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Thursday 31 July 2014

Children’s Minister announces Commission of Inquiry with full statutory powers into all mother and baby homes

Philip Ryan

Published 10/06/2014|13:34

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Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

MINISTER for Children Charlie Flanagan has announced a Commission of Inquiry with full statutory powers into all mother and baby homes.

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Minister Flanagan said the investigation would establish the truth about what happened in all mother and baby homes across the country.

He hoped the inquiry would also investigate allegations of forced adoption and controversial vaccine trials carried out on children without their mother’s permission.

“It is my hope and determination that all these issues are dealt with in a way that is comprehensive,” he said.

The move follows weeks of controversy after the discovery of an alleged mass grave containing the remains of almost 800 babies in Tuam, Co Galway.

Mr Flanagan said he was hoping the commission would have cross-party support.

Speaking to RTE Radio One he said: “I will be actively seeking consensus from across the political spectrum.”

Fianna Fail children’s spokesman Robert Troy welcomed the Commission of Inquiry and said it should be “above party politics”.

Mr Troy said women who were residents in State homes “have nothing to be ashamed of” and their right to anonymity should be respected should they come forward to speak with an inquiry.

Adoption Rights Alliance co-founder Susan Lohan also welcomed the Commission of Inquiry.

“On the face of it, it’s certainly looking good,” she told RTE Radio 1.

“We are particularly interested in forced adoptions and illegal adoptions. The timeliness and the scope are the two most important things here."

The terms of reference of the inquiry will be determined by an inter-departmental review which will report to Cabinet by June 30.

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