Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has announced his intention to oppose the Commissions of Investigation Mother and Baby Homes bill which has been introduced by Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman.
Deputy Tóibín said: “The contents of this Bill are very concerning. If enacted it will mean that records unearthed by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation will be returned to Tusla and held under lock and key for thirty years. This is unacceptable, we in Aontú have spoken to former residents in recent days and they’ve expressed concern that they will not be able to access even the transcripts of their own testimonies to the commission, or their own medical records or documents”.
Deputy Tóibín continued: “It is a sad reality that in thirty years’ time many of the former residents/ survivors may be dead. We’ve all heard the stories of people who have spent years trying to find their birth mother. People currently involved in the tracing or searching process are acutely aware that as the clock ticks their chances of reunion are fading. Minister O’Gorman’s Bill will throw more red tape and hurdles in the faces of people who are desperate in their search, having been failed by this State for so long”.
“Unless seriously amended I cannot see myself supporting this Bill. Of the survivors I’ve spoken to the main thing they want, ahead of compensation, is their own personal records and family history. This Bill would deprive them of the thing they want most, and the answers they are so desperately looking for. I am currently engaged in consultation with legal experts about potential amendments we can table to the Bill”, concluded Deputy Tóibín.