Fianna Fáil has called on the Taoiseach to take the lead in investigating horrific reports about the death of hundreds of babies at a mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.
Galway East Deputy Colm Keaveney has also called on the Taoiseach to apologise on behalf of the State for the hurt and distress caused to the mothers and other relatives of the dead infants.
Deputy Keaveney said, “These shocking revelations about the appalling treatment of hundreds of babies and their mothers must be dealt with by the highest levels in Government. We need to hear from the Taoiseach today about the Government’s plans to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of these children, the dumping of their remains, the treatment of their mothers and the State’s role in the activities at this home.
“I believe that this must begin with a fulsome apology from the Taoiseach on behalf of the State. Whatever the results of any investigation it’s now clear that at the very least, these infants and their mothers were grossly mistreated at the Tuam home and were subsequently neglected by the State.
“So far we have no detail whatsoever about how the Government intends to investigate these revelations. It is not good enough for the Government to attempt to pigeon hole this into the Department of Children. The investigation will cross a number of Departments and agencies, and it’s crucial that the Taoiseach takes the lead to ensure that issues do not fall between the cracks of different departments and different personalities.
“We also need to know when the Government received a copy of reports outlining details of appalling activities at the Tuam home and allegations of a mass grave containing the remains of hundreds of babies. There are disturbing reports that the Government got the report last summer and has sat on it ever since, failing to take any action whatsoever.
“The Taoiseach’s visit to the US is no excuse for silence on this issue. I have sought to raise this matter in the Dáil today but was refused. We need a statement from the Taoiseach today outlining the nature of any investigation planned by his Government and clarifying when he and the former Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald received this report, and what they have done about it since.”