Northern Ireland: Victims of baby home scandal demand raids

People in Northern Ireland who were taken away from their birth parents for adoption have urged the Executive to “strike hard” at the organisations that ran mother-and-baby homes.

Meanwhile, Eunam Duffy from the Truth Recovery of Northern Ireland group told MLAs that the institutions in suspicion should be raided, with archives seized and their charity and tax-exempt statuses revoked.


The appeal was received after the Assembly committee held, which surveys the Executive Office heard that churches had to contact the panel which examined the homes about access to records.

Last month it was revealed that panel chair Deirdre Mahon said, “Some voluntary agencies and institutes, mainly Barnardo’s, contacted us.

“They said, ‘Our files are available whenever someone is ready to check’, but we have not heard anything from any other churches.” He further added.

“We respectfully demand a halt to negotiations with all those who are complicit,” Mr Duffy, who was removed from his mother against her will as a newborn and placed for adoption.

He further said. “The time has passed for appealing to the benevolence, better nature, morality and conscience of those who have been determined to drag us into subjection and demoralise us, kicking and screaming for far too long.”

“Seize their property, Without warning, raid their offices and archives.
Remove their tax exemption and charitable status. Bring it down hard.
That activity has outlived its usefulness.”


Mr Duffy was taken away from his mother after she gave birth to him at the Marian Vale mother-and-baby home in Newry. It would be 48 years until he would see her again -and he only found that he was adopted when he applied to get married.

“The information concerning my first year of life has been sitting in a box in a medical records department for 57 years,” Paul McClarey, who was taken from his mother at nine days old and adopted, told the committee.

Can you imagine the sorrow and pain it gives us all? Said another victim.

Repeating panel member Professor Phil Scraton’s quote that “this is the biggest scandal of our time”, Mr McClarey added: “We should work together with passion and more determination to deliver truth and justice.”

The Executive will take some steps to lead to further public enquiry.

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