Tag Archives: Clare Daly

Clare Daly of Independents4Change at the European elections count centre at the RDS in Dublin last month.

Say it ain’t so.

Clare Daly hires son of Mick Wallace as her assistant in EU office (Independent.ie)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

This evening.

Earlier….

UPDATE:

Ms Daly is now on 65,683 votes following the distribution of the votes of the Social Democrats’ Gary Gannons following his elimination on the 14th count.

Mr Andrews is on 63,177 and outgoing MEP Lynn Boylan of Sinn Féin is in fifth place on 51,632.

Earlier…

European Election Count Centre, RDS, Dublin 4.

A recount is underway in the Dublin constituency to decide whether Independents4Change’s Clare Daly (above left) or Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews (above right) will automatically take the third seat (after Ciaran Cuffe and Frances Fitzgerald) and who – under Brussels regulations – will only be allowed take their seat once Britain formally withdraws from the EU.

More as we get it.

Earlier: ‘It Could End Up In The Courts’

Rollingnews

Last night

RDS count centre, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

The Dublin count of the European Election was suspended following a dispute over transfers between candidates Independents4Change Clare Daly (top centre) and Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews (above) and will resume at 11am.

Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe and Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald have already been elected in Dublin. Brexit means Dublin gets an additional MEP  and whoever wins between Mr Andrews and Ms Daly would only become a full MEP after Britain’s withdrawal.

Part of the disagreement centred on whether [Sinn Fein MEP] Ms [Lynn] Boylan’s vote should be distributed after [Soc Dem[ Mr [Gary] Gannon – something Ms Daly argued was “very clear” under new legislation and, she contended, was an approach being followed in the Ireland South constituency, which also has a Brexit seat.

That dispute has raised further questions about how the count was conducted – including whether the surpluses of Ms Fitzgerald and Mr Cuffe should also be counted.

After detailed discussions between the Returning Officer and the two parties – both of whom had legal advice – Mr Gallagher suspended the count.

However, there is no certainty that the issue will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction – which raises the possibility, it could end up in the courts.

Daly, Andrews in dispute over transfers at Dublin count (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

UPDATE:

This morning, on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Seán O’Rourke, Virgin Media One’s Political Correspondent Gavan Reilly pointed out an anomaly.

He explained that barrister and Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan told Morning Ireland earlier this morning that Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan’s votes should not be redistributed…

However, Mr Reilly highlighted that this wasn’t what Mr Phelan told the Seanad on March 6:

Via Gavan Reilly

 

Previously: Before You Vote

Last night.

In the Dáil.

Indpendents4Change TD and Dublin MEP candidate Clare Daly brought forward a motion on Ireland’s illegal adoption practices that were facilitated through Mother and Baby Homes.

During her response, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said: “The motion before us is well-intentioned. However, responding to these events and experiences is not as straightforward as the Deputies suggest.”

Ms Daly said:

“We have had a number of discussions on the mother and baby interim reports.

In that sense, it may seem odd that we are giving our limited Private Members’ time to discuss this matter again.

We do so at the request of the shrinking survivor community and on their behalf and because there is unfinished business in this area.

The motion calls on the Government to establish an inquiry into the serious evidence which has emerged in recent times regarding the falsification of documents, birth certificates, illegal registration and other irregularities regarding adoptions and forced adoptions that took place in this State.

It is five years since the horrific story of the 800 burials in Tuam hit the headlines.

At that time, the Government promised all matters in regard to the mother and baby homes would be examined.

The then Taoiseach, Deputy Enda Kenny, said that if this matter was not handled properly Ireland’s soul, like the babies of so many mothers, would lie in an unmarked grave.

Five years on, the feeling of many of the survivors is that nothing much has changed, except many of their members have died.

They feel they are being put down a cul-de-sac into a forum that they never requested, the report of which will not be published.

There needs to be a scrutiny of the illegal adoptions in particular, way beyond the limited scoping exercise to which the Minister, Deputy Zappone, has committed.

Some 45,000 adoptions were registered in Ireland since it became illegal in 1952.

At least the same number of illegal adoptions or arrangements have been made.

Under the terms of our adoption legislation, adopted people do not have access to their birth information.

To obtain that information, they must go through the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

For those who were illegally adopted, the ability to trace their identity is thwarted even further by a cover-up of the illegal practices that went on over decades, facilitated through the mother and baby homes and other institutions with the knowledge and in collusion of religious orders, hospitals, doctors and State agencies.

This is the great unfinished business of these types of scandals in our past.

When the scandal broke about the 126 irregular adoption files, there was shock and consternation but this had been well flagged since the 1930s.

