October 29, 2020
Sinn Féin seeks urgent briefing with Minister on Mother and Baby Homes commitments

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has today sought an urgent opposition briefing with the Children’s Minister to discuss the timeframe and implementation plan for the commitments contained within last night’s Government’s statement on Mother and Baby Homes.

 Speaking today, Teachta Funchion said: 

“I want to commend the survivors for their tireless campaigning on this crucial issue. It is their strength and commitment that has resulted in the Government’s belated acceptance that survivors have a legal right to access their own records. 

“Over the last two weeks, wider society has demonstrated a collective outrage at how survivors and their families were treated by Government as they rushed their flawed legislation through the Dáil and Seanad. 

“The Government has committed to consulting with survivors, their families and advocates in advance of publishing the Commission’s final report, upholding the right to access personal records, on outstanding legislative commitments on Information and Tracing and the necessary actions at the Tuam burial site. 

“I am today calling on the Government to expediate the outstanding health and wellbeing commitments as recommended by the Consultative Forum in 2018. Counselling supports were to be rolled out at the beginning of 2020, yet no support has been put in place to date. 

“With the imminent publication of the Commission’s report and public debate over the last two weeks survivors and families need urgent access to counselling services and the dedicated patient advocacy liaison service promised by Government. 

“I have today written to the Minister seeking an urgent briefing for opposition spokespersons with the Children’s Minister to discuss the timeframe and implementation plan for the commitments contained within last night’s Government’s statement on Mother and Baby Homes. 

“The Minister needs to confirm the publication date of the Commission’s report and set out the process by which he will ensure an inclusive consultative process for survivors, families and their advocates in advance of its publication.  

“Government must also ensure that it provides the resources necessary to put in place the Data Protection experts needed to copper-fasten the access rights of individuals as set out in domestic and European law. 

“Sinn Féin will work with all parties to ensure the voices of survivors and families are not only heard but acted on, that their rights are upheld and that their experiences will never be forgotten.”

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