The long awaited Mother and Baby Homes Report has been published and the Commission has set out its findings and recommendations in an attempt to address the many complaints of former residents. These have been identified as deficiencies in the information and tracing system for births and deaths and redress for the wrongs committed.
It has proven very difficult for former residents to discover what happened to their babies and in particular whether they lived or died. Unfortunately the law as it presently stands does not allow unrestricted access to birth information for adopted people but the Government is committed to introducing legislation to rectify this.
Similarly, there are no current defined rights for obtaining information concerning burials. The Report has found that in many cases there are simply no records in existence. The Government will attempt to establish an agency to deal with this aspect of the controversy but the delay has brought about practical difficulties in establishing exactly who is buried and in what location(s).
The Government has stated that it is committed to providing redress for those affected but however how that will operate has not yet been clarified. It can only be assumed that it will take a format similar to the Residential Institutions Redress Board or the Magdalen Laundries Scheme.
If you were in a Mother and Baby Home or if you were a child born in one and are looking for information or advice on the recommendations set out in the Mother and Baby Home Report please contact our office and either Matthew Byrne or Jennifer O Sullivan will advise you on your rights.
Matthew and Jennifer both have long and varied experience in dealing with Government redress schemes having acted on behalf of many clients concerning the Residential Institutions Redress Board, the Prisoner Redress Scheme regarding breach of prisoner privacy rights and Army deafness claims.