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Over 400 potential witnesses come forward after mother and baby homes appeal

The commission has been granted an extension to the time frame for the publication of two of the three reports it is preparing.

Katherine Zappone
Katherine Zappone
Image: RollingNews.ie

MORE THAN 400 potential witnesses came forward following a public call-out by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.

As such, the commission has been granted an extension to the time frame for the publication of two of the three reports it is preparing.

The cabinet signed off on the extension today.

The commission said it remains committed to completing its investigations within the three year time-frame provided in the terms of reference. All reports are now due to be completed by February 2018.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said the extension will not delay the government’s response to the commission’s findings.

In a statement, she said: “The extension is to accommodate the large number of witnesses coming forward and to ensure that all new information discovered is accurately recorded to give a full understanding of the social history involved.

The case put forward for the extension was convincing. The commission points out that the number of confidential hearings with witnesses is expected to reach 500, with 150 witnesses already meeting with the confidential committee to date.

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“I accept that the extension will cause disappointment, and I have asked that representative groups are fully informed not just about the decision but the background on which it was made. I will make arrangements to meet representative groups in September,” Zappone said.

The interim report published today focuses exclusively on the request for the extension of time.

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Órla Ryan

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