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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 22 November, 2019
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Tusla given "sensitive, personal" records from three mother-and-baby homes

The information relates to the Tuam home, Bessborough in Cork, and St Patrick’s on the Navan Road in Dublin.

A memorial stone near the Tuam home where it is believed the bodies of children lie.
A memorial stone near the Tuam home where it is believed the bodies of children lie.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE CHILD AND family agency Túsla has been given records for three mother-and-baby homes, it emerged this evening.

The chief executive of Tusla, Gordon Jeyes, told RTÉ News at One that the agency has had nine registers dating from between 1921 – 1961 transferred to it, as well as quarterly returns that date back to 1919.

The information is from homes in Tuam, St Patrick’s on the Navan Road in Dublin, and Bessborough in Cork.

Investigation

He said that there is “no difficulty” in making the records available to the investigation into the homes.

The cross-departmental investigation is expected to be established by the new Minister for Children, Charlie Flanagan.

The private data is to be digitised by Tusla, said Jeyes.

Tusla said that these files “contain sensitive, personal information and are protected under legislation”. However, anyone affected may request to access their own personal information.

Jeyes said:

The Child and Family Agency is currently the custodian of extremely personal data belonging to those who formerly resided in Mother and Baby Homes. Our key priority is to ensure that these confidential records are available, in the first instance, to the individuals whose personal information is contained within. Our staff will willingly assist with and contribute to any State investigations that may arise.

The information contained in the files includes:

  • Admissions and discharges
  • Maternity registers
  • Records of children boarded out or adopted
  • Quarterly statistical returns to local authorities.

Some of these records have already been digitally archived and plans to archive the remaining files are underway, with a view to assisting anyone wishing to trace their own past.

Tusla operates an adoption tracing service in relation to institutions for which the Agency holds record. These institutions are listed on the Tusla website.

Trials

It emerged today that more than 298 children from 10 mother-and-baby homes were subject to experimental vaccine trials between 1960 and 1976.

Yesterday, the Junior Minister for Health Kathleen Lynch told The Sunday Independent that the vaccine trials carried out in mother and baby homes should form part of any forthcoming government inquiry.

Read: Ten mother and baby homes carried out vaccine trials on almost 300 children – report>

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