Local Clondalkin County Councillor Francis Timmons speaks about the first few years of his life “I spent the first few years of my life in Madonna House Institution, I refuse to use the word home, a home is where you feel safe and have opportunities to grow. While in Madonna House I was used as part of the Vaccine Trials. I am one of thousands of children survivors who was mistreated in an institution”. He continued “We are told there is 57,000 survivors that are still alive, 57,000 Irish people looking for answers, truth and justice, both children and their mothers of a cruel Ireland that separated unmarried mothers and their children. Many of us were ignored and dismissed as children when no one listened, and no one cared.”
“The plan by the Government to lock up files for 30 years is but another slap in the face for those who seek truth and justice. This legislation could see records of mother and baby institutions (homes) put beyond the reach of survivors for 30 years. This follows on from a previous plan to lock up files of survivors for 75 years, the Retention of Records Bill 2019 proposed to seal records from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, commonly known as the Ryan report, and the Residential Institutions Redress Board in the National Archives for 75 years”.
“Both these do nothing to install faith that the culture of cover up has ended, as yet again Ireland tries to sweep the past under the carpet the truth hidden again. The voice of those who were voiceless yet again silenced. The culture of control and cover up continues as the voice of survivor’s is yet again under discussion in the Dail and Seanad, the real discussion should involve truth telling and a process of healing, truth and justice that would allow survivors who want to tell their story. Many Survivors were abused sexually, physically, and mentally and this had life lasting effects on many. If we are to grow as a country and a true equal community, we need to deal with the past and all the pain and hurt that so many felt and still feel. We were hurt as children, please don’t hurt us again, listen to those who lived through the institutions, we must never forget the mothers who desperately wanted their children and the children who desperately wanted their mothers” Cllr Timmons concluded.