Lack of documentation on ‘The Castle’ delays major investigation


The Minister for Children has apologised to survivors of mother and baby homes after another delay in the work of a commission of investigation examining the experiences of the institutions’ former residents.
The commission had been due to report next month however the Government has granted a one year extension.
According to the Irish times, one of the key stumbling blocks is said to be a lack of HSE documentation on some institutions, with one such case highlighted in Donegal.
In its fourth interim report, the commission said the delay was partly due to the late arrival of documents from the Department of Health.
It also criticised the HSE for the lack of documentation it holds in relation to institutions under its remit.
It said the inability of the HSE to “provide relevant material” may be due to changes in health service structures over the years. “However, it is difficult to understand how relatively recent documentation is not available,” the commission said.
For example, it said the HSE held no documentation about its involvement in the Castle in Newtown Cunningham which opened in 1984 and closed as recently as 2006.
The commission said a further interim report in March will offer more deatils as to what happened in terms of burials at various institutions.
Minster Zappone said she was “deeply sorry” about the delayed report.


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