State fails to understand need for openness and transparency

Last week’s controversy over the Mother and Baby Homes files shows that Ireland needs to regard sealing records as a last resort, not as the norm

25th October, 2020
State fails to understand need for openness and transparency
The Mother and Baby Homes scandal was rooted in a fundamental disregard for the value of women’s lives, but last week’s vote was more to do with transparency and openness in Irish society

The decision to seal the records of the investigation into the Mother and Baby Homes met with predictable outrage last week. It is yet another example of this state’s poor grasp on the need for transparency.

Mother and Baby Homes existed in Ireland since the foundation of the state until the last one closed in 1998. The institutions housed women and girls who were pregnant and unmarried.

In 2015, the then government established the...

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