Northern Ireland news

Jim Shannon calls for 'consultation' of mother and baby home survivors

Jim Shannon said of mother and baby home survivors "there is real hurt and trauma". Picture by Julien Behal, Press Association

DUP MP Jim Shannon has called on the British government to make sure victims and survivors of mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland are consulted about the "real hurt and trauma" they have faced.

The Strangford MP told the House of Commons today: "Given the long lasting impacts mother and baby homes have had on victims and their families and still to this day an incredible sense of injustice, can the minister of state ensure that all investigations, all examinations into the mother and baby homes will have the consultation of survivors of the homes where there is real hurt and trauma? And can the minister clarify that no further action - which is truly critical for closure - should be taken without their full involvement and permission?

Northern Ireland minister Robin Walker replied: "(Mr Shannon) rightly recognises the importance of ensuring victims and survivors are fully involved in any investigative or review processes in order to ensure they get the acknowledgement, support and answers they deserve.

"I also understand the Victims and Survivors Service is continuing to work with victims and survivors to identify support and services they need with a dedicated website and phoneline to enable victims and survivors of the institutions to participate in this co-design process."

Last month survivors of mother and baby homes and Magdalene Laundries in the north were urged to have their say in the design of support and services.

Thousands of pregnant women and girls passed through the homes, while others were sent to laundries and other types of workhouses where Stormont-commissioned academic research found many suffered degrading treatment.

The Stormont Executive agreed to establish an investigation into the institutions while the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) has been commissioned by the Department of Health to identify support and services needed for victims and survivors of the institutions.

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Northern Ireland news