EVERYONE needs to get behind the online campaign to ‘Repeal The Seal’ on Mother and Baby home testimonies.
That’s according to Cork South West Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns who urged people to keep the pressure on the government to ‘get truth and justice’ for the survivors and affected families.
Deputy Cairns said: ‘The Mother and Baby Homes Commission has been operating for five years gathering information and survivors testimony to produce a report ... The government argued that they needed to pass a law to prevent some of the files being destroyed, but did not explain properly why this was the case.
‘Based on calls from survivors and human rights experts, I and others in the opposition wanted the government to include additional parts in the legislation that would ensure survivors have guaranteed access to their personal information and that we would have an index of the archive for greater transparency.
‘Under the law currently, the archive of the Commission will be sealed for 30 years, the government had the chance to change this and they chose not to.’
She said she had amendments on this matter which ‘explicitly ensured’ that survivors had guaranteed access to their personal information. ‘But the Minister for Children completely disregarded my amendments and over 60 from other TDs, which were written with input form survivors and human rights lawyers.’
As a result, she said, an ‘unlawful policy’ was voted through.
‘This is not a political issue, this is a human rights issue. There is a massive online campaign to #UnsealTheArchive and #RepealTheSeal. I encourage everyone to get behind it, we all want truth and justice for the survivors and affected families.’
The petition is available on uplift.ie and by mid-week had attracted over 190,000 signatures.
The Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes’ 4,000-page report is due to be delivered to the Minister for Children on Friday but it will not be published until December or January.