Thursday 17 January 2019

Richard Boyd Barrett concerned he may be affected by adoption scandal

Richard Boyd Barrett. Photo: Tom Burke
Richard Boyd Barrett. Photo: Tom Burke
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said he is concerned he could be one of the cases where people had their births illegally registered between 1946 and 1969 because he was adopted from St Patrick’s Guild in Dublin.

He told the Dáil today that he has personal questions about his own history following the revelation that Tusla had uncovered 126 cases of illegal adoption there.

Mr Boyd Barrett was adopted at St Patrick’s Guild in the 1960s and has since met his birth mother.

However, he said yesterday’s revelations have left him with more questions about the circumstances of his adoption.

“I will have to check this out,” he said of his personal circumstances.

“What we are seeing here is another exposing of the toxic relationship between church and State in this county and the hardship it has imposed and continues to impose on significant numbers of people.

“I was particularly struck by this because I was adopted via the St Patrick’s Guild in the years affected. I don’t know if I am one of the cases involved.

“Thousands more have very serious questions or are living in ignorance of their true heritage.”

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone yesterday revealed Tusla had discovered 126 cases where people had their births illegally registered at St Patrick’s Guild in Dublin.

A scoping exercise has been launched of the State’s adoption records as an attempt to uncover how many illegal adoptions took place in similar institutions.

Up to 150,000 files will have to be examined to see if the same practice was taking place at other adoption agencies at the time.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar apologised in the Dáil today to the victims of illegal birth registrations and conceded the 126 cases revealed yesterday may only be the tip of the iceberg.

“We are opening another difficult chapter in our history from a time when Ireland was a very different place,” Mr Varadkar told the Dáil.

“I know numerous people say we have left one dark tunnel of the past on Saturday and entered in to another one. I don’t think that is the case.

“It may be harder to find records in other instances but we have to try our best. People have the right to this information and to their identities.

“If it is a mammoth task and if it is only the tip of the iceberg, then so be it.”

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