Following the discovery of human remains in a mass grave alongside a septic tank in Tuam, Galway, the Green Party have called for the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes to be extended to investigate whether similar horrors occurred in other mother and baby homes in the State.
Speaking today, Green Party Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs Cllr Patrick Costello said: “What happened in Tuam is merely one example of what is a dark stain on Ireland’s conscience and history. Tuam is just one of many institutions involved with unmarried mothers and their children after 1922 - yet the Commission is currently investigating only 14 institutions, including four sample County Homes. Consequently, the Green Party have concerns about the Commission's ability to produce a report that delivers comprehensive restorative justice and redress for survivors, if it does not look outside the 14 homes in its terms of reference. What happened can never be put right, but some sense of dignity can be restored for those who died and those still living with the pain of our institutional past.
“The confirmation of the mass graves in Tuam raises more questions. Can the Government guarantee Tuam is the only mass grave linked to a mother and baby home? Can they guarantee that what went on there was not happening elsewhere?
“We’re calling for the investigation to be widened to answer these questions. Government is to be applauded for launching an investigation into the Tuam babies case. However there is also a checkered history of commissioning piecemeal or flawed inquiries in this country. Survivors deserve better for shining a light on these abuses, it's long past time to start righting those wrongs.”