Government to bring forward new legislation to protect Mother and Baby Home archives

Galway Bay fm newsroom:

The Minister for Children has been given the greenlight to bring forward legislation to protect the records and archives of the Commission of Investigation in the Mother and Baby Homes nationwide including Tuam institution.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman today received government approval to bring forward a bill that’ll allow a complete archive of the commission’s records to be deposited with the Department of Children and the child and Family agency Tusla when the investigation concludes.

The Commission is set to present its final report on the 30th of October, following which it will be stood down and disbanded.

The records contained in the archive relate to the mothers and children who were resident in 11 of the 18 institutions including the Tuam Mother and baby Home.

Under current regulations, as the records are filled with sensitive personal information, they would have to be redacted before transfer of the archive could be allowed.

This loss of data would be a major loss to those involved in providing information and tracing services, rendering the archive useless for the future.

The proposed new legislation would create a bespoke solution to the legal issues facing the transfer of the records from the Commission of Investigation to the Department of Children and Tusla.

The new bill would not create new access points for the public to access the database, but instead will support Tusla and the National Adoption service in providing tracing services for the foreseeable future.

Breeda Murphy from the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance says while the Archive needs to be protected, survivors still have no access to its content:

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