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Thursday 22 August 2019

Demands grow for investigation and files to be opened

Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on children, Anne Rabbitte
Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on children, Anne Rabbitte Newsdesk Newsdesk

There are growing calls for a full and independent investigation to be launched and Catholic adoption files to be opened following the scandal of a woman who received the wrong baby.

The Irish Independent revealed on Saturday how Christine Skipsey (52) and the woman who she'd thought was her mother, Helen Maguire (71), took a DNA test after hearing of the illegal adoptions scandal in Ireland.

That test revealed, after more than 50 years, they were not related.

Fianna Fáil spokeswoman on children, Anne Rabbitte, said: "We need accountability and a reunification of the other child with their family.

"They have a right to know."

The Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) said it is "shocked" but "not surprised" by the case.

Claire McGettrick, co-founder of the group, added: "Our thoughts are with Helen Maguire and Christine Skipsey.

"And we know both anecdotally through our own experience SPG (St Patrick's Guild) was responsible for a vast number of illegal adoptions. We would estimate that the total is far greater than [148].

"Over the years, ARA and its predecessor organisation have received an overwhelming number of complaints about SPG," Ms McGettrick said.

"Over the past two decades, ARA directors have repeatedly called for an investigation into adoption practices in Ireland.

"And, since 2015, when [then] minister James Reilly established the Commission of Investigation on Mother and Baby Homes, we have been calling for the commission's remit to be widened, to include agencies such as SPG.

"Without a thorough and independent investigation, it will not be possible to get to the truth of the Irish State's treatment of unmarried mothers and their children.

"Most importantly, this revelation further demonstrates the need to open personal and administrative records held by Tusla (who hold SPG's and other adoption agency records) and the Adoption Authority to adopted people and other individuals such as Ms Maguire and Ms Skipsey," said Ms McGettrick.

Irish Independent

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