Breda Murphy of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Alliance has described Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman’s decision to shelve an independent review of testimony given by mother and baby home survivors as a "kick in the teeth" and an "absolute insult".
In June of last year, Minister O’Gorman announced plans to put in place a human rights expert to re-examine written testimony given to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.
A report was due to be published this year.
However, the Irish Examiner reported today that this will now not happen.
The commitment initially came after survivors had raised concerns in relation to how testimony provided to the confidential committee was dealt with.
Instead, the Department of Children has said an initiative will be launched to allow survivors to tell their stories in accounts to be housed at the National Centre for Research and Remembrance on the site of the former Magdalene Laundry in Sean McDermott St in Dublin city centre.
Ms Murphy told RTÉ’s Drivetime that the entire process was "never a person centred, a survivor centred, a trauma centred opportunity".
"They’re devastated but it’s almost like it’s expected," she said.
"Time and again whether they are Mother and Baby Home survivors, Magdalene Laundry survivors or from residential schools they have been treated terribly by the state.
"The purpose of the commission's report in the first instance was to hear the unheard voices.
"They (government) had their own establishment narrative that they wanted to continue with and that is quite obvious when the report itself was leaked to the Sunday Independent on 10 June 2021.
"The minister, on that day, wrote to us, he was so concerned. He was putting in place an investigation, as to the leak. We’re now 18 months on."
Ms Murphy added: "This time the investigation is by an independent human rights expert and so we felt it would get a fair hearing.
"But of course, now this is shelved in favour of survivors again putting their faith in a system that has denied them justice so far.
"It will hold their accounts within a museum or an alternative venue but not within the offices of the government where it should be held," Ms Murphy said, while she also highlighted the fact that this decision has come into the public domain at a time when Dáil Éireann is still in recess.
In a statement on the issue to Drivetime, the Department of Children said that "the minister has been keen to address concerns and having considered the matter believes that a new initiative to support survivors to tell their personal story, so that it can be formally recorded and accepted as part of the official record, provides best opportunity to survivors to respond in a meaningful way".
The statement added: "The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is currently working on proposals for a new process to allow survivors of Mother and Baby and County Home institutions to come forward and tell their personal story, and/or to use their testimony to the Confidential Committee, so that it can be formally recorded and accepted as part of the official record."