While work on the terms of reference continues during the recess, there will be an opportunity for officials to meet those groups in the interests of justice and getting it right.
I supported the inclusion of the Magdalen laundries in light of evidence uncovered by Justice for Magdalenes and the oral testimony that babies were born and nursed in the Magdalen laundry in Sean McDermott Street.
I have seen evidence that homes were involved in adoptions to the US, including correspondence between the homes and the Department of Foreign Affairs, which makes for grim reading. A focus on these areas will bring the commission into the various institutions involved. We do not want to see inaccuracies or gaps after this commission has completed its work.
I wish the commission well in its work over the coming months and hope that the job can be done properly and comprehensively. It has to be independent and have statutory powers to compel evidence. All records must be made available and examined by trained archivists or historians. The process must be transparent, sensitive and, above all, accountable.
I want to acknowledge the work of support groups and individuals who have been working tirelessly on these matters over the years, pursuing justice for the women and children involved, both in Ireland and abroad.
We have to face up to the past and accept what happened. We cannot be afraid of facing the truth. That is what we owe to the women and children concerned. They have been denied the truth about their identity for too long.
Photo used under Creative Commons from Mari_tee
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