January 12, 2021
Survivors’ stories must be listened to with sensitivity and respect – Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children Kathleen Funchion TD has today paid tribute to survivors and their families as the report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is published.  

Commenting this afternoon, on this historic day, Teachta Funchion said:

“I want firstly to commend the bravery of survivors and their families who time and time again have been overlooked and subjugated by church, State and society.

“Today marks a milestone for many victims of state sanctioned abuse, they came forward and shared deeply personal and traumatic stories of forced adoptions, family destructions and of horrific abuses of their human rights. I want to pay tribute to their determination, bravery and courage in fighting to ensure their voices are finally heard.

“We cannot lose sight of the fact that today is an extremely distressing and upsetting day for victims.  

“Like several reports before, this must prompt the Government to act urgently to ensure the human rights of survivors are protected. Survivors need more than just kind words from Government, they need to see concrete action to ensure their needs are met.

“We now need to allow victims and their families the time to read the report in detail and to reflect on its contents. It will undoubtedly bring many painful memories to the surface again for them.

“Once again, I call on the Minister for Children to listen to survivors’ responses to the report. Their voices are the voices that matter and should be at the very heart of the Government’s focus and next steps.

“This must include survivors being able to access their own records and data. It also must include support in accessing housing, dedicated support workers, counselling and other therapies.

“As a society, we owe it to survivors to listen to their stories now with sensitivity and respect. We must ensure that this shameful chapter of our country’s history isn’t swept under the rug. Survivors’ voices have been ignored and sidelined for far too long.

“What happened to the women and children involved was shameful. They have always known what happened to them was wrong. But now the State can take action to right the wrongs of the past. To let these women and children know that they were never at fault. The State was, and all those who turned a blind eye were – as well as the institutions involved.”

If you have been affected by today’s report, you can access dedicated counselling services at this link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/12da8-counselling-supports-for-former-residents-of-mother-and-baby-homes/

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