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Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I welcome the Minister. I acknowledge and welcome what he stated at the outset. One of the issues with Irish politics is that, when we make mistakes, we do not admit them often enough. As the Leader stated, the Minister's comments demonstrated a humility that is often absent in politics. I welcome the compassion of his comments and I acknowledge Senators' remarks about the level of pain...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I am sorry. I do not know whether I need to repeat it, but I acknowledge what the Minister stated at the outset of this debate. The humility of his comments and his acknowledgement of mistakes in the context of this legislation were important. Senators have mentioned the effect of those mistakes on the survivors and victims of the horrible deeds about which we know. The anxiety, hurt and...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: They have wilfully put out information that has deliberately caused upset, anxiety and hurt to the very people whom they purport, in this House, to represent. In fairness, some of those same people have acknowledged the Minister's good intentions in this. He has an honest and forthright approach and he has sought to do what is right. However, others have twisted that and taken what is in...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I recognise the point Senator Bacik is making.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I acknowledge what Senator Bacik said but it is really important to call out what has happened. She is correct that there are people who have been wronged. To be absolutely clear, I am not blaming any of them. There is a cohort of people, including those who have been through the homes, those who were born in the homes and the families and friends of those people, who have endured...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: Will Senator Bacik allow me to address what she said?

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I have already yielded once, a Chathaoirligh. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with sending emails. God knows we welcome emails. If Senator Bacik will allow me to finish the point I was making, it is that much of the information contained in those emails is deliberately misleading and inaccurate in terms of-----

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: A Chathaoirligh, I must be allowed to address the point that was raised.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: The point I am making is not to criticise people for emailing Senators or to discourage them-----

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I must be allowed-----

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: If a point of information or order is made against me, I must be allowed to respond to it.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I am sorry, a Chathaoirligh, but they have also suggested that I am criticising people who send emails to Members of the Oireachtas. I must be allowed to address that point because it is not what I said.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I am not criticising people for doing that.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I will finish on this point. I am saying that there has been a visible campaign of misinformation in respect of what is in the Bill.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I am going to finish the point I am making, which the Cathaoirleach has deemed to be relevant.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: The point I was making is that there are issues in this regard precisely because there is a significant misunderstanding abroad, among people in our society, that this Bill does something that it does not do. I am saying that this misunderstanding is a result of information that has been put out by people which is incorrect.

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: That misinformation is a significant factor and a major part of the hurt and anxiety that has been caused in the first instance. I am calling it out because I think it is wrong, just as other Senators have criticised other aspects of the issue we are discussing, as they are entitled to do. There is a major problem of misinformation and we need to identify it. If we say nothing about it, it...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I will finish if people stop interrupting me. The point I am making is that if we do not call it out, it will happen again and again. It is important to stand up when one recognises that something is happening that is wrong. The point I raised is relevant to the amendments we are discussing. I welcome what the Minister said in terms of acknowledging that things can and should be done...

Seanad: Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill 2020: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: I did not.

Seanad: Health (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage (23 Oct 2020)

Barry Ward: Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire Stáit. I agree with what has been said about this Bill. It is unfortunate but it is necessary. The comments of other Senators in this regard are well made. We need to equip the Garda with the powers it requires to enforce the regulations. That is for the benefit of everyone - all members of society but, most particularly, those who are vulnerable to...

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