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  1. #181
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mushroom View Post
    Yep. I was only 5 when we moved from our 3 bed semi in Clonskeagh to our detached mansion in Rathgar!

    Cried for weeks so I did. The nursemaid was very worried about me, but the housekeeper told her not to worry.
    Your fear is about being abandoned ... being alone and helpless.
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  2. #182
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarryPlough01 View Post
    It gives the lie to your post that you were worried about 'Hope in the Darkness' soup kitchen desecrating the GPO, a shrine to our 1916 Patriots. The Patriots believed in Equality for all (especially for the vulnerable homeless).

    You are so fearful ... a deep rooted fear ... that you will become them - homeless - one day.
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  3. #183
    Mushroom Mushroom is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarryPlough01 View Post
    Your fear is about being abandoned ... being alone and helpless.
    Seems a pretty logical fear. One that, I strongly suspect, is shared by the vast majority of people on this planet.

    But thanks for the free diagnosis, it made me feel, ahem, rather 'special'.
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  4. #184
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mushroom View Post
    Seems a pretty logical fear. One that, I strongly suspect, is shared by the vast majority of people on this planet.

    But thanks for the free diagnosis, it made me feel, ahem, rather 'special'.
    Not common, unless the child has good reason to feel that they have been abandoned (e.g., unaccompanied children in mother and baby homes).
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  5. #185
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh: Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire arís. It is not long since we have had a debate on these issues in March. I asked quite a number of pertinent questions at that stage and I have seen answers to some of them but not all of them. I will pose quite a number of questions during my deliberations here, and if the Minister cannot address them in her full response, I ask that her officials would come back to me with answers on all the questions.



    ***** There have been many platitudes about respect and compassion, but the overriding sense I get from many survivors is anger, especially anger at a lack of co-operation from what they see as the organs of the State.



    *****The particular line mentioned about the report not making findings that abuse occurred in these institutions has certainly sunk the credibility of the commission in the eyes of many people, especially the survivors who gave us evidence of their own stories of abuse that happened. There is also the fact we know there are corpses buried in Tuam and people are astounded that the commission made the comment about abuse. Its credibility has certainly come into question with many of the survivors.



    I was very critical of Galway County Council, and I still am. Reference was made to Catherine Corless and the fantastic work she has done. Catherine Corless does not want pats on the back. She wants access to records. She has been at a meeting with the Minister and Galway County Council and she is looking for access to certain records. Catherine Corless was told she could not have access to those records because she was not an academic. We asked questions subsequently and we are now told that the records are with Tusla, which is under the Minister's remit. Has the Minister directed Tusla to make those records available to Catherine Corless and, if not, will the Minister do so? Ms Corless wants to continue her deliberations and everyone is praising her good work, so let us let her get on with that work.



    *****There are many questions to be answered about the Government's role and by Ministers in this regard. There was a Cabinet meeting yesterday, and I also queried this in March. We have questions about who put the women into the homes and who was aware of what was going on at the time. There are records of money transactions between local authorities, the homes and different organisations. People signed off on birth certificates, death certificates and baptismal certificates. People in the establishment at the time were aware of what was going on.



    *****There must be files in the Department of Health, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment that relate to these issues. Did the Minister ask her Cabinet colleagues yesterday to come clean and do a clear audit of their own files to bring forward to her any information relating to any of these issues in order that she can see the information and make it available publicly? If she has not done this then perhaps she could explain why not. It needs to be done because people knew what was going on.



    *****There are many who believe that what is happening again with this commission is the State closing ranks to protect the State and protect the establishment. *****



    People also believe that political dynasties locally in Galway were very much in cahoots with the authorities there, be they local politicians, doctors, gardaí or people within the establishment, and they have a vested interest in making sure all the information does not come out. This also needs to be questioned.




    ***** In March I also asked about passports being issued for children who were trafficked abroad. If passports were issued, will the Minister ask the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to check its records of who authorised and issued the passports? If the passports were not issued, was there any correspondence at the time as to how children were allowed to be trafficked out of the State without a valid passport? I want to know what the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the time was doing and what its officials knew about this.




    The Minister, Deputy Coveney, attended the meeting with the Minister, Deputy Zappone, Catherine Corless and Galway County Council. What did his Department know about the files relating to Tuam, about planning permissions, extensions to the buildings, the building of a playground, the building of car parks and the burial grounds? What information is in the Department Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government's files on all these issues? If it is being kept quiet, why is it being kept quiet?

