Tag Archives: Mother and Baby Home Report

Last night.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer, Frank Breheny joined us to discuss the latest developments with the Mother and Baby Home report and the institutional burials bill.

Breeda, Eunan and Frank are behind the Separation, Appropriation and Loss Initiative (SALI) and have drafted an alternative to the controversial ‘General Scheme of a Certain Institutional Burials (Authorised Interventions) Bill’. introduced in the wake of discoveries at Tuam.

This bill includes a provision to ‘dis-apply’ the obligations of a coroner to perform an inquest into any death within their district.

SALI’s The Institutions Recognised or Suspected Burial Grounds Bill 2021, which has been sent to every member of the Oireachtas, provides a ‘much wider set of obligations, to be addressed by local authorities and Ministers, and in particular, incorporating the the vital role that Irish Coroners must play in this work’

As Breeda says:

“We are reminded continuously of complexities on issues that have for decades proved elusive by the Government to solve or even impact positively upon. When one looks at them, the issues are not complex at all. In this particular case, captured in this proposed Bill, it is simple. There is a right way to do things and a wrong way and Governments have chosen the wrong way for reasons that are incomprehensible”.

This is the 18th in a series of shows with Breeda, Eunan and Frank on issues surrounding the Mother and Baby Home Report. You can watch them back here.

Campaigners are concerned by the Irish Government’s proposed Bill on Institutional Burials (SALI)

Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation members at the commission’s launch in 2015, from left: Professor Mary Daly, Judge Yvonne Murphy, Dr William Duncan.

This evening.

Further to the the participation of Professor Mary Daly, one of the members of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission, at a seminar in Oxford University, where she disclosed for the first time that 500 survivor testimonies were excluded from the commission’s final report for ‘legal reasons’…

…And following calls from Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Labour Party leader Alan Kelly for the commission to appear before TDs…

Social Democrats TD, and Oireachtas Children’s Committee member, Holly Cairns said:

“I have written to the Oireachtas Children’s Committee requesting that we again invite members of the Commission to the Committee to discuss their report.

“It is hard for many to understand why one of the Commissioners agreed to discuss the report at an academic seminar, but unwilling to come before the Oireachtas Committee.

“It is even harder to understand how the Commission report’s findings were, in so many cases, contradictory to the testimony of survivors. To give just one example: that there was no evidence of forced adoption.

Given what we know now about the methodology that was used to prepare this report, the Government must repudiate the report and produce the underlying archive. Survivors must be given the administrative files and all of their personal data.

“Crucially, the government needs to repudiate the report. Survivors were denied fair procedures. This report is rewriting people’s lived experience and, with it, Irish history.”

Meanwhile…

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Minister for Children Roderic  O’Gorman said clarification would help to address the anger and uncertainty felt by survivors, adding it was not appropriate for the first public comments on the report to be made to a restricted academic event.

He said that “it is necessary at this point for them to come before the Oireachtas committee”.

Commission should ‘urgently clarify’ treatment of survivor accounts – Minister (RTÉ)

Earlier: Gatekeeping

Last night.

Dr Laura McAtackney, an historical archeologist, joined Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy and adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy to share her experience surveying the site of the Magdalene laundry in Donnybrook, Dublin 4 with survivors.

Laura, of Aarhus University, Denmark believes we should explore what happens to sites connected to institutions in terms of burials but also above ground.

This is the 17th show in a series with Breeda and Eunan and lawyer Frank Brehany, who was unable to join us this week, looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home system in Ireland. They can be viewed here.

Last week: Crime Scenes

Last night.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehhany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, discuss the Gardaí appeal to anyone who was the victim of a criminal act in a Mother-and-Baby Home to contact them.

Last week, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (top right) said there are allegations within the report of the Mother and Baby Home Commission that suggests there was ‘serious criminality’  that could have criminal justice outcomes.

We look at the options open to survivors.

This is the 17th in a series of shows with Breeda, Eunan and Frank looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation report. They can be viewed here.

This morning.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, released their first joint report, detailing the practical requirements of any Transitional Justice Scheme, relating to the Mother and Baby Home Institutions.

