Mother and baby: survivors’ meeting to discuss next steps in campaign for justice
‘It is a huge relief that the truth is finally emerging. However, we still have a long road ahead of us, this is nowhere near finished’ – Mechelle Dillon
‘We have been overwhelmed with survivors getting in touch to ask how they can make their voices heard in designing this inquiry’ – Patrick Corrigan
Amnesty International and campaign group, Birth Mothers for Justice, are to hold an online public meeting for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries in Northern Ireland to discuss next steps in their campaign for a public inquiry.
The meeting, to be held on Thursday evening, is open to survivors of the institutions and close family members. It follows the publication of a shocking report into abuses in the ‘homes’ and a commitment by Executive Ministers to establishing an independent investigation to be co-designed by survivors.
Mechelle Dillon, secretary of Birth Mothers for Justice, said:
“We are delighted that we've got this far, and that the report has finally come out. It is a huge relief that the truth is finally emerging. However, we still have a long road ahead of us, this is nowhere near finished.
“We need an independent investigation, accountability for what was done, for Church and State to take full responsibility, and other next steps including apologies, redress and prosecutions where appropriate.”
Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland programme director of Amnesty International, said:
“The commitment from the Executive to an inquiry or investigation, to be co-designed by survivors, is hugely important.
“We have been overwhelmed with survivors getting in touch to ask how they can make their voices heard in designing this inquiry.
“This meeting will focus on the main findings of the research report, the many questions which are left unanswered and how survivors can work together to shape a public inquiry or other independent investigation capable of uncovering the truth and delivering a measure of justice.
“It is important to learn the lessons from other inquiries such as those into historical institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland, and the recent Commission of Investigation in the Republic, in order to design an investigation model which properly serves the needs of survivors.
“After a lifetime of being ignored, it’s now time for the women and girls forced into the homes, and the children born there, to be heard.”
Survivors can register for the meeting, which will be held online at 7pm on Thursday 28 January.