Saturday 21 October 2017

Tusla to oppose claim brought by man seeking information about his sister who may have died in Tuam home

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Aodhan O'Faolain

The Child and Family Agency will formally outline its opposition to a claim brought by Co Galway man seeking information about his sister who may have died in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home by the end of the month.

The case has been brought by Peter Mulryan, whose infant sister Marian Bridget Mulryan is believed to be among 796 children recorded as having died there, has brought proceedings against Tusla aimed at getting any information that may exist about her.

Last month permission to bring the action was granted by Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, following an application by Deidre O'Donohoe Bl instructed by solicitor Kevin Higgins,  for Mr Mulryan.

Previously the court heard that Mr Mulryan went with his mother to the Tuam home in July 1944, his mother later appeared to have gone to a Magdalene institution and he was sent away at age four.

Mr Mulryan a retired ESB technician of Derrymullen, Ballinasloe Co Galway has brought proceedings against Tusla aimed at securing various orders and declarations from the court.

Mr Mulryan seeks a declaration that communications sent to his solicitor in May, June and November 2016 cumulatively gave rise to a legitimate expectation that a social worker would assist Mr Mulryan by investigating all records in its possession to ascertain what information it has about his sister.

The documentation he seeks to be investigated should include burial records, admission books, death certificate, documents concerning children sent to the US, Ireland or elsewhere for adoption that contain information and correspondence from the Tuam home relating to his sister.

He also seeks an order that Tusla provide him with a printed booklet containing all the documentation it has it in its power and possession in respect of St Mary's Home Tuam that has any information about the life and or the presumed death of his sister.

The case was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Robert Haughton at the High Court on Tuesday.

The judge was told that Mr Mulryan's legal team had not yet received a statement of opposition from the Child and Family Agency.

Ms O'Donohoe told the court that there was some urgency to the matter because of Mr Mulryan's ill health.

Her client wants the case heard as soon as possible, counsel said.

In reply Conor Dignam SC for Tusla said it was hope that his client's statement of opposition would be served on Mr Mulryan's legal team within the next two weeks.

Mr Justice Haughton directed that Tusla's  statement outlining its opposition to what Mr Mulryan is seeking be served by Friday April 28 next. The matter will return before the court sometime after that date.

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