Survivors of Catholic Irish Mother-and-Baby Homes Demand Meeting with PM Enda Kenny
nsnbc : Survivors of Mother-and-Baby Homes run by the Catholic Church in Ireland demand an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Enda Kenny and the expansion of the inquiry of the deaths of thousands of children in these homes during the 20th century. Some of the latest unexplained death” and covert burials may have occurred as late as during the 1990s and many survivors are still very much alive and demand an inquiry and criminal accountability.
Survivors of the notorious “institutions for unmarried mothers and their babies called for an urgent meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny and demand that the inquiry into the unusually high infant mortality rate and covert burials be extended.
After the discovery of the remains of hundreds of children who were buried at a site attached to a sewer system at a Catholic Church “mother-and baby home” in Tuam, survivors of the homes, as well as the UN demanded a full inquiry into all such facilities, and especially those where single mothers gave birth on site.
A partial excavation at the site in Tuam as so far resulted in the recovery of what was describes as “a significant quantity of human remains in underground chambers”.
Local sources report about several hundred. The “chambers” at the burial site are attached to a sewer system. On Wednesday, March 7, the Cabinet held a meeting to discuss whether to expand the scope of the investigation into a greater number of such homes as “originally planned”.
So far nsnbc is not informed about which “exact” decisions were made, which homes the investigation may or may not be expanded to, and importantly, whether or not there also will be criminal investigations so perpetrators, or institutions, including the Catholic Church, could be held criminally accountable.
The Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors said it wants all living people who passed through that home or any of the other facilities to be included in a statutory investigation. Coalition spokesperson stated:
“It is deeply unfair and hurtful to our community that so many of our fellow survivors have been omitted from the inquiry. … The real issue here is Ireland’s treatment of single mothers and their babies, not what happened to some of them behind the high walls of the mother and baby homes. … There cannot be a hierarchy of survivors, we are all equal and we need immediate full inclusion for all survivors.”
On Monday Mr. Kenny described the initial findings from the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation into Tuam as appalling. He said Minister for Children Katherine Zappone was liaising with head of the inquiry and it would be extended if necessary. The commission was set up two years ago to examine State sanctioned, religious-run institutions used to house pregnant mothers.
The UN Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) report clearly substantiates the need to examine “all” and especially “all Catholic Church run” mother-and-child homes in Ireland a criminal investigation and the need for the criminal prosecution of perpetrators.
One might argue anyone who is a member of “an institution” like the Catholic Church that has an extraordinarily well-functioning “institutional memory” and a history of oppression of women, child abuse and child sex abuse would be “horrified and saddened” at the prospect of skeletons being discovered in one’s closet after a child attracted attention to the “graveyard” near the sewers when it was observed playing with an infants skull stuck to a stick. The report clearly suggests that the Church shouldn’t be let off the hook by “being horrified at” the discovery.
CH/L – nsnbc 08.03.2017