Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
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153. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth his plans to establish a specialist tracing team with ring-fenced resources as recommended in a report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15497/22]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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In March 2021 I asked Professor Conor O’Mahony, the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, to consider the significant complexities and challenges which arise in relation to the issue of illegal birth registrations, and to provide a report proposing an appropriate course of action. On 14th March 2022 I published the report which sets out 17 numbered recommendations.

Recommendations 8- 12 relate to creating a Specialist Tracing Service that would take a two-pronged approach to identifying further cases of illegal birth registration. Firstly, it recommends a review and trace of the files flagged by Tusla as raising suspicions of illegal birth registration, but which fell short of the amount of evidence in the St. Patrick Guild files during the Independent Review. Secondly, it recommends creating a right of expedited review for persons who hold reasonable suspicions that they may have been the subject of an illegal birth registration.

On the first point relating to files which were flagged as suspicious, and where the person concerned has not sought information or a review of their case, I will request that Tusla undertake a review of these files to identify which ones have markers which are indicative of potential illegal birth registration and to establish if any of these cases can be confirmed. Where confirmed, affected individuals will be informed of this in an ethical, sensitive and fully supported manner. I will provide the relevant legal underpinning for this review through the Birth Information and Tracing Bill and prior to issuing a formal request to Tusla.

On the second point, I will ensure that the Birth Information and Tracing Bill 2022 will provide that a person who suspects that their birth was illegally registered will have the right to request an expedited review of their case.


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