Tuesday 21 November 2017

Dáil debate on Tuam babies' scandal delayed as fewer than 20 TDs show up

Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A Dáil debate on the Tuam babies’ scandal was delayed by 10 minutes this morning after not enough TDs showed up.

Two hours were set aside for discussion on the revelation that “significant remains” have been found in a sewage system at the site of a Mother and Baby Home in Galway.

Oireacthas rules state that 20 TDs must be present for a debate to begin but there was not an adequate number present at 10am. Parties scrambled to get sufficient numbers into the chamber.

When the debate did get underway, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone made a personal apology to the victims of the homes.

She also confirmed that she will publish a long-awaited interim report from the Commission of Investigation.

This was welcomed by Opposition TDs, but Ms Zappone is still facing calls to widen the scope of the commission’s work.

Labour Party TD Jan O’Sullivan said commission was set up “to examine a sample” of cases but the events of recent days showed its terms of reference now need to be widened.

She said the country is facing “a scandal of huge proportions”.

Ms Zappone has agreed to carry out a scoping exercise to decide whether it is viable to extend the inquiry to cover "all institutions".

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams questioned why there is no garda investigation into the find in Tuam.

Online Editors

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