The Dáil has been told that the recently published Mother and Baby Home report should be repudiated since it is not valid or accurate.
The Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, and the leader of the Labour party, Alan Kelly, criticised the decision of a member of the commission responsible for the mother and baby home report to discuss it at an Oxford symposium last Wednesday having previously refused to do so before the Oireachtas.
Mr. Kelly said that the fact that the private testimony of hundreds of survivors was disregarded by the commission meant that the report should be set aside and a new commission established. Mr. Kelly described the report as “not fair” and “not fully truthful”. He said it was not acceptable that stories told confidentially by women who had endured such suffering were not taken on board.
Mr. Varadkar criticised the members of the commission for not engaging with mother and baby home survivors or explaining how they came to their conclusions following the publication of the report. He said that the commission’s refusal to discuss its findings with the survivors or the Oireachtas was exacerbated by the decision of one of its members to discuss those findings in an academic seminar. He said that the commission now had no reason not to appear before an Oireachtas committee without delay.
Mr. Kelly welcomed Mr. Varadkar’s comments, saying that they went further than comments previously made by the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. He strongly agreed that the commission’s members should appear before the Oireachtas. He said that the discussion at the Oxford symposium revealed that the report was fundamentally flawed.
Mr. Varadkar replied that if the commission ignored entirely the evidence of the women that was a serious problem that in his view would call into question the report’s validity.
The work of former Irish Examiner journalist Conall Ó Fátharta was highlighted in the Dáil, with Mr. Kelly saying that questions he had asked were not answered.