It was flagged by Mike Milotte and Catriona Crowe. I put it on the record many times since 2011.

We know that altered records from Bessborough have been in the hands of the HSE since 2011.

A HSE report in 2012 warned that death certificates were falsified at Bessborough, which potentially could have facilitated adoption under the radar.

In 2013 the Adoption Authority Ireland acknowledged that it was aware of several hundred illegal registrations specific to St Patrick’s Guild.

When the commission was set up we asked that illegal adoptions be included in the terms of reference. They were not included.

This motion is again calling for them to be included because if they are not included, some of the survivors will have to take their cases to the United Nations.

This would mean that, shamefully and yet again, survivors of abuse in this country have to look abroad in order to get access to justice. Those people should get access to justice at home.

The Minister must provide an appropriate response on this issue, way beyond her countermotion, which will cause further problems for the community.

The fifth interim report indicates that there are children who are unaccounted for. We have that information, which is not a surprise.

People do not know if their family member has died or was sold on to families in the United States.

The report also makes it clear that Galway County Council not only knew about Tuam but was involved in covering it up, as the missing minutes from 1937 indicate.

That is only one part of it.

We have to be very clear that the scandal of the mother and baby homes is not limited to Tuam or the terms of reference of the commission.

Those terms of reference only include 14 homes and a sample from the county homes.

That will not get to the bottom of the illegal adoptions because approximately 300 private nursing homes were excluded from the commission.

On top of that, an unknown number of private arrangements took place in other circumstances, for example, where birth certificates were falsified by adoptive parents registering as natural birth parents and passing the baby off as their own while avoiding State involvement through the adoption process.

These cases are almost untraceable.

When the story of the 126 cases of illegal registrations broke I was contacted by a man – coincidentally, a constituent of mine – who, at the age of 38, after his parents had died, was told by a friend that he had been adopted.

In his own words, he was a married man with four children who did not have a biological identity.

He said it took him about a year to come to terms with that fact, saying that he felt that he did not exist, that he was not here and that he wondered about his birth.

He was 70 when he contacted me, and said he searched at length throughout his life to find out who he was and where he came from.

When the 126 cases of false registration emerged, he thought that perhaps he was one of those affected and it gave him an opportunity to find the answers he sought.

However, he did not get an answer.

He only got an answer when we put him in touch with Sharon Lawless, a wonderful person who has done so much work in this area, who helped him, via DNA testing, to find some answers and, happily, some other siblings, which was a tremendous story.

That may not happen for everybody and we really need, as part of the redress scheme, practical steps and support for those who need access to DNA testing.

However, the continued delays in the publication of the investigation’s finding is pushing back the possibility of a redress on an ageing population which cannot wait.

This is an incredibly time sensitive issue and it is highly regrettable that the Government has not heeded the commission’s call for redress to be put in place.

Many of the unofficial arrangements were made in the maternity wards of our public hospitals where young women were forcibly separated from their babies through intimidation, deception and collusion between the hospitals and religious orders, and indeed some adoptive parents.

We know that Cónal Ó Fátharta from The Irish Examiner has done heroic work in this area.

He recently highlighted the case of Jackie Foley, who was 16 when she gave birth in Bessborough in 1974. She signed a consent form to have her son adopted but did not sign her own name.

Instead, instructed by a nun and in the presence of a solicitor and her mother, she was forced to write a different name, that of Micheline Power, a woman who does not exist.

The documentation was deliberately falsified. She signed the paper in a false name for a child that she had already registered under his own name, Dermot Foley, but he was given the bogus name of John Power.

An adoption order issued by the State’s regulatory body, the Adoption Board, was contracted on the basis of these false identities.

Instead of acknowledging the wrong, the agencies involved did what they always do; they circled the wagons, delayed and denied.

In responses to freedom of information requests, these cases are described as “possible illegal registration”.

That is why we have consistently called for the handing over of all files and records by all of the institutions and religious orders and the introduction of appropriate legislation to allow adopted persons full access to their records.

That is the purpose of the motion before the House and the reason we called for these matters to be included in the commission before it was set up. It is also the reason we are calling for them to be included now.

The Minister’s response, which mentions a limited audit, is not appropriate. We know there will be a review of around 1,500 files. That is just 1.5% of the 100,000 files in the hands of the Adoption Authority.

The review is limited to looking for evidence of illegal registrations, not illegal adoptions. The issues around this are much broader than illegal registration and they are not currently being examined.

I note that the Minister’s amendment refers to her leadership in this matter in respect of sampling, among other things, but I have to stress that this is ignoring all of the other illegalities around this issue.

