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Government to investigate leaking of details of Mother and Baby Homes report

The State’s most senior civil servant is to head up an inquiry into the leaking of Government information.
Jan 12th 2021, 7:12 PM 13,143 38

CABINET AGREED TODAY that the Secretary General in the Department of An Taoiseach Martin Fraser will be asked to examine leaking of details from the long-awaited final report on the Mother and Baby Homes.

Fraser will also been asked to examine the broader issue of unauthorised dissemination of documentation and other information related to the work of Cabinet sub-committees and the Cabinet, according to a government spokesperson.

The Sunday Independent reported details about 9,000 children dying in the 18 institutions investigated.

The newspaper, which directly quoted the Taoiseach in the article on the report, also revealed that Micheál Martin would be apologising on behalf of the State and “wider society” to the Dáil on Wednesday.

The Taoiseach was directly asked today whether his department leaked elements of the report.

“No, it didn’t,” he replied.

He was also asked why he didn’t flag with other government colleagues and survivors that details of the report would be published over the weekend by a newspaper.

Martin said he was asked about a State apology, adding that he was commenting on that issue. He said he told Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman that he had given quotes to the newspaper on the planned State apology.

“I don’t think the report itself was leaked, elements of the report certainly were in the article, subsequently. But certainly I wasn’t aware that the report itself had been leaked,” said the Taoiseach. 

O’Gorman said as the Taoiseacch is the person making the State apology “it was appropriate for him to clarify that fact”.

“I wrote to survivors and I expressed my anger as to why this happened. And I made it clear that I wanted an investigation to take place,” he said today.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said this week that it was “very disrespectful” that details from the report were leaked prior to the publication of the report.

Speaking to Today FM, Varadkar said he “absolutely” supports an investigation into who leaked the information.

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“There are people who are survivors of mother and baby homes, they’re waiting five years for for this for this report, and I think it was very disrespectful the fact that elements of it were leaked and appeared in a Sunday paper.”

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Christina Finn


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