Parliamentary Questions: Public Inquiries

28th January 2016, Questions asked by Lucinda Creighton TD

227. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of tribunals of inquiry, commissions of inquiry or investigations for which he or his Department have been responsible by name; by terms of reference; by cost, including the cost to date where an inquiry has not been concluded; by date including the projected date of conclusion where an inquiry has not been concluded from 1991 to date, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Response from James Reilly, then Minister for Children

My Department was established on 2 June, 2011. There is one body of the type referred to in the question.

Commissions of Investigation: 1

Name:    Commission of Investigation – Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters

Terms of Reference:     Set out in the schedule to S.I. No. 57 of 2015

Cost to Date (to 26/01/2016):   €1.78 million (This includes set-up costs and costs incurred by DCYA in supporting the Commission)

Projected Date of Conclusion:   The Commission is required to complete a final report not later than February 2018

 

This question has been downloaded from kildarestreet.com (original link here )

Parliamentary Questions: Mother and Baby Homes Inquiries

22 March 2016, Questions asked by Maureen O’Sullivan TD
268. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the numbers of mixed-race Irish babies and children in the 16 mother and baby homes including St. Patrick’s, Navan Road, Dublin 7; if St. Patrick’s was the designated holding centre for all mixed-race Irish babies and children from across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Response from James Reilly, then Minister for Children
The Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related matters) is tasked with thoroughly examining the experiences of mothers and children resident in these homes. With regard to the particular focus raised by the Deputy, the Commission will specifically examine whether any group of residents was systematically treated differently on any grounds, including that of race.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs does not have information on the numbers of mixed race children who may have been in the Mother and Baby Homes. There is no centralised records system for the fourteen (14) specified homes that are under investigation by the Commission but the Deputy may wish to note that certain records from several of these homes, including Saint Patrick’s, are now in the possession of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

I am satisfied that the Commission has sufficient scope and statutory power to access records and obtain the information necessary to make a determination on all relevant matters.

Should the Deputy wish to contact the independent Commission directly it can be contacted at 73 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, e-mail info@mbhcoi.ie or freephone 1800 806688.

This question has been downloaded from kildarestreet.com (original link here )

Parliamentary Questions: Garda Investigations

21st April 2016, Questions asked by Clare Daly, TD
42. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if a criminal investigation into allegations (details supplied) has been instigated by An Garda Síochána; if the Garda has taken possession of these files; if not, the reasons; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
 

43. To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the Tuam, County Galway, site has not been cordoned off as a crime scene in view of the information in an article (details supplied).

 
Response from Minister Frances Fitzgerald
I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 43 together.As the Deputy is aware, the instigation and management of any criminal investigation is a matter for the Garda authorities, as are any operational steps which might be taken in relation to the gathering and preservation of evidence. I hope the Deputy will appreciate that I have no role in this regard.The Deputy will also recall that in February 2015 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs established a Commission of Investigation which has been tasked with thoroughly examining the experience of vulnerable mothers and children resident in Mother and Baby Homes during the period 1922 to 1998, including the arrangements for the placement of children, whether in Ireland or abroad. The work of this Commission is ongoing and the Commission has the necessary powers to comprehensively examine the broad range of public concerns that have been expressed in relation to Mother and Baby homes.

This question has been downloaded from kildarestreet.com (original link here )

TEST POST —Launch of Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data

Launch of major project to assist with Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation

Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR) and Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) are delighted to announce the launch of a major project in association with global law firm Hogan Lovells. The project, which will be known as Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data (Clann), aims to provide free witness statement drafting assistance to enable individuals to make a comprehensive statement to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Through the Clann project, which has been endorsed by Philomena Lee and her daughter Jane Libberton, JFMR and ARA wish to help ensure that the Commission of Investigation conducts the most comprehensive investigation possible and that it makes appropriate findings and recommendations. We believe that it is crucial that those who wish to give evidence to the Commission of Investigation have access to legal assistance at no cost. The assistance of a lawyer will enable people to make a comprehensive statement so that they are under less pressure while giving ‘live evidence’ to the Commission and will ensure that they can still give evidence to the Commission if they do not wish to do so in person. Everyone who compiles a witness statement with Hogan Lovells’ assistance will retain a copy of their witness statement and will be free to use it for any other purpose. The Clann project has also created a Guide to the Commission of Investigation as a resource for those who wish to engage with the Commission.

It is intended that Clann will act as a parallel process to the Commission of Investigation, collating information regarding any of the 170 institutions, organisations, agencies and individuals which were involved with unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland. Although the Commission of Investigation is beginning its work by focusing on 14 Mother and Baby Homes and 4 County Homes, ARA and JFMR believe that if a thorough and transparent investigation is to be made, the Commission will include all relevant bodies. The Commission has statutory powers to request a widening of its focus and ARA and JFMR have made submissions in this regard to the Commission and have supplied the Commission with details of the 170+ bodies.

Clann will anonymise donated statements gathered by Hogan Lovells and will gather documentary and archival materials from individuals who were affected by any of the 170+ institutions, organisations, agencies or individuals, in order to make a public group report to the Commission of Investigation, the Irish Government, and international human rights bodies. The Clann submission will also consider the various forms of redress that may be due to various individuals, including financial compensation and access to records.

The witness statement gathering process forms part of a larger project to create a permanent archive of the experiences of Ireland’s unmarried mothers and their children via the Clann website. ARA and JFMR are concerned that the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related matters has no current plans to hold any public hearings or to allow public access (or access to those affected) to the documentary/archival evidence that it is considering. Clann aims to provide public access to as much non-sensitive documentary evidence as possible, in order to create public awareness of the Commission’s investigations, in the hope that members of the public will contribute documentary evidence to both the Commission and Clann, and so that individuals affected can comment on the evidence. The Clann website will act as a resource for individuals affected by the issues which will be available to the wider public for ongoing education and research.

JFMR and ARA, along with Rod Baker who is heading up the project in Hogan Lovells will hold a Clann information session at the Adoption Rights Alliance Adoption Information Day at the Racket Hall Hotel, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary on 25th June 2016, beginning at 12pm. Philomena Lee and Jane Libberton will also be in attendance. Further information sessions will be held in Ireland, the UK and the US in due course.

 

Ends.