New project helps mother and baby home residents make witness statements

Flowers are laid to remember the women and girls who were incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries at Glasnevin Cemetery. Photo: Mark Condren

Catherine Devine

Women who lived in mother and baby homes in Ireland will now be able to avail of free legal assistance to make a witness statement.

Justice for Magdalene Research (JFMR) and Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) have launched the new plan known as “Clann”.

The project will provide free legal assistance to allow individuals in the homes to draft witness statements.

The project aims to help ensure that the Commission of Investigation conducts the most comprehensive investigation possible into the treatment of unmarried mother in the homes.

Susan Logan, who herself is adopted, is the co-founder of Adoption Rights Alliance.

The assistance will be made available to anyone in the world with experience of Ireland’s treatment of unmarried mothers and their children, even if they do not fall under the list of 18 institutions initially being investigated by the Commission.

The ARA and JFMR say that it will ensure that women can still give evidence even if they do not wish to do so in person.

The new project aims to ensure that the Commission of investigation makes appropriate findings and recommendations.