People Before Profit cllr Adrienne Wallace has tabled a notice of motion at this month’s Carlow MD meeting calling for criminal investigations to be launched into Mother and Baby Homes following the commissions report. The motion also calls for any resources currently in the hands of religious orders implicit in the running of these homes to be seized and ringfenced as compensation to victims.
Speaking to the motion cllr Wallace said “I submitted this motion on behalf of survivors of church and state abuse following a public meeting I held with them last month. Hearing first-hand about the abuse and cruelty people suffered in these institutes was extremely hard-hitting. It beggar’s belief that there has been no accountability or criminal investigations into what happened there.”
Cllr Wallace added “If a body was found in a car park, in a house or anywhere, criminal proceedings would be initiated and a culprit sought. Sites of the Mother & Baby homes are not just burial grounds, they are crime scenes holding the secrets of mass murders. How is it that the people running these institutes can commit crimes and no investigation is launched? Many of the religious orders involved, like the Bon Secours, are still operating private hospitals and overturning vast profits. These resources should be seized, just like CAB would seize the resources of any other criminal ring, and ringfenced as compensation for victims.”
Ray Noctor, a survivor of St. Joseph’s Industrial school and advocate for survivors of church and state abuse added “Carlow council should join Human rights charity Amnesty International and the many others who are calling for criminal prosecutions in light of the report’s publication. We also need to see the gagging orders imposed on victims in receipt of previous redress schemes overturned. Victims have a right to be heard. I even question the legality of these gagging orders, particularly when it is so damaging to victims today who want to heal from the past but can’t speak out.”