Latest press release from Jennifer Whitmore TD, issued on Friday, October 23rd 2020…
Social Democrats TD for Wicklow and Party Spokesperson for Children, Jennifer Whitmore was speaking after the Dáil vote on the contentious Mother and Baby Homes Bill saying “it was a dark day for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes who have been let down by the State yet again”.
“The Government had many opportunities to amend the legislation including engaging with my amendments to make sure that the documents would not be sealed and that survivors would have their rights to access their personal information protected. The Minister had indicated he was not accepting any of mine, or other opposition amendments before we had an opportunity to debate, and which would have protected the rights of these women.
“I think it was a disgrace that Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Greens used their majority power in Government to silence these women and go against their wishes. Access to your own personal information is a right that each of us enjoy and for the Government to curb those rights of these women who were treated so poorly by the State, is an indictment on each of those parties.
“I want to acknowledge the many survivors resident in Wicklow who have contacted me about this contentious Bill and who have expressed their concerns and anxieties. They have embarked on such a long journey to seek justice for what the State did to them in the past and are being triggered yet again by the way the Government has presented this piece of legislation. This has eroded trust between survivors and the State when it was already at an all time low.
“There was a genuine effort by all members of the opposition to work to provide solutions, as we fully understood the devastating ramifications of sealing survivors personal data for 30 years.
“It is hard to believe that in this day and age we continue to make the same mistakes, continue to try to silence those that the State has treated so badly and continue to brush our past under the carpet” concludes Whitmore.
A petition against this Bill has been started here, and you can write to your Wicklow TD too here.
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