Election leaves mother and baby home survivors in limbo

By Maurice Garvey

ANOTHER year, another delay in the publication of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation’s final report.

Government sources last week indicated the sheer scale of the investigation (14 mother and baby homes and four county homes) and the upcoming general election could push the report beyond its February 18 deadline.

David Kinsella1 compressor

David Kinsella with fellow St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home survivors Rose McKinney (centre) and Sheila Byrne (hat)

Initially, it was to be published in 2018, but two one-year extensions were granted for a report, due to be received by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone next month.

Clondalkin resident David Kinsella, who was born in St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home, has for years argued that time is of the essence for elderly institutional survivors, and believes the general election “leaves survivors in limbo.”

“Minister Zappone has found ways to delay the publication and can walk away after the election,” he said.

 “While I understand and respect the Tuam babies need a proper burial with their families, that can go on as long as it needs to go on, but survivors have not got that time.

“For God’s sake, we want nothing more or less than other survivors got, like the Magdalene women, redress and recognition, nothing more and nothing less.”

Mother and Baby campaigner Tony Kelly, from Tallaght, said it was disgraceful that the last interim report mentioned nothing about redress.

“It is insulting for Mother and Baby Home survivors to accept. Health Minister Simon Harris told the collaborative forum the HSE will be on board, but he also said last year the HSE is not fit for purpose.

“I am on a five-month waiting list for physio on my shoulder and a six-month wait for occupational therapy. How in God’s name are the HSE going to take on an estimated 57,000 survivors.”

This week it emerged, that Mother and Baby Home survivors group First Mothers, fed up with government delaying tactics, are set to sue the State and religious orders for millions.

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