The publication of a report on an independent investigation into mother and baby homes and Magdalene Laundries is a welcome step forward for victims and survivors, the First Minister, deputy First Minister and Health Minister have said.
Paul Givan, Michelle O’Neill and Robin Swann thanked the experts who made up the Truth Recovery Design Panel, and the victims and survivors who informed and helped shape the report by sharing their personal experiences and views.
The Ministers have undertaken to consider the recommendations in full and will discuss the report with the Panel later today. Next steps will be set out by the Executive as soon as possible.
First Minister Paul Givan said:
“Today is an important step forward in the journey towards uncovering the full truth of the experiences of women, infants and children in these institutions.
“This report portrays lives marred by pain, distress and grief.
“I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the expert panel for their ground-breaking work, but most of all I want to thank all of the victims and survivors who came forward to share their moving and powerful testimonies.
“It is time to lift any burden of shame that may have been placed on your shoulders. This rightly lies on the shoulders of the state, church and wider society.
“I welcome the insightful and detailed report provided by the panel in co-design with victims and survivors. The Executive will now carefully consider the detailed recommendations and we will set out the next steps shortly.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said:
“The timely publication of this report represents another step towards victims and survivors getting the truth, recognition and justice they have been denied for far too long.
“The pain and trauma inflicted on the women and girls in these institutions is incomprehensible; yet it is the lived experience of so many. Their babies, taken from their arms and moved without consent across and between jurisdictions. The reality of what happened to them, and their now adult babies, is a matter of utter shame. And the injustice that has been served to them at every turn is reprehensible.
“It is now incumbent on us to make a change. To ensure that victims and survivors are supported; that their voices are heard; and that they get answers.
“I thank the Panel and all those who contributed to this comprehensive report, which we will consider fully in determining the way forward.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said:
“These were truly shameful events that happened and were allowed to happen by state, church and wider society. These women and their now adult children deserve to have their stories told and the Truth Recovery Design Panel was established to help facilitate that. I welcome the publication of the report today and the Executive will now take time to consider the comprehensive recommendations.”
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