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 firstname.lastname@example.org or freephone 1800 806688.