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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019

Education Minister backs Archbishop's call for mother-and-baby homes investigation

Diarmuid Martin has called for a “full-bodied investigation” into all mother-and-baby homes.

Ruairí Quinn (file)
Ruairí Quinn (file)
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has said he broadly supports a call from the Archbishop of Dublin to have a “full-bodied investigation” into all mother-and-baby homes in Ireland.

It follows the recent controversy surrounding the deaths of almost 800 children at one of the homes in Tuam, Co Galway.

Speaking yesterday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said there was “no point” in investigating solely this incident, as “it probably happened in other mother-and-baby homes around the country”.

He went on to call for an investigation that covered all homes.

Minister Quinn said he expected there would be “some form of an enquiry”, adding “the precise nature and structure of that remains to be decided”.

Minister for Children Charlie Flanagan said last week that a number of Government departments are carrying out a review to work out how best to investigate “the many questions raised regarding these deaths”.

It’s expected the process will lead to a statutory enquiry.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Quinn said that the facts on the Tuam case “should be brought together in a very coherent form”.

He also criticised some of the press coverage of the revelations regarding the County Galway home, saying some of the international coverage in particular had given a “very mistaken impression of what actually happened”.

“This has been known about and written about for quite some time,” Quinn said.

He said the suggestion, as has been reported in some outlets, that hundreds of “skeletons” were found at the site in Tuam “simply is not true”.

The deaths are recorded from the 1920s right through until that home closed, but the sensationalism and the manner in which it is reported I think is different to the facts that are known.

“Perhaps those facts should be brought together and presented in a very coherent way,” Quinn said.

Explainer: What is happening with the mass grave of children found in Tuam? 

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