On top of that, we were promised that the audit would be released by Easter. Has the Minister received it? If not, why not? When can we expect it to be published? It will inform some of the other areas of work that have to be dealt with.

We have to examine the issue of redress as a matter of critical importance.

Members of the survivor community, some of whom have joined us in the Public Gallery, will be absolutely gutted to read the Government’s response to our motion.

The collaborative forum’s recommendations, which have been unfairly published out of context and in the absence of the full report, asked for health and well-being packages and a programme of memorialisation.

This is repeated in the Minister’s amendment but it is not declared that this will be acted upon. The amendment calls for a co-ordinated approach from Government and for an analysis to be conducted. There is no actual implementation.

Some five years on from Tuam, a health package is still at the developmental stage. How long will it take for survivors to get redress?

They are suffering from trauma and ill health because of this, yet the Minister’s response to our motion is that she will look at it.

The same thing was said five years ago. The survivor community would have hoped to have perhaps been allocated a medical card as part of a redress scheme. The issue of redress begins when these people are believed and acknowledged.

The Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors, which represents the vast majority of survivors, has asked to meet the Taoiseach to discuss this, but so far he has refused to meet it.

Why will he not meet it to hear, from the mouths of its members, what it means not to be acknowledged, properly recognised or believed, and the effect the lack of action is having on them?

They do not need nice words but rather action to address the trauma that many of these people are experiencing.

We are calling for an urgent and comprehensive response to deal with the delays in the reports of the commission and the adoption audit, a package of basic supports for the remaining survivors to be rolled out without delay, a full audit of all the adoption files in the hands of the Adoption Authority and the illegally adopted to be included in the commission of investigation.

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Thanks Bebe

Clare Daly TD

“It has been brought to my attention that some political opponents have been orchestrating a campaign in an attempt to portray me as anti-vaccine on the basis of Written Questions I’ve tabled to the Minister for Health.

For the record and for the avoidance of any doubt, my position on vaccination is as follows:

I have tabled approximately 4,500 quesions since this Dáil convened in 2016, and am one of the top questioners of Ministers in the Dáil on a whole range of topics.

For example, I’ve tabled over 40 questions on salmon aquaculture since 2016, 30 or more on seagulls, and 62 questions containing the word ‘prisons’ or ‘prisoners’ (and many more on prison issues in general).

In the last two and half months alone, I’ve asked at least 14 questions around foster care and residential services for young people.

I fully support vaccination as an important and hugely valuable public health initiative; myself and my family have received every vaccination going (including the HPV vaccination where applicable).

However I also believe that to ensure public confidence in such an important public health initiative that TDs should ensure that the Minister publicly address any concerns people might have in an effort to dispel them.

Shutting down debate unfortunately leads to a belief that something is being hidden.

In general, we need better public education with regard to medicine and science, and the best approach possible to public health communication.

There must also be a no-fault vaccine damage compensation scheme in place to deal with the tiny minority of persons who do experience side-effects or harms from vaccines (as happened in the Pandemrix case).

Such a scheme is in the current Programme for Government, and was recommended by the Oireachtas Health Committee in 2001.

The Vaccine Damage Steering Group re-iterated that recommendation in 2009. The Government has not, to date, acted on this policy, regrettably.”

Independents4Change Dublin European Election candidate Clare Daly TD

Vaccines and vaccinations – Statement (Claire Daly)

Pandemrix case?

Rollingnews

Independents 4 Change TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly on their way to the Disclosures Tribunal last summer

This morning.

Miriam Lord, in The Irish Times, reports that Independents 4 Change TD Mick Wallace and Clare Daly will contest the European elections in May – with Mick seeking a seat in Ireland South and Clare seeking a seat in Dublin.

Ms Lord reports:

“The pair will had in their nomination papers – Ms Daly in Dublin and Mr Wallace in Cork – before today’s midday deadline, ending months of speculation in Leinster House that they were going to enter the election race.

“…Mr Wallace promised: ‘We’ll work our nuts off if we get elected’.”

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace to contest European elections (Miriam Lord, The Irish Times)

Rollingnews

Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly tweetz:

Fake News is alive & well about #Venezuela. Don’t believe the lies. Come to the public meeting on Thursday 7.30 Pearse Centre…

Meanwhile…

From top: Minister for Children Katherine Zappone; Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly; Ms Daly speaking in the Dáil earlier today

This afternoon.

In the Dáil, during Leaders’ Questions.

Independents 4 Change TD Clare Daly voiced her frustration over the manner in which scandals are handled in Ireland.

