Plan agreed by cabinet on controversial mother and baby home bill

Plan agreed by cabinet on controversial mother and baby home bill

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath spoke during the week about why the bill needed to be passed. Photograph: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Additional resources will be put in place to speed up the publication of the final report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation which is due to be completed this week.

The wishes of people who wish to access their personal information under data protection legislation and GDPR will also be respected, according to a statement from Government.

The controversial Commission of Investigation (Mother and Baby Homes and certain related Matters) Records, and another Matter, Bill was passed in the Dáil last week.

It was feared this would seal the records for 30 years.

However, the Government said it "acknowledges and regrets the genuine hurt felt by many people across Irish society" in relation to how the bill was handled.

Well-being supports are to be offered to survivors by the HSE. There are also and plans to establish a national archive of records relating to institutional trauma during the 20th century which will be designed to cooperate with survivors.

The Government also explained why they brought forward the recent legislation: “It is clear that this database would be of considerable assistance to those involved in providing information and tracing services; under existing legislation, the database would have to be effectively destroyed.

“As the information compiled in the database is all sensitive personal information, the Commission would be obliged under existing legislation to redact the names and other identifying information about the residents of these homes before submitted to the Minister; the Commission stated this would have the effect of rendering the database useless.

“The Commission was of the view that the database should be preserved and made available to the holders of the original records for information and tracing purposes," it read.

The Commission was established to inquire into the treatment of women and children in 14 Mother and Baby Homes and four county homes between 1922 and 1998.

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