Mother and baby home survivors call extensions ‘a slap in the face’

By Maurice Garvey

IN THE wake of the Mother and Baby Home Commission being granted an extension to complete its three reports, survivors from South Dublin County held a meeting with Professor Patricia Lundy (Ulster University) at Áras Chrónáin in Clondalkin this week.

Survivors have called the extension a “slap in the face”, with many of their peers being elderly and passing away.

mothers and baby survivors August 4 2016

Many feel that Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has allowed the commission to kick the case down the road.

Lundy, author of the book ‘What Survivors Want From Redress’ and Margaret McGuckin, founder of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia) in Belfast, were invited to the meeting by Clondalkin resident David Kinsella, a survivor of St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home.

Also in attendance were Paul Redmond, Chairperson, Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (CMABS), Independent Councillor Francis Timmons, a survivor of the Irish care system, and Sinn Féin TD Eoin O’Broin and Councillor Mark Ward.

Mr Kinsella said: “The meeting had constructive insights in getting survivor groups to move forward as a positive structured pressure group.

“We welcome their support as we gather more political interest in our immediate call for fast-track interim redress and apology, without further delay as outlined to Minister Katherine Zappone at our September meeting with her.

“While we are aware of the Commission’s other interim broader report in September 2016, we hope some of our concerns are outlayed or recommended in this.”

Parkwest resident Terri Harrison, Natural Mothers Support Group, said: “It was good to have an opportunity to explore all avenues of support. No more are we the silenced terrified female inmates of slave camps. We have our liberty now, to seek justice. We will not ever be silenced again.”

Tallaght resident Tony Kelly, who started life in a mother and baby home in Blackrock, said it is “nothing short of scandalous” how the “truth and facts” of mother and baby homes “have been ordered to be covered up by those in authority.”

Cllr Timmons said: “Minister Zappone needs to listen and she needs to ensure that every survivor gets truth and justice. These women did nothing wrong – Mary Timmons, my mother, did nothing wrong.”

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