Ms Daly was speaking in light of the Cabinet yesterday approving a request from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation for an extension of a year before publishing its final report.

Yesterday: ‘Geophysical Survey’ Of Burial Ground At Sean Ross Abbey To Begin Tomorrow

Report in The Irish Times on Wednesday, January 9; Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone; debate in the Dáil last Thursday

On Wednesday, January 9 last, the Religious Affairs Correspondent for The Irish Times Patsy McGarry reported that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation was to seek an extension of a year before publishing its final report which was due in February.

The report took survivors, family members and supporters of people who lived in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home by surprise.

Following on from the report in The Irish Times, Broadsheet contacted the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on January 9 and asked a spokesman to confirm if The Irish Times article was correct; if it was, to set out the reasons for the seeking of an extension; to outline when the MBHCI made the request for an extension of Government; and to explain when the survivors/survivors’ groups were informed of the request.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone’s department responded at 5.45pm that evening, essentially confirming The Irish Times article, but without answering the other specific questions, stating:

“The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has written to the Minister to seek an extension to the time frame for delivering its final reports. The Minister is considering the request and will meet the Commission next week to discuss it further.

“The Minister will then respond to the request in consultation with her cabinet colleagues.

“The Minister has given a commitment to interested parties to communicate any updates in relation to the Mother and Baby Home issue in as timely a manner as possible.

“The Minister will use existing channels to communicate
with interested parties, including survivors and their advocates in advance of any public statements on this matter.”

Yet, when the matter was raised with Minister Zappone in the Dáil last Thursday evening by Galway West Independent TD Catherine Connolly, Dublin Fingal Independent TD Clare Daly, and Dublin South Central Independent TD Joan Collins, Ms Zappone said “the coverage was misleading”.

She also eventually confirmed, after being asked several times, that she had received the request from the commission in December.

Ms Collins said:

“I ask the Minister to correct me if I am wrong, but my information is that the report was finalised in early December last and had been sent to the Attorney General pending transmission to the Minister and the Cabinet.

“I have also been informed that more files from the HSE have emerged which is why, potentially, a further delay is being sought by the commission.

Survivors have been waiting anxiously for this report, as the Minister knows, and have been physically and emotionally shattered by the announcement in last week’s newspaper. It was a cold and calculated way to inform survivors and their families.

Some survivors in their 70s and 80s were outside the gates of Leinster House yesterday. They were cold and they were angry. It was a disgraceful way to treat these ageing people. Their rights and justice are being denied. Will the Minister please explain exactly what is happening and set out why there was no early warning of the proposed delay? These people are losing confidence in the Minister and her Government and in the commission.”

Ms Daly said:

“The request for a second extension from the commission is the last straw for many of us here and certainly for many of the survivors. The request should be refused.

“I am very curious to hear what the Minister’s attitude is and what level of warning she was given by the commission that this bombshell would drop a year almost after the last extension was granted. Many felt it was a step too far even then yet a year on, here we are.

“It is jaw-dropping to have a scenario in which four years later, we have had three interim reports comprising fewer than 40 pages between them. Of those interim reports, two sought more time while another focused on process. There have been no details and no findings and we must ask what in God’s name is going on in this gathering.

“As Deputy Joan Collins said, a suspicious person might wonder if things were being done in this manner so the community dies off.

The fact that they had to hear this as they did via a newspaper leak has caused more insult to them. In many ways, the process is as important as the outcome. The process here has been an abysmal failure and it has retraumatised many of the survivors.

“I do not necessarily blame the Minister and certainly not before we hear what she has to say. I assume she got the information. It is important for her to tell the House when she got it and whether it was flagged. If it was not flagged to her, why did the commission wait until the 11th hour? If it was flagged and everyone knew, why was it done like this? This is devastating and we need clarity around it. My attitude is that the request should be refused. It is too much.”

Ms Connolly said:

“Has the commission of investigation asked for an extension of time? If so, when was the request made, how was it made and how long has the Minister known?

“…From day one, there was confusion and delay. The third report asked for extension of time. While it caused real upset then, people accepted the assurance that the report would be published in February of this year.

“…Subsequent to what we found out in Patsy McGarry’s newspaper report earlier this month, it was claimed on the Department’s website that “reports in the media did not come from this Department and the speculation contained in these reports is inaccurate”.

“What specific inaccuracies are there? Has an extension been sought? If so, when and why was it sought? I will await the Minister’s answer before I give my opinion.”

