Revealing mother and baby home records
Sir, – As an adopted person, who got their badly redacted Tusla file, the premise of Margaret Lee’s argument (October 27th) that mother and baby home records should be kept secret is wrong. She argues that the mothers and those who operated these institutions have a higher right to secrecy, than the children they took have to their identity. She is profoundly wrong.
The point that mothers need protection is based on the argument that there is shame to what they were put through, and they must be protected from that shame. But it is 2020 and there is no shame in having a child and there is no shame in being the victim of a state and church who took that child from you.
It is inconceivable that any family finding out their mother, aunt or sister had been through the experience of a mother and baby home would show anything other than love and compassion. Keeping the secret is what causes emotional pain, not the truth.
Similarly, Ms Lee argues secrecy is needed to protect the institutions, and those who ran them, and profited financially, but that is wrong too.
Those people know what they did was wrong, they knew it at that time and know it now. The reason Ms Lee wants secrecy now is because she is afraid the current assets held by those institutions and their legal successors could be at risk.
It is easy to understand the State wanted to rush this legislation through because the treatment of women and children and the poor, is the original sin of the Irish State that stains it to the current day.
The State has no defence against its collusion in facilitating the scale of abuse inflicted on generations of Irish people and like the religious orders, still abuses its power to avoid the truth. It would require politicians of monumental vision to take a stand for transparency on such an issue and well, look around at those we elected to Leinster House, and monumental vision or courage is not something any of them could be accused of.
It is ironic that forgiveness and honesty would be fought against by people who claim religious motives. – Yours, etc,