Group considers taking mother and baby home issue to European court

Irish campaigners meet MEPs in Brussels

Minister for Children James Reilly is expected to announce the terms of reference for the mother and baby home commission in the coming weeks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Minister for Children James Reilly is expected to announce the terms of reference for the mother and baby home commission in the coming weeks. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A delegation of Irish campaigners who are calling for a broader term of reference for the mother and baby home commission have said they may take their campaign to the European Court of Human Rights.

Representatives of the group were speaking following two days of talks in Brussels where they met with MEPs, representatives of the European Commission and a number of non-governmental organisations.

Niall Meehan of the Bethany Home Survivors campaign said the group had had a productive and informative two days, and had received pledges from a number of Irish MEPs that they would bring their case to the Government. “We are not happy with the Irish Government’s proposal. The inter-departmental review fudged whether it would include all institutions. We are calling for the Government to put together a thorough and inclusive inquiry, not an inquiry like the previous ones which excluded certain institutions and people.”

Speaking to The Irish Times at the European Parliament in Brussels, Mr Meehan said the group was considering other avenues that may be open to it, including the European Court of Human Rights, the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations.

In May the Government announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry following revelations about the deaths of almost 800 children at Tuam mother and baby home. The commission of inquiry will be chaired by Ms Justice Yvonne Murphy.

Its terms of reference are expected to be announced in the coming weeks by Minister for Children James Reilly. A number of Fine Gael MEPs, and Independent MEPs Luke Ming Flanagan and Nessa Childers also met the group.