Gardaí appeal for Mother and Baby Home abuse victims to report crimes

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Galway Daily news Grant scheme for commemorations by Mother and Baby Homes survivors

Gardaí have today appealed for anyone who was the victim of a crime relating to pregnancy or abuse at a Mother and Baby Home to come forward and contact them.

Gardaí have set up a dedicated line today for people who were the victims of a criminal act arising from a Mother and Baby Home, or have information regarding the same, to contact them.

People who wish to report a crime can contact the dedicated email address – MotherandBabyHomes@garda.ie, along with a confidential freephone number – 1800 555 222.

A statement issued today said “An Garda Síochána is fully aware of the profound impact on the lives of those who were in Mother and Baby Homes and the concerns of the wider public on how Mother and Baby Homes operated.”

“An Garda Síochána is inviting anyone who was the victim of a criminal act arising out of the Mother and Baby Homes, or who has information likely to assist an investigation into a criminal act committed at a Mother and Baby Home, to please come forward and report this.”

“An Garda Síochána will deal with any matters reported by complainants in a sensitive manner and will, where possible, progress matters through investigation.”

This appeal has been made after the Gardaí have been reviewing the report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission to determine if a criminal investigation could be commenced based on it alone.

Having conducted this review, there is “insufficient detail” in the report to start a criminal investigation according to Gardaí, as the report is anonymised, and a proper investigation would require the identification of affected individuals.

“As such, An Garda Síochána is appealing to anyone with information about crimes at Mother and Baby Homes to make contact with them so that such crimes can be investigated where possible.”

However, alongside this appeal for people to come forward, Gardaí have also said that while they hope to “effectively deal with all complaints and information received”, investigations could be affected due to the length of time passed resulting in the loss of evidence, or suspects and/or witnesses passing away.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is also due to address the Mother and Baby Homes Commission Report at a public meeting of the Policing Authority later today.