A Little Lifetime Foundation, formerly the Irish Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Society (1983) would like to publicly state how appalled we are at the atrocities that happened in Mother and Baby Homes, Orphanages and Industrial Homes as highlighted on Prime Time Investigates.
Our phone lines were jammed last night with mothers and their adult sons and daughters who were deeply distressed, traumatised and saddened by what they had seen and heard in relation to their past. As if they had not been through enough by ever being in these homes in the first place; treated by families, State, Church and society as outcasts. They were made to feel shame and blame but now it seems that should be directed elsewhere.
During last nights programme a statement from The Royal College of Surgeons suggested that the children were unclaimed and therefore suggested their right of claim. Given that the mothers of these children were unaware that their children were being used for these purposes or given the opportunity to give consent, this is an absurd and most offensive statement and one we suggest merits an apology.
We raised these sinister practices back in 1999/2000 and included questions about clinical trials and the origin of babies who became anatomical subjects in our submissions to the Anne Dunne Inquiry, a letter to the Royal College of Surgeons (March 2000), submission to the Madden Report and Working Group, written questions following the Carter and Willis Reports to HSE and Minister for Health. Our questions were never answered by any of the above.
Listening to those who called our lines last night we would feel they raised very serious issues that requires them to have access to their files and medical records. It is their absolute right to have access and put right some wrongs of this awful scandal.
We now formally call on the Taoiseach and Minister for Health to instruct the HSE, Royal College of Surgeons/Universities and those religious orderes concerned to immediately make available ALL files in relation to Mothers and Baby Homes, Orphanages and Industrial Homes to mothers and children who resided in them. This in our opinion should be done with the utmost sensitivity and understanding.
These mothers and their sons and daughters should be given a public apology for the hurt and abuse to them while in the care of the State. These mothers and their sons and daughters should be thanked for the role that they have played in medical sciences/developments and achievements in Ireland/the World. We all owe them our thanks and gratitude.