Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte says the terms of reference of the Mother and Babies Home Commission must be re-examined to include the Westbank orphanage and other Protestant homes.
Her call comes following the death of Victor Stevenson, who campaigned tirelessly to give a voice to those who suffered in religious run homes and orphanages. He was a former resident of the Westbank Orphanage in Wicklow and was to the forefront of the campaign for justice for children who suffered physical, psychological and emotional abuse in these homes.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “I want to pay tribute to Victor Stevenson for shining a light on a particularly dark part of Irish history. His determination to get justice for survivors of mother and baby homes saw him to the fore of a campaign to add the Braemar Rescue Home for Protestant Girls, Westbank Orphanage and the Nursery Rescue Society to the terms of reference of the currently sitting Mother and Baby Home Commission of Inquiry.
“To date his request has not been met but I would like to see the current terms of reference examined to include Protestant homes. This would be a fitting tribute to a man whose bravery paved the way for other survivors to come forward and share their stories.
“I am also calling on Minister Katherine Zappone to bring forward the Adoption Information and Tracing Bill, which would give adopted people the right to access their birth cert and their medical history. This legislation was promised more than five years ago, but has fallen off the Government agenda”.