Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins has reportedly claimed some people are “exploiting the situation” with “fake news” in an email to a constituent about the Mother and Baby Home records that are reportedly going to be sealed for 30 years.
“The choice we faced last week was pass the legislation and preserve the database of information, which will be available once further legislation has passed in the coming months, or allow the database be deleted or destroyed forevermore,” he is reported to have said according to the Irish Examiner.
“These are the facts. There is a repulsive online campaign where some very nasty people are exploiting this situation and the vulnerabilities of some,” Collins claimed.
“Please do not let the online trolls and bullies peddle their fake news and lies unchecked,” he added.
The data transfer, which was gathered by a commission established under a 2004 Act, will see 60,000 records sent to Tusla, with Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman retaining the rest of the records.
His copy of the records must be temporarily sealed according to the government, despite the Data Protection Commissioner saying the move is unlawful.
The government has insisted the new law will not seal the archive for 30 years, but that a full report will be published soon after new legislation is passed.
— Niall Collins (@NiallCollinsTD) October 23, 2020
Meanwhile the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore has said the government’s decision to seal archives from the Mother and Baby Home investigation “for 30 years has caused a lot of pain and anguish.”
Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan issued the statement today, saying the “full truth needs to come out” and that “we must not be afraid of the truth.”
“The Commission of Investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes is a very serious matter; the full truth needs to come out. We must not be afraid of the truth. Where wrong has occurred, this must be fully acknowledged,” he said.
“The recent decision to seal the records for 30 years has caused a lot of pain and anguish. I hope that the full truth will emerge from this investigation and due care be given to all the facts so that the past can be acknowledged, and hope given for the future.”
Up to 100 people protested outside Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday to highlight their opposition to the legislation after President Micheal D Higgins signed the Mother and Baby Homes bill into law.
President Higgins said he “listened carefully to the debate and the issues raised”, adding that any citizen can challenge the provisions of the bill in the future.