This is a special message all the way from Zimbabwe from our colleague Musa Sibindi. Musa has a message for the people of Co. Laois ahead of the opening on a new Oxfam shop in Portlaoise on Friday and she even has a (very impressive) go at speaking Irish! Thanks, Musa!
[At a press conference earlier to release the report into maternity deaths at Portlaoise Hospital were from top: Natasha Molyneaux who lost her son Nathana and Health Minister James Reilly; Mark Molloy and Rosin who lost their baby Mark from left: solicitor Rachael Liston, Shauna Keyes who lost her baby Joshua Keyes Cornally and Shauna’s mother in law Margo Mills; Rosin Molly who lost her baby Mark and from left: Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, James Reilly and Dr Kathleen MacLellan]
The Clinical Director of the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise has apologised to the parents whose babies died at the maternity unit at the hospital.
In a statement this afternoon John Connaughton said the hospital and staff wish to apologise unreservedly for the unacceptable communication with the families at a time they most needed honesty compassion and kindness.
Asked why the parents of the babies were not told at the time of their death why the children had died, Mr Connaughton said investigations had begun but these investigations did not proceed at the rate they should have and that was unacceptable and cannot happen again.
Full statement of the IRA leader to the family of murdered prison officer Brian Stack:
“I want to acknowledge that the IRA was responsible for the death of your father. I regret that it has taken so long to clarify this matter for you. This was a secret guerrilla army. It kept no records of its military operations. During the 30 years of war activists were killed, many thousands were imprisoned and leaderships at all levels were constantly changing. Reliable information is therefore not readily available and sometimes not available at all. The IRA did have rules and regulations, including a rule which prohibited any military action against Irish state forces. Regrettably at times these rules were breached.
Between the 1970s and 80s there were prison struggles in Britain, the north (of Ireland) and south (of Ireland). The prisoners resisted these harsh regimes. Prison officers were killed by the IRA in the north. These killings were sanctioned by the IRA leadership but none were sanctioned in the south and none was asked for in the case of your father. In Portlaoise a brutal prison regime saw prisoners and their families suffer greatly.
This is the context in which IRA volunteers shot your father. This action was not authorised by the IRA leadership and for this reason the IRA denied any involvement. Some years later, when the Army Council discovered that its volunteers has shot Prison Officer Brian Stack, the volunteer responsible for the instruction was disciplined. Those who carried out the attack were IRA volunteers acting under orders.
The IRA was responsible for your father’s death. This operation should not have taken place.While the IRA can no longer comment on this matter let me express my sorrow for the pain and hurt your family suffered.”