Senator Mullen calls for ‘National Voluntary Collection’ as part of mother and baby home redress

Senator Mullen calls for ‘National Voluntary Collection’ as part of mother and baby home redress Senator Ronan Mullen Photo: John Kelly

Senator Rónán Mullen has proposed a national voluntary collection be organised which would allow individuals and families to contribute to a redress package for pregnant women and children who spent time in mother and baby or county homes.

Speaking in the Seanad this week about the Report, Senator Mullen said Judge Murphy’s report painted “a sad and sobering picture of how women and children were failed by State, and by wider society, including in institutions run by the religious orders, and by the Church in Ireland, which did much to mould, and was itself moulded by, Irish society.”

“We should perhaps consider, as we ponder the case for redress, and how it might be organised and who should contribute, whether it would be appropriate to have some kind of National Voluntary Contribution as part of a redress package to reflect the social and community dimension to this story, along with Church and State contributions. We are all connected with families who are in some way a part of this story,” he said.

In his speech, Senator Mullen questioned whether it’d be possible for people to make peace with the past, “with those who were wronged, with our forebears in our families, with the modern inheritors of State and Church bodies that were involved”.

Achieving such peace would involve reaching a “consensus”, he said, in terms of prioritising the needs of those who were in the homes, a commitment on the parts of the media and the cultural establishment to the truth and “attentiveness” to the way unplanned pregnancies were receieved in the past.

“Some have spoken about the lack of respect for human dignity in death. How can we not reflect on the 6,666 children who died by abortion in 2019? Isn’t this a big part of the State’s cold, detached attitude to unexpected pregnancy?” Senator Mullen asked.