Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Sustainable Development Goals and Departmental Priorities: Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Photo of Erin McGreehanErin McGreehan (Fianna Fail)
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I ask the Minister for a guarantee that the balance of rights will be ensured between mother and child and the personal information of the mother will be accessible within her rights. From listening to survivors and mothers I know they are very afraid their personal details will be handed out when they do not want them to be. This will be very difficult for some adoptees. It is the situation we are in and we as a State have delivered this atrocity. It will not be an easy balance of rights.

When the recommendations in the report are given to us, I want to make sure that we work on them without haste. These women and children need supports, counselling and help. They have been abused by the State and institutions, and their faith in institutions in this country, whether church, State or societal institutions, is very low. The law is not caring but the Department needs to care for these women because they are vulnerable and hurting. They have had a lifetime of hurt.

There has been talk of burial grounds in Bessborough House and I have not heard much about this. Has the Department looked into marking the graves of the babies and perhaps the women who may be buried in Bessborough House in Cork? There is a lot of talk from survivors about the possibility of their friends who were in those homes and their babies being buried in the grounds of the house.