The Minister for Children had a series of meetings with survivors from the mother and baby home in Tuam yesterday and said the Government will consider proposals for a redress scheme for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes “in the coming weeks”.
Roderic O'Gorman also said legislation to allow for the exhumation of infant remains at these former institutions will be brought before the Oireachtas "during this term".
Mr O’Gorman visited the burial site in Tuam, where he met local historian, Catherine Corless. Her research identified the 796 children who died at the home over forty years. Mrs Corless stressed the importance of giving proper burials to the children interred there.
She said it was a "shivering thought’ that the infant remains were still in the underground chambers, years after their presence there was confirmed.
She hoped there would be some progress in passing legislation to allow for the exhumation and analysis of the remains.
Breeda Murphy, PRO of the The Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance told Midwest News that they also discussed Glaxo and the 43,000 children whose conditions may have impacted as a result of vaccinations, without adequate oversight or consent from parents or adopted families.
PJ Haverty, who was born in the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, told the Minister it was a disgrace that it was taking so long to exhume the remains at the site.
The Minister said he wanted to be able to get legislation in place to progress matters, "as soon as possible".
He said he hoped the Institutional Burials Bill would be brought before the Oireachtas during this term.
Mr O'Gorman said he understood the frustration of survivors but that complex issues were being teased out, to ensure legislation could be passed.
On the issue of redress, he said that a Departmental group would soon report on proposals, which he would be bringing to Government "in the next number of weeks".
The Information and Tracing Bill is also expected to come before the Oireachtas this term.