Monday 15 July 2019

Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes extended by a year

Survivors criticise delay in final report

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone. Picture: Collins
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone. Picture: Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The Government has approved a year’s extension of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The decision has been met with criticism representatives of survivors who argue that the probe should be concluded sooner as the victims are elderly.

The Commission had been due to deliver its final report next month.

Children Minister Katherine Zappone brought a memo on the extension of the inquiry to Cabinet, following a request from the Commission that it get another year to complete its work.

The Commission, chaired by judge Yvonne Murphy, was set up in 2015 after the revelations about the Tuam mother and baby home where the remains of hundreds of infants were discovered. This was highlighted by local historian Catherine Corless.

It was due to deliver its final report next month, but it sought an extension of a year due to the volume of material it is working through.

Historian Catherine Corless stands beside the list of children's names at the Tuam Mother and Babies site. Photo: Andy Newman
Historian Catherine Corless stands beside the list of children's names at the Tuam Mother and Babies site. Photo: Andy Newman

Ms Zappone said the request was approved by Cabinet.

She told RTÉ Radio: “I deeply appreciate the distress and the disappointment that this will cause for the survivors and families in relation to those who are most deeply impacted by the work of the Commission of Investigation.

“I and my colleagues carry that awareness.

“At the same time we approved the recommendation for the extension because – particularly myself having met with judge Murphy and I suppose raised a number of questions in terms of the request  - really believe that this is the most appropriate way to give the Commission the time that it requested in order to have as comprehensive of a report as possible in the public interest when they report in February 2020.” 

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