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Statement by the Minister for Children & Youth Affairs re Update on Mother & Baby Home Commission of Investigation

1st July 2014 - Charles Flanagan TD

Tuesday 1st July 2014

Today (Tuesday), Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs briefed Cabinet on the interim report of the Cross Departmental Review Committee. The Committee, comprised of senior officials from eight government departments and a number of State agencies, was asked to scope the issues relevant to a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and to report by the end of June.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“This morning at Cabinet I briefed my colleagues on the interim report of the Cross Departmental Review Committee which is chaired by the Secretary General of my Department. I would like to thank the Committee which, in a very short period of time, compiled an extensive report with significant input and examination of records by a range of Departments and offices.

“Following disturbing revelations regarding the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway, the Government, with the support of the Oireachtas, committed to establishing a Commission of Investigation to examine these homes.

“At all times I have highlighted the need to be mindful in any public discussion of the very sensitive nature of the issues concerned and the fact that many families and individuals may have had personal experiences of Mother and Baby Homes and the other issues that have arisen including infant and child death and adoption. I reiterate my call for sensitivity not sensationalism in regard to these matters.

“The report of the Cross Departmental Committee is a preliminary examination of a very complex range of issues. It will inform the Government’s deliberations on the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation.

“I have also held meetings with politicians on all sides in Leinster House, with some individuals and with a number of advocacy groups and church leaders and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed through meetings and through submissions to my Department’s dedicated email address. Over 100 submissions have been received from a range of individuals and groups and these will be of assistance, together with the report of the Cross Departmental Committee, in finalising terms of reference for the Commission.

“I am deeply aware that there are people living with the daily reality of these painful experiences, so establishing an appropriate inquiry which is capable of effectively addressing these important matters in a sensitive and timely manner is my primary concern. I intend to move ahead with the work to finalise a terms of reference in consultation with Government colleagues and to bring a resolution to the Oireachtas for consideration prior to the summer recess to facilitate the making of an order to formally establish the Commission.”  

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