Digital Desk Staff
The State’s planned redress scheme for the survivors of mother and baby homes could be impacted by any move to refuse the final report of the recently-dissolved commission of investigation into the homes, the Government has warned.
As The Irish Times reports, opposition parties, including Labour and the Social Democrats, have called on the Government to reject the final report amid mounting concerns around the treatment of testimony that women gave to the commission’s confidential committee.
A spokesman for the Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman, said that “some of the findings in the report, particularly around the number of deaths, the conditions in the institutions and the failure of the State to act on reports of these conditions, form part of the basis for the State undertaking the redress scheme.
“These findings also form the basis for the State’s engagement with the congregations in respect of their contribution to the redress scheme. The Minister has to be conscious of the impact that any possible repudiation of the entire report would have on the redress scheme.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has joined Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in calling for members of the commission to appear before an Oireachtas committee to answer questions about their work. There has been criticism from survivors about inaccuracies in the report.
It comes amid continuing fallout after a member of the commission, Prof Mary Daly, appeared before an academic webinar earlier this week where she made her first public comments on the report since its publication in January.
She said she had spoken with colleagues about how they could have “integrated the confidential inquiry into the report”, but said “it would have taken a lot of additional time” and “hundreds of hours of cross-checking, rereading against the other evidence available from registers and so on”.
The Oireachtas Committee on Children will on Friday issue a further invitation for the three commissioners to appear after two previous invites were declined.
The three members were Ms Justice Yvonne Murphy, Prof Mary Daly and Dr William Duncan.
Senior sources in the Oireachtas say it would be in order for members to attend on an individual basis if invited, but they said there would be an issue if a serving judge was to be invited.
Mr Varadkar said on Thursday it would be “very useful” for the commission members to clarify how they treated the evidence and testimony given by survivors to the confidential committee.