Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster, Denise Mullen, has said that survivors of Mother and Baby Homes have not had all their questions answered today, whist hitting out at the “insensitive” approach the government has taken.

Cllr Denise Mullen:

“The report on Mother and Baby Homes published this week makes for distressing reading. Survivors have been phoning Aontú reps across the country trying to get their hands on a copy of the report. The survivors were failed badly by the government’s handling of the report. How is it they were not furnished with a copy of the report ahead of the media? Instead they were invited to attend a zoom meeting with the Taoiseach and Minister for Children. Many of these former residents are elderly and were thus unable to download the app, create an account and attend the meeting. Furthermore, the process at that meeting whereby they could ask typed questions was unnecessarily difficult. None of the survivors were allowed speak for the duration of the meeting and their microphones remained muted by the host. The chance for these survivors to speak as muted, as the Taoiseach and Minister spoke to them about a report on their suffering.”

“This long, challenging report leaves many questions unanswered for survivors. The government should have ensured that survivors were furnished with a copy of this report before it was published. They should have been offered proper counselling, support and love and at the very least a sensitive phone call from the Department. Instead they were sent a link by email which directed them to download zoom. These elderly survivors are emotionally drained from this entire ordeal, and have relayed to us that they are not feeling any love or support from the government. This is most regrettable. The leaking of the report was shameful. There has been much talk about compensation in recent days, and while that is to be welcomed survivors are speculating that many of them may be dead by the time any tribunal is set up and eventually concluded. For now we must reflect on the immediate needs of survivors. These people were born into a country that didn’t love them, under the care of a State that didn’t love them. We must love now as they near the end of their lives. Nobody, who was born in these institutions, should be left without emotional, phycological, physical and financial care and assistance in these years they have left.”