In her response, Ms Zappone said:

“The scope of the investigation is broad. It was acknowledged at the outset that the timeframe was ambitious. I received the fourth interim report in December 2018. I met the chair of the commission, Judge Yvonne Murphy, last week to discuss the request for the extension of the timeframe for the delivery of the commission’s reports and to ensure I had a full understanding of the progress to date and the basis for the additional time being requested.

“I know it is important for the commission to complete this sensitive and complex work as soon as possible… There can be no shortcut to finding the truth.

“The interim report is short. Contrary to what the Deputies have suggested, it is not a proposal. It grounds the request for an extension of the timeframe to deliver the three reports from the commission by one year.

“As the request constitutes a change in the terms of reference of the commission, it is a matter for the Government to consider the request in reflection of its statutory provisions. Government approval is also required to publish the report. With this in mind, I intend to bring a memorandum to the Cabinet.

“I have already circulated a draft of the memorandum to Government Departments. I hope to have it on the agenda next week for discussion. Ahead of the Cabinet meeting, it would not be helpful to speculate on what the Government will decide.

I am conscious that the commentary on this issue in the media last week has caused distress and anxiety for those involved in this process. The coverage was misleading and did not originate from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, as one of the Deputies mentioned.

“I reiterate my commitment to use existing channels to inform stakeholders of any developments in this area in advance of a public notice. I intend to make a public announcement following the Cabinet meeting to clarify the position for them….I will engage with stakeholders ahead of any public announcements. I hope to announce the details of the interim report as soon as possible.”

Ms Collins told Ms Zappone that she still didn’t answer her questions, namely when the commission requested an extension, if it was made at the beginning of December and, if it was, why weren’t the survivors not informed of this request before reading about it in The Irish Times.

Ms Daly said the essence of what was in The Irish Times article was correct – in so far as the final report will be delayed by a year.

She called for a report to be published in February outlining exactly what the commission has done to date, what needs to be done and a timetable of when the work will be done.

Ms Connolly said:

I am afraid I am not so sympathetic. I am holding the Minister to account because her answer is not acceptable. When and how was she approached by the commission in relation to an extension? Why are the grounds for an extension not set out in the Minister’s reply? Why do we not have a copy of the report? The lines that should demarcate who is responsible for what are being blurred.

“An independent commission of inquiry was set up. It has a duty to report in a way that we can see, read and look at. It is not acceptable that the Minister is not telling us where the report is, why we do not have it and what the grounds for the request are. It is ridiculous and utterly unacceptable that she is telling us there are grounds for the request but not telling us what those grounds are or when they were set out.

“The Minister referred to a meeting that took place last week. If there is a shortage of staff, as has been mentioned, we should know about that. If there is a reason the work cannot be completed on time, it should be made known to us in an open and accountable manner. That is the least we deserve in this Dáil so we can represent the people outside who have suffered greatly.

“The Minister knows well that I have attended many of the meetings. The anger on the ground is palpable. There was an absence of trust from day one. I went out on a limb to give the system a chance. Looking back on that, it was rather foolish. Since 2015, we have had nothing but delay, obfuscation and blurring of boundaries. The very least the Minister should do is tell us precisely when the request came and how it came. Regardless of the nature of the report the Minister has, she should publish it.”

It was after this contribution from Ms Connolly that Ms Zappone said the request was made in December.

She said:

“It is an interim report.

“There are procedures in terms of the establishment of the independent commission and the commission has requested an extension for the completion of its work. That request must be presented to Government, which must agree or not to it. Once that has happened, there will be the publishing of the report.

“That is the process and those are the procedures.

“I intend to do that at the next Cabinet meeting. When I have provided my Cabinet colleagues with the rationale for this, in addition to advising them of the discussions I had with Judge Murphy, which I sought as soon as I could subsequent to the presentation of that interim report taking account of the Christmas period, I will engage with my Cabinet colleagues and we will make a decision.

We will let the survivors and those primary stakeholders know. I will publish the report and we will publish our decision. Those are the proper procedures. The Deputies will know then what is the rationale in that regard. I am happy to come back to the House and discuss those issues with them.

“Second, as the Deputies well know, this is an independent commission and therefore there are certain things I can and cannot do. The commission has made this request and laid out its rationale. I am able to talk and have talked to it about that – I have spoken of that – to more deeply understand its rationale in this regard.

“Third, as I mentioned in my opening remarks, I know the Deputies – who represent the people concerned very well – would acknowledge I also am aware of how awful and difficult this news is for these people to receive. I understand that. I will be able to provide the Deputies with the rationale with regard to the response, and my own response specifically to what they have said, next week after I have given that to my Cabinet colleagues.”

Transcript via KildareStreet.com

Previously: ‘A Dishonest Exercise’