KRW PR Tuam Burial Legislation
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) is instructed by Anna Corrigan. Anna’s mother was a resident of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Anna Corrigan’s brother, William Joseph Dolan, was reported as a missing person to the Gardai by their sister in 2013 and John Desmond Dolan was reported as having died of neglect and malnutrition in 2014. Her Aunt Molly died at 13 years of age in the Industrial Home in Loughrea County Galway. Her body has never been located.
Anna Corrigan has campaigned for truth, justice, and accountability regarding the fate of her brothers and her aunt. She continues to demand information regarding her brothers and her aunt following years of trying to engage with the Coronial Service, the Attorney-General, the Garda and regional councils.
Last month the Irish government announced a further ‘initiative’ in its response to the Mother and Baby Home, Magdalene Laundries, and Factory-Industrial Schools revelations:
“The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, approved a proposal to establish an independent Office to lead an intervention at the site of the former Mother and Baby Institution in Tuam, County Galway. The intervention will involve the excavation, recovery, analysis, identification (if possible) and re-interment of the children’s remains located at the site. The proposal to establish the Office of Director of Authorised Intervention, Tuam, follows on from the signing into law of the Institutional Burials Act 2022 earlier last month.”[i]
Whilst this development is welcome in part by relatives of victims and survivors of Tuam and other institutions, Anna Corrigan maintains that the proposal does not go far enough and there remain initiatives that must be implemented. By focussing on Tuam she fears the Irish government will ignore other institutions.
These include a police investigation into the disappearance and disposal of the bodies of babies and young children at the Tuam Burial site; inquests into the deaths of those interned at the Tuam Burial site; disclosure of all material in possession of all state agencies (central and local government) and clerical institutions. Finally, Anna Corrigan wants an investigation into culpability, liability, and collusion within and between all state agencies and clerical institutions.
These demands reflect the concerns of the UN Committee on Human Rights published in its report on 27 July:
“11. While welcoming the State party’s efforts to address and memorialize the past human rights violations and institutional abuse of women and children in the Magdalene laundries, children’s institutions, and mother and baby homes, as well the State party’s recognition of its shortcomings in previous actions, the Committee recalls its previous concerns on the climate of impunity and is concerned by: (a) the exclusion of human rights and equality principles from the Terms of Reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, and the alleged failure of the Commission to thoroughly and effectively investigate all allegations of abuse, mistreatment or neglect, taking into account the experience of all survivors; (b) the limited number of investigations carried out by An Garda Síochána and the lack of prosecutions for the violations in these institutions; (c) the failure to provide full and effective remedies to victims by including, inter alia, the obligation of victims, in order to receive compensation, to sign a waiver against further legal recourse against state and non-state actors through judicial process.”[ii]
Anna Corrigan intends to continue to campaign for her right to truth about the loss of her brothers until the extent of impunity is exposed.
Kevin Winters, Senior Partner and Solicitor, KRW said:
“Whilst the implementation of legislative development is welcome it does not go far enough. Our client, and we are aware of many others, continues to campaign for truth, justice and accountability in the matter of the death and disappearance of her brothers at Tuam and her aunt at Loughrea. The United Nations Human Rights Committee is clear that the Irish government must do more to counter and expose the culture of impunity and collusion between state agencies and clerical institutions which lead to this national scandal and disaster”