A controversial Mother and Baby Homes bill which will see records sealed for the next 30 years was passed on Thursday night in a vote that West Cork, Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns said made her “sick to her stomach.”
The bill was passed by 78 votes to 67 with all but two non-Government TDs opposed.
Posting on Facebook, Ms Cairns said Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman refused to take any of the 60 amendments from TDs to the legislation.
Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the Greens, and some Independents voted in favour of the legislation.
“I am sick to my stomach that the State has let the survivors down yet again. I want to thank everyone who got in touch with me about this and I want you to know that I will keep fighting for justice.
“The amount of emails, phone calls, and letters I have had on the Mother and Baby Homes Records is overwhelming. People want justice and accountability for the survivors of these horrific institutions. Survivors or their families have reached out to me, sharing their stories of suffering which was compounded by years of secrecy.” Sinn Féin TD Pat Buckley said he was gutted for the people involved and said it was an utter disgrace that the legislation was passed.
“This is one of the worst days for Irish Democracy.” Fianna Fáil TD Padraig O’Sullivan said there was an awful lot of misinformation going around and the purpose of the bill was to protect the information that was gathered by the commission of investigation.
“If we didn’t pass the bill, we would lose the data.” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“People are either incredibly confused by the legislation or they are purposely weaponising it and taking advantage of the fact that it is such an emotive issue.”