The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) welcomes the package of support measures announced today by Minister Zappone. However, CMABS notes that this package is almost identical to the proposals put forward to Minister James Reilly in the aftermath of the Tuam 800 story breaking almost 5 years ago. CMABS proposals were in turn based on the package given to Magdalene survivors in 2013. Thousands of survivors have passed away in the last five years since Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced there would be urgent action for survivors. CMABS also notes that Minister Zappone is still restricting the package to survivors born in, and/or resident in, Mother and Baby homes but, those who were illegally adopted or victims of forced adoption outside of the M&B home, are still excluded. This cynical restriction is cutting an elderly and dying community in half and many survivors will despair at being left behind by Minister Zappone. The Minister is inflicting ‘survivor guilt’ on an elderly community to her eternal shame.
The announcement of funding for Memorials and groups is also welcomed but CMABS notes that such funding was promised by former Children’s Minister James Reilly in January 2015 and Zappone was lobbied in a meeting to release this money in 2016 and refused to do so. The Minister also ignored CMABS proposals for a national ‘Memorial Day’ at the same meeting despite the fact that this proposal had also been discussed with Minister Reilly and all progress made during those meeting was ignored by Zappone. It appears the Minister is now trying to grab credit for addressing issues she has willfully ignored for the last number of years. A cynical person might think this was due to the current rumours of a summer general election due to the Brexit delay.
CMABS also notes Minister Zappone’s ongoing refusal to initiate an independent audit of the adoption files despite the irrefutable evidence that there was wide scale and systematic fraud and forgery in the adoption industry. Victims of baby abduction, child trafficking and illegal adoptions are still being thrown to the wolves by Minister Zappone who is ignoring the fact many of them are unknowingly giving false – and potentially lethal – medical histories to their Doctors and hospitals.
Paul Redmond, Chairperson of CMABS said: Once again this is too little, too late. Many survivors have already died while waiting for Zappone to finally take action and they will never see justice now. Zappone is still stalling on fully including ALL survivors of forced adoption in the current Inquiry and also actively covering up the massive scale of illegal adoptions in Ireland’s past. We need immediate action and not more empty promises from this stalling Minister…
Clodagh Malone of Beyond Adoption Ireland said: We may think we are finished with Ireland’s past, but the past is not finished with us.