    In March I also raised the issue of a number of other sites in Galway about which people have questions. I noted there is a building called St. Anne's on Taylor's Hill. Has this site come to the Minister's attention and has she raised it with Galway County Council at the meeting? If not, will she do this? I am also told there is a burial site at Prospect Hill at County Hall. Questions are being raised about how many bodies are buried at that site. I understand there are children buried there and we need to find out a little more about that. People are also asking about the industrial school in Letterfrack and if there are issues about the burial grounds there. I ask the Minister to ask Galway County Council about these issues, if she has not already done so. Let us get to the truth of this.

    There are court cases ongoing on access to files. I have sat in on court cases where Tusla has fought tooth and nail to prevent people getting access to their siblings' records which are held with Tusla. Will the Minister direct Tusla to make the files available to those people instead of dragging them through the courts repeatedly?

    My colleague in the Dáil, Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, has asked when the exhumations may take place. Does An Garda Síochána have an active role in the progression of those exhumations? If not, why not? What discussions are taking place between the Minister's Department and the Garda in Galway? What discussions are taking place with the coroner's service? I also asked the Minister in March whether extra resources would be made available to the coroner's office and if forensic archaeologists would be employed to carry out the exhumations so that criminal proceedings could be taken and that any evidence in the graves would be treated properly and would be usable in the event of criminal prosecutions being taken. We need action.



    The people in the Gallery, whom we welcome, need action. Compassion is not enough. Sympathy is not enough. We have a duty as politicians and Ministers to deliver. I call on the Minister to do that and I will support her in that regard.




    BRILLIANT oratory Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh. I have raised all of the above bolded issues on this thread.

    (I acknowledge the Tuam thread with regard to passports for trafficked children, before I was thread excluded from there - users: Cruimh, Lumpy, Andrew49, Mrs CC... engaged in this discussion from memory). There are paper trails for the illegal adoptions.

    The survivors don't need tea and sympathy, they require action.

    PLEASE NOTE:

    *****There are many who believe that what is happening again with this commission is the State closing ranks to protect the State and protect the establishment. *****
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  6. #186
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Senator Frances Black: I welcome the Minister and her officials to the Chamber. I am very pleased this debate is taking place today as it is long overdue. I welcome the commitments to offer support and services to people who were resident in the homes, in particular in the areas of health and well-being. It is vital that the State has a clear duty in that regard, and we need to ensure proper support is provided. I commend the commission for carrying out its work in a sensitive manner, and the Minister for pushing the issue forward.

    As has been noted, there was a delay in the publication of the report which was completed in September and presented to the Minister until it was finally made available to the wider public seven months later. Given the highly sensitive nature of the issue and the great importance of the commission's work to so many lives, such a level of delay is unacceptable. We cannot leave people in the dark.



    In terms of the delay, the line from the Department is that the Government spent this time discussing the legal and financial implications of the report. That seems to have amounted to seven months worrying about the potential cost of a redress scheme for people who were resident in the homes, before the announcement last month that redress would not be offered at this time. That is deeply concerning.



    *****The report itself is clear that "children who were resident" at the homes "have a real cause for grievance" at having been excluded from redress schemes to date. The report is clearer still in stating that, "logically, children who were resident in the Mother and Baby Homes and all County Homes should be eligible to apply for redress in the same way and under the same conditions", as children covered by previous redress processes relating to the industrial schools and orphanages. In essence, the report is saying that the State should own up for the abuse carried out in the institutions, as it has had to do in previous decades. I do not think that is a very controversial proposal.




    ***** We are aware that at this point the commission is in the middle of its work and has not yet produced findings of abuse or neglect in the mother and baby homes. It is on that basis that the Government has stalled on redress, but it seems deeply unfair and unsympathetic to respond by simply quoting the cost of previous schemes and, essentially, pouring cold water on people's hopes that a fair and just redress scheme can be rolled out if the final report is clear on instances of abuse.



    ***** The Minister told Dáil Éireann last month that the Government "has not closed off redress" as an option,



    *****but there is a big difference between quoting the costs of redress and not ruling such a scheme out, and offering a compelling, humane commitment that the State will do right by the survivors of the institutions once the final report is published, including a potential redress scheme.



    ****This is not simply about cost, this is about justice for people who have been subjected to horrific mistreatment
    .



    Beyond that, survivors and former residents groups have been clear in that they want the Government to step up here, to take ownership of what happened, to acknowledge the State's role in the institutions, its failure to provide the proper care for mothers and children, and to formally apologise. We should not underestimate how important such an apology could be for so many people, and I urge the Government to ensure the State does right by them in that regard.

