Call for ‘full-scale" Northern Inquiry Following Republic's Mother and Baby Homes Report
By Suzanne McGonagle
The Irish News
January 13, 2021
|Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International|
AMNESTY International last night called for a “fullscale inquiry into the appalling tragic scandal of mother and baby homes” in Northern Ireland.
Women forced to give birth in the homes and the children born in the institutions have joined with the charity in calling for a public inquiry into abuses they say they suffered.
Amnesty said there were more than a dozen mother and baby home-type institutions in the north, with the last one closing its doors as recently as the 1990s.
Some 7,500 women and girls gave birth in the homes, which were operated by both Catholic and Protestant churches and religious organisations.
In 2017 the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry published its findings after it investigated historical allegations of child abuse at 22 residential institutions run by religious, charitable and state organisations across Northern Ireland in a 73-year period.
It called for compensation payments to be made to victims and survivors.
Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said Northern Ireland “must now follow the Republic of Ireland and instigate a fullscale inquiry”.
“These distressing findings echo the serious concerns we have long held about how women and babies were treated in near-identical institutions in Northern Ireland,” he said.
“In 2013 Amnesty submitted a paper to the executive making the case for a public inquiry into abuses in these homes.
“The executive must deliver a human rights compliant investigation into the allegations of systemic human rights abuses at these institutions, and give an apology and redress to those who suffered irreparable damage to their lives.”