TD tells Dáil about his mother’s experience at the mother-child house
An opposition TD told Dáil about her mother’s experience in a mother-child house and the fact that she had not seen her daughter for 35 years.
People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny testified that his mother testified before the Commission of Inquiry into Mothers and Babies.
“My mother spent a period of time in one of the institutions and it was extremely traumatic for my mother and sister, whom I would eventually meet over time,” he said.
His account of his experience “is quite poignant. Her baby daughter was taken from her and she did not see her for 35 years.
“I will always remember the day I died when my mother found out that she was going to see her daughter again. I will never forget him.
“My mother was crying and she was happy. . . that she would end up meeting this girl who was taken from her.
Dublin South-West TD said: “It has been a very painful time in all of our lives. . . meet someone my mother thought was gone ”.
Mr Kenny was speaking during a debate in Dáil on government proposals to address the Irish legacy of mother and baby institutions and county homes.
One of the main proposals is the reparation regime which will apply to all women who were in such institutions and to children who spent more than six months there. It is expected to include 34,000 people and improved medical cards will be provided to some 19,000 people.
The measures are expected to cost 800 million euros but have been widely criticized as “arbitrary” by excluding children who have spent less than six months in an institution.
TD Social Democrats Holly Cairns asked why the government set up a consultation process and “then ignored” its findings.
Independent TD Catherine Connolly said the program perpetuated discrimination and “excluded 24,000 children just to save money.”
She said the inter-ministerial group that drew up the proposals had no human rights expertise and no understanding of what it meant to survive in a home for mothers and babies.
Mr Kenny said “there is so much pain” for so many when he called on Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman to reconsider the financial compensation program.
During the debate, Sinn Féin TD Patricia Ryan became emotional as she highlighted the experience of a boy whose family was broken up and who was sent to a house following the death of his mother while he was a little child.
The Kildare South TD refers to a book, Down by Anna Liffey, by James Connolly who was sent to St Mary’s home in Drogheda and separated from her five siblings.
Benburb Street Building
Ms Ryan got angry when she spoke of the four-year-old being taken in a big black car who was supposed to “tear him away from his family” who lived in a building on Benburb Street. On his way out he encountered the building attendant who was cleaning the floor and using Jeyes Fluid. “He patted James on the head and wished him good luck and to this day – James was 80 a few months ago – every time he smells Jeyes Fluid he is carried back and forth.”
“While not directly related to mothers and babies homes, I am telling this story to show that trauma can stay with children from a young age” and “have a profound effect on their mental health and vision. life.
“We have to take this into account and the government must ensure that all survivors are included in the redress proposals,” she said.
Mr O’Gorman told TD that the government “seeks to provide a sustainable response to the priority needs of all concerned” and is committed to providing “an inclusive response to the extremely complex legacy that surrounds institutions for mothers and babies “.
“No program could account for all of those affected by the litany of shocking failures that have emerged and with which our country continues to grapple.”
The action plan “is comprehensive, not only with regard to survivors and their families, but also the entire community and society at large.
“We believe the plan responds to the diverse needs of those affected by the legacy of mother-child institutions and provides an opportunity for all of us to learn, through the words of survivors, about what happened in these institutions. .