Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Children Robert Troy TD says new information about the Tuam Mother and Baby home re-enforce the need for the Government to outline the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
Judge Yvonne Murphy was appointed as Chair of the Commission in July, but Minister Reilly has failed to publish the terms of reference for the independent inquiry.
Deputy Troy commented, “The latest revelations about the burial ground at the Tuam Mother and Baby home has propelled the issue back into the spotlight, and raises questions about the progress of the investigation into alleged mistreatment at institutions which accommodated unmarried mothers.
“There has been an unacceptable delay in the publication of the terms of reference, with consecutive Children’s Ministers breaking promises to publish the remit of the inquiry. Minister Reilly pushed the deadline back until the autumn, but it would appear that the process has stalled yet again. I am concerned that these delays are being used to diminish the importance and scope of the work that needs to be carried out and it is extremely disappointing that the inquiry has been allowed to slip down the agenda.
“It has been more than 5 months since the unsettling details about the Tuam Mother and Baby home emerged, and other than the appointment of Judge Murphy to the Commission of Investigation, little progress has been made. It is important that there is all-party support for this inquiry; however there has been no engagement between Opposition members and the Minister since before the summer recess. This time lapse has now become a cause for concern.
“Minister Reilly cannot be allowed to continue to delay this investigation any longer. There are families right across the country that had grandmothers, aunts and mothers who were in these homes and who want to know what happened in these institutions. These people deserve answers and Minister Reilly must bring forward the terms of reference as a matter of urgency”.