Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle Calls For Survivors’ Access To Remaining Commission Reports On Mother And Baby Homes

Pringle Calls For Survivors’ Access To Remaining Commission Reports On Mother And Baby Homes

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has asked Government when survivors will have access to the remaining reports from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Raising the issue in the Dáil recently, Deputy Pringle asked: “Minister, when will the members of the Collaborative Forum for Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes and other survivors be provided with access to the sixth interim report of the Commission of Investigation and the final report?”

The sixth interim report, received by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in February of this year, addresses issues related to records, a crucial issue in Dáil debates in October.

Deputy Pringle said Government must also ensure supports for survivors are in place when the reports are finally published.

He said: “Survivors and advocates have been in contact with me to ask what mental health supports will be in place for survivors when the Commission’s final report is published. Can you ensure that people requiring support will not be left on waiting lists? Can you also confirm that mental health services include all survivors and adoptees who are affected by this and not just the institutions and agencies that participated in the Commission?

“Minister, you saw the absolute public support for survivors. Almost 200,000 signed a petition in support of survivors’ access to their own files. We are never going back, and Ireland wants to show survivors that we stand with them.

“But this starts with listening to them also, Minister. Please set aside resources in your department to properly work on this important matter. I believe that you want to do right in this instance, Minister and I am urging you to do so.”

Deputy Pringle also asked for an update on meetings the minister plans to hold with the collaborative forum and the meetings held since what appeared to be the last official meeting, in December of 2019.

Deputy Pringle said: “Even throughout the forum meetings, it is stated in the notes that forum members ‘feel that their voice and opinions are not being adequately recorded in order for it to be evident to a wider audience.’”

He said the notes of the December 2019 meeting indicated that a follow-up was expected.

“Instead, they were sidelined after a General Election and then blindsided when your Government bill around the database and records was brought forward in October,” Deputy Pringle said.