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UN asked to request that Irish govt sets up independent investigation into Mother and Baby Homes

The Irish Council of Civil Liberties has written a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

THE UN HAS been asked to request that the Irish government sets up an independent investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and illegal adoptions in Ireland in the 20th Century. 

The request was made by the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) in a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on truth, justice and reparations. 

The ICCL said the investigation should be survivor-centred, guided by human right law and standards, comprehensive in its scope and powers and transparent with analysis, archiving and access to the evidence it gathers. 

It also raised concerns over the “real possibility” that the government’s plans will be “insufficient to meet Ireland’s human rights commitments under international law”. 

A consultation process on “an ex-gratia Restorative Recognition Scheme” for survivors of Mother And Baby Homes was launched by Minister Roderic O’Gorman earlier this month.

The scheme was announced after the publication of the Commission’s final report in January. The consultation process will be open until 31 March.

The letter also raises concerns over the Institutional Burials Bill, which is currently passing through the Oireachtas. 

The ICCL said that in its current form, the Bill would “impede an effective investigation into the deaths of those buried at mass grave sites such as Tuam and Bessborough”. 

It raised concerns over plans to carry out further construction work on the site of a “suspected mass grave” at Bessborough. 

The ICCL suggests that the government either amends the Bill so that it’s in line with the UN framework for Transitional Justice, or that it scraps the Bill and amends the Coroners Act to allow for excavations of mass burial sites associated with institutions. 

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The ICCL’s full letter to the UN Special Rapporteur can be read here

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