February 6, 2021
Kathleen Funchion TD expresses disappointment at Commission Chair’s refusal to attend Oireachtas Committee

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has expressed disappointed that the Chair of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has refused to appear before the Oireachtas Children’s Committee.

Teachta Funchion, who is Chair of the Oireachtas Committee, said:

“Last week in my capacity as Chair of the Oireachtas Children’s Committee I wrote to Judge Yvonne Murphy, Chair of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission, to invite her to attend the Commission.

“Yesterday, I received a reply from Justice Murphy informing me that she would not attend.

“I am deeply disappointed by this development. It is vital that the Chair of the Commission appears before the Committee to answer a number of crucial questions.

“Many survivors have been deeply hurt by the Commission report’s tone and approach. This has included insensitive language and an inadequate remit in terms of the number of institutions included.

“This was compounded last week when it emerged that survivors’ testimonies to the Commission have been destroyed, despite survivors’ legal representatives alleging that they were not informed of this destruction in advance.

“These are all very serious matters which are of deep concern to survivors. I believe it is vital that Justice Murphy attends the Committee, so that survivors can get answers on these issues.

“I am very conscious that the Commission is due to be dissolved at the end of this month and therefore time is very short. If Justice Murphy is not available then I am asking for another member of the Commission to appear instead so that these important questions can be put to them.

“Survivors have been treated in an appalling manner throughout this process. The very least that they deserve is transparency and accountability. 

“I have written to Justice Murphy to express my disappointment at her response and to suggest an alternate date for her to attend the Committee. 

“I remain committed to ensuring survivors get the accountability they need.”

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