On today’s Cabinet meeting agenda was the need for legislation to safeguard information collected by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission during the course of its work into what happened in places like the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.
The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O’Gorman raised the matter at today’s meeting, and earlier this morning he contacted the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance, a group advocating for survivor’s of the home and family members who had relatives in the Tuam facility alerting the group to his bringing of a Memorandum to the Cabinet table on the matter.
The Commission is due to submit its final report by the 30th October this year and the Minister is moving forward with this legislation to support the Commission in handing over its archive, in complete form, to the Minister and also transfer a specific database which it has developed to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The Commission is expected to publish its final report on schedule.
Earlier this year, the Commission informed the Department that it had created a database of mothers and children who were resident in the Mother and Baby Institutions under investigation. However, due to concerns over the transfer of personal data, the Commission felt it did not have legal grounds to hand over the information (with the report) to the Minister.
In order to safeguard the archive and the preserve the database, Minister O’Gorman has asked for Cabinet approval to introduce a discrete piece of legislation providing the legal basis for this transfer. The legislation only applies to the records of this specific Commission.
Breeda Murphy is the PRO of Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance welcomed today's development as a necessary step, but told Midwest News that she fears the Commision's report is unlikely to be made public until sometime early in the new year.