits

Comments are closed.

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