    The commission's final report is due in February. Before then, two clear commitments must be made. First, survivors and past residents groups will be adequately engaged and listened to, and their voices will be heard when requested. Second, that there will be adherence to the agreed timetable. As has been noted, the delay in publishing the interim report caused a significant deal of stress for many people and I ask the Minister to commit to preventing further delays and ensuring that the commission's findings will be published on schedule.

    The organisation Irish First Mothers has set up its own inquiry in order to gather the testimonies of women who were in the homes. I wish to highlight in this Chamber some of the voices of the women who have offered their testimonies during the process. One woman described her experience of having an episiotomy at the age of 14, without professional medical attention and denied pain relief during a labour that lasted more than three days. It is incredible that she physically survived such an experience. Having run away to London, determined to find a way to keep her child, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, she was tracked down and forced to sign adoption papers to give up her child. Reflecting on her experiences, including the years where she suffered the weight of shame and judgment and the desire to find her son, she said she often thinks if she had committed murder she would not have got such a sentence. That is only one of the testimonies. It is time now for serious and dramatic change.


    PLEASE NOTE:

    *****but there is a big difference between quoting the costs of redress and not ruling such a scheme out, and offering a compelling, humane commitment that the State will do right by the survivors of the institutions once the final report is published, including a potential redress scheme.*****





    Minister Zappone needs to take substantive action outside of what she has been compelled to do in Tuam, with the world shuddering in horror about children being placed in sewers.


    10 March 2017
    Pressure grows for Bessborough Mother and Baby Home excavations | Irish Examiner

    The Government has come under pressure to carry out excavations at the site of Bessborough Mother and Baby Home where hundreds of infants died.




    Justice for all the survivors of Mother and Baby Homes.
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  7. #187
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Pressure grows for Bessborough Mother and Baby Home excavations | Irish Examiner

    ... Sinn Féin’s Donnacha Ó Laoghaire said the register recorded 273 deaths at Bessborough between 1939 and 1944. But he went on to say that the religious order reported 353 deaths to State inspectors during this period, which he said was a “significant disparity and raises some very worrying questions”.

    ….

    Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan said the percentage of children aged under four who died at Bessborough was “way higher” than average at the time. “The question must be asked as to why children died in these homes.
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  8. #188
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    A Clear Message to the Minister

    Minister Katherine Zappone must show leadership by taking it all on. No secret deals, no surrender, no knuckling under.
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  9. #189
    HereWeGoAgain HereWeGoAgain is offline

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    Journal article:

    'Something urgent has to be done with the Tuam site - it can't just be left as it is'
    Catherine Corless, the historian whose research led to the discovery of the human remains in sewage chambers at the Tuam site, told TheJournal.ie that she is happy with how things are progressing.
    But she said that the fact a new Taoiseach is due to be appointed makes her feel “a little bit uneasy”.
    Ministers Zappone and Simon Coveney had travelled to Tuam to meet with survivors of the home in March, as requested by Corless. “They spoke for nearly three hours,” said Corless. “She took nearly everything on board what they were looking for.”
    “The main thing they wanted was an acknowledgement and an apology. As regards Tuam graveyard they wanted to know how many bodies they did actually find, and what’s going to be done – are they going to be left in the sewage area? Or are they going to be taken out, and if it is possible to take them out, is it possible to ID the remains.”
    The survivors also want to know if a DNA database could be set up, so that “they might be able to find their own brother and sister”. Minister Zappone put the requests to Cabinet on Tuesday of this week.
    “It seems none of the ministers disagreed with her,” said Corless.

    'Something urgent has to be done with the Tuam site - it can't just be left as it is'
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  10. #190
    StarryPlough01 StarryPlough01 is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereWeGoAgain View Post
    Journal article:

    'Something urgent has to be done with the Tuam site - it can't just be left as it is'

    'Something urgent has to be done with the Tuam site - it can't just be left as it is'
    HWGA,

    This type of exhumation of a mass grave has already been done in Northern Ireland, using an expert from United Kingdom.

    I brought up her work a couple of times in the Tuam thread (I can't use the search button there, as I've been thread excluded from Tuam).

    This woman's work was internationally recognised. More importantly, she has been involved in exhumation of huge mass graves overseas.

    No need for any delays.

    I always ask user Cruimh for help to find old links. This internationally renowned expert was definitely discussed on Tuam thread and Cruimh would have commented on the subject (I might have highlighted her work elsewhere, too).
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