Politics

Wednesday 23 July 2014

New dedicated phone line for former residents of mother and baby homes

Published 18/06/2014|11:18

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Charlie Flanagan
Charlie Flanagan

Children's Minister Charlie Flanagan has set-up a dedicated phone line and counselling service for former residents of mother and baby homes.

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The move follows the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into the high-rate of infant mortality in Catholic Church run mother and baby homes.

There was widespread public outrage when it emerged almost 800 babies were allegedly buried in a mass grave beside a home in Tuam, Co Galway.

“There are a number of services available to those affected by the matters being considered in the context of mother and baby homes,” the minister said.

“In particular, I am conscious that there is a demand for information and my Department has worked with the  HSE  in  relation  to  arrangements for the provision of information,” he added.

An update on the inquiry announced by the Minister today includes:

•        An information & counselling service for former residents.

•        New email address for submissions on Terms of Reference of Commission of Investigation (motherandbabyhomes@dcya.gov.ie).

•        Dedicated telephone information line for people seeking information or details of support available.

The Department is seeking submissions from the public which could be relevant to the scooping exercise which will form the terms of reference.

It is specifically looking for details of mother and baby homes which could potentially be included in the inquiry.

Minister Flanagan said it was his intention to meet key advocacy groups and the spokespersons of the other political parties in the coming weeks.

Those seeking information on the inquiry should low call the HSE National Information Lineon: 1850 24 1850 during Monday to Friday 9am to 5 pm.

Those directly affected can also contact the CONNECT free telephone out-of-hours professional counselling and support service to speak with a trained counsellor: Freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK.

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