Saturday 20 October 2018

Political reaction revealing in dark era of Kerry Babies

The turbulent 1980s led to many decisions in politics and policing that we look back on now with more than a degree of regret, writes Jody Corcoran

Michael Noonan. Photo: Mark Condren
Michael Noonan. Photo: Mark Condren
Jody Corcoran

Jody Corcoran

It is interesting to recall now that when the Kerry Babies Tribunal reported in October 1985, that report was not debated in Leinster House, despite the public controversy that raged over its conduct and findings.

This was referred to by Liam Skelly, a barrister and businessman, who had been elected to the Dail as a Fine Gael TD in a Dublin West constituency by-election in 1982. During a debate on supplementary estimates for the Office of the Minister for Justice, Skelly said on December 12, 1985: "As far as the Kerry Babies Tribunal is concerned, we did not get value for money. I do not think the mandate this House gave that tribunal was carried out. It is unfortunate that we were not allowed to debate its findings in the House although such debate was called for by Members, leaving a very big question mark over what we are doing here."

Michael Noonan was Minister for Justice at the time.

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