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New statement on Tuam Mother and Baby Home

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Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has made a new statement on the government’s plans for the site of the Mother and Baby home at Tuam in Galway.

“Minister Katherine Zappone is determined that every possible option is examined in addressing the concerns of those most impacted by the discovery of juvenile remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.

“The Minister wishes to update representative groups on a number of actions underway.”

Survivor / relative groups and DNA banking
“In response to the requests to begin collecting the DNA samples of survivors and relatives, Minister Zappone has asked Dr Geoffrey Shannon to examine whether it is possible to meet this request within the current legislative framework. This examination will be done in the context of what is scientifically possible.

Professor Geoffrey Shannon, in his role as Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, last October published a report on a general consideration of the human rights issues that appear to arise in the wake of the discovery of juvenile human remains at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway. The Report can be accessed here

Tuam Legislation
The preparation of legislation is a priority within the Department of Children and Youth Affairs with a new unit established for this task. Additional staff from other Departments are expected to be assigned to the unit in the coming weeks.  

Scoping of the legislation has commenced. There is no precedent for this kind of project in an Irish context, and it is vital that we get it right, in the interests of the survivors, relatives and the dignity of those buried at the site in Tuam.

The approach taken will be further informed by the forthcoming report in March by the Commission of Inquiry into Mother and Baby Homes into burials at these institutions.

In parallel to the legislative project, work will be carried out on sourcing appropriate expertise to carry out the works.”