Breeda, Eunan and Frank have published and released this report through a think-tank they have formed: The Separation, Appropriation & Loss Initiative (SALI) – (An Scaradh, Toiliú agus Cailleadh Tionscnamh).

This report delivers ‘informed comment and observations, stemming from their own experiences and that of many victims and survivors’.

On Saturday, Breeda, Eunan and Frank joined us to discuss their report (video above) in the 16th in a series of shows looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation report.

SALI report here

 

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, discuss the possibly of a class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies who tested on children in clinical trials in Mother and Baby homes.

There were at least 13 vaccine trials carried out on more than 43,000 children, according to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation. None of the mothers gave consent

And, as there was no follow up on the long-term health of those subjected to the trials, the commission was allowed to state:

“There is no evidence of injury to the children involved as a result of the vaccines.”

This is the 15th in a series of shows with Breeda, Eunan and Frank looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation report. They can be viewed here.

Meanwhile…

Philomena Lee among five given leave to challenge mother and baby homes report (irish Times)

Previously: Medical Trials And Children of A Lesser God

Mother And Baby And Medical Trials

Pics: RTÉ

Last night.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, discuss GDPR, birth mothers and the ‘right of agency’.

This is the 14th in a series of shows with Breeda and Eunan looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation report. They can be viewed here.

Last night.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, discuss efforts to halt development on land where those who died in Mother and Baby Homes are buried – including in Bessborough, Cork (above) – and the ramifications of the Institutional Burials bill, which is making its way through the Oireachtas.

The bill if passed will ensure inquests to establish cause of death on children’s remains may not be carried out after exhumation.

This is the 13th in a series of shows with Breeda and Eunan looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation report. They can be viewed here.

Meanwhile…

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has contacted Fabian Salvioli (above), the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence about the Mother and Baby Home report

This morning.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has written to the UN expert on truth, justice, and reparations regarding the Mother and Baby Homes Commission report.

The ICCL warned Fabian Salvioli, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, of the ‘real possibility’ that the government’s plan to deal with historic and ongoing rights violations ‘will be insufficient to meet Ireland’s human rights commitments under international law’.

Via Irish Council for Civil Liberties:

In our letter to we outline where the government plan falls short when it comes to investigations with teeth, identity rights, and exhumations.

We also flag two main problems with the Institutional Burials Bill. The first is that it disapplies the Coroners Act. This means inquests to establish cause of death may not be carried out – in violation of survivors’ right to truth about what happened to their loved ones.

We recommend that inquests should be carried out into mass institutional burials as a matter of course.

The second issue is the list of restrictions for carrying out excavations – including the presence of dwellings on the site. For example, the burial site of 836 children at the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home has not been established, but the Bill would appear to exclude the possibility of excavating this site, as there are dwellings already there and planning permission in the pipeline for more.

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission recognised that “it is highly likely that the burials did take place in the grounds of Bessborough. The only way that this can be established is by an excavation of the entire property, including those areas that are now built on.”

The process for identifying or locating burial sites is unclear and not provided for by this Bill. ICCL flags this key gap in our letter to the UN and recommends that government provides a clear and transparent process to identify and locate potential burial sites.

ICCL recommends that government either amends this Bill so that it is line with the UN framework for Transitional Justice, or that it scraps the Bill and amends the Coroners Act to allow for excavations of mass burial sites associated with institutions.

Read letter in full here

Irish Council For Civil Liberties

Last night.

Tuam campaigner Breeda Murphy, adoptee and activist Eunan Duffy and lawyer Frank Brehany, whose father was a Tuam adoptee, discuss a redress scheme for survivors and the struggle to get local county councils, including most recently Offaly, to publicly apologise for their role in the Mother and baby Home system.

Frank also raises the issue of a ‘gagging order’ made against a Cork Industrial school survivor making it a criminal offence for him to divulge how much compensation he received under the Residential Institutions Redress Scheme.

This is the 12th in a series of shows featuring Breeda and Eunan looking at all aspects of the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation Report. They can be viewed here

Councils advised to follow the Taoiseach’s lead when apologising for mother and baby home (Sunday Independent)

Offaly County Council issues historic Mother and Baby homes apology (Offaly Express)

Cork industrial school survivor sues State over legal aid and redress ‘gagging order’ *Irish Examiner)