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Sam Boal
State apology

Taoiseach ‘more than willing’ to offer State apology for illegal birth registrations

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman yesterday issued an apology in the Seanad on behalf of the Government.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said he is “more than willing” to offer a State apology in the Dáil to people who had their births registered illegally.

Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman yesterday issued an apology on behalf of the Government to people who have been impacted by illegal birth registrations.

O’Gorman made his second stage speech on the Information and Tracing Bill in the Seanad, which will give added rights to people with falsified birth certificates.

Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan asked the Taoiseach if he would issue a formal apology in the Dáil to people who had their births registered illegally.

“As he is aware, there is considerable disappointment that the apology that was issued was issued by the Minister in the Seanad and with very little notice. Will the Taoiseach do the right thing and, with proper notice, give this apology on behalf of the State in the Dáil?” he asked.

“I am more than willing to do this and will engage now with the Minister, and also with other groups, in terms of timing and how that would be done best,” he said.

“What happened here in terms of the illegal registration of births, depriving people of their basic right to identity and also consequential access to all information pertaining to their births, was shocking.

“The Birth Information and Tracing Bill, in my view, will address that. The issue of proper access to birth rights has gone on for decades and I welcome that this legislation will give an unprecedented level of comprehensive access that was long overdue,” said the Taoiseach.

Martin said the children’s minister has led the very important work in respect of illegal birth registrations. He said the Government believed it was appropriate that an apology would be made on behalf of the Government by the minister.

“That said, I have heard what survivor groups and victim groups have said,” the Taoiseach acknowledged.

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