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Showing posts from March, 2017

EU Rights Commissioner Slams Irish Mother and Baby Homes Inquiry

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The European Human Rights Commissioner, Nils Muznieks has criticized the Irish Government response to historical abuses in Mother and Baby homes. The verdict is a boost for the Irish First Mothers campaign, which has maintained that Ireland is in breach of human rights best practice in all its historical rights abuse inquiries.
His report released Wednesday 29th March from the Council of Europe also calls on the Irish Government to widen the terms of reference of the ongoing official inquiry into Mother and Baby homes and stressed that all groups of victims of past serious human rights abuse have a right to truth, full support and effective remedies, as well as prompt, independent and thorough investigations into allegations of abuses capable of ensuring accountability.

The Commissioner says that the relevant inquiries, lack a human rights based approach and offer inadequate redress to the victims. 

"Given that most of the past institutional abuses concerned amount to serious human …

Irish First Mothers Ceases Co-Operation With Commission

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Irish First Mothers ceases co-operation with commission Irish First Mothers group seeks clarity from State on whether testimony will be sealedMon, Mar 13, 2017, 21:43Updated: Mon, Mar 13, 2017, 21:44 Conor Lally
The site of a mass grave for children who died in the mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA A group representing women coerced during pregnancy has stopped co-operating with the Mothers and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation over concerns about how it is being run. The Irish First Mothers group is seeking clarity from the State on whether testimony given to the commission will be sealed. It is fearful the confidential nature of the commission may mean victim accounts will never be aired publicly. The group is concerned the evidence may be disbarred from ever contributing to criminal inquiries that may follow the recent revelations about the Tuam mother and baby home. Irish First Mothers founder Kathy McMahon said the revelations about Tuam ha…

What's The Difference Between Long Kesh and a Mother And Baby Home?

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By Kathy McMahon - From August, 1981 to December, 1985, the British government interned without trial over 2,000 people in Northern Ireland. The repercussions of that misguided policy have reverberated down the years.
Back then, nobody noticed that during that same four years, thousands of Catholic and Protestant young women were quietly interned without trial in "Homes" -concentration camps where inhuman practices were visited on them. 
All that horror went unremarked. Because, there was an obvious difference between the two sets of internees. Their sex. We were women.

Nobody notices Invisible Women.
We were there to be broken. Innocent girls mostly. Lambs to their slaughter, down the decades. Lambs to their slaughter by having our own new-born babes torn from our arms. 

We queued up in our turn, as our pregnancies developed. We watched them do it to those before us as we waited our own turn. It was a horror. It was a slow genocide. It befitted any concentration camp.
But nobody …

Irish Attorney General Could Bring Genocide Charges Says Senior Counsel

Read Our Letter to Attorney General http://bit.ly/GenocideLetterIrishAG
19th March, 2017 - Irish First Mothers has received senior counsel's advice that our group's March 5th letterto the Irish Attorney General seeking to bring prosecutions under the Irish Genocide Act of 1973 is well founded and an arguable case in law
Below we release four questions we posed relating to women's mass internment without trial in so-called "Mother and Baby Homes" and the answers by our senior counsel:
Question: Is the Irish Attorney General the responsible party for domestic Irish genocide prosecutions?
Senior Counsel: "Yes."
Question: Is our position arguable that "religious group" status within genocide law attaches to us? 
SC: "Yes."
Question: Is genocide law applicable in respect of the mass treatment of Irish unmarried mothers? SC: "You make a case. Like the US Supreme Court did [with privacy law] in Roe v Wade, you are stretching existing genocide…

Memorial Celebrating Mother And Child Bond Unveiled In Victoria

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Front: Brenda Coughlan, Spokesperson for Independent Regional Mothers. Rear: Former Deputy Premier of Victoria, Peter Ryan; Former Premier of Victoria, Ted Ballieu; Hon. Darren Chester, a Commonwealth Minister representing Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In Victoria Park, Sale, Victoria, Australia.
17th March VICTORIA - Leading Victoria lawmakers gathered in Sale, Victoria today to celebrate with mother's rights campaigner Brenda Coughlan, at the Victoria Park unveiling of a statue honoring the special bond between mother and child.
Former Premier of Victoria, Ted Ballieu and Former Deputy Premier of Victoria, Peter Ryan attended as Hon. Darren Chester, a Commonwealth Minister representing Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Ms. Coughlan, a spokesperson for Independent Regional Mothers, jointly unveiled the statue by Andrew Poppleton entitled "Mother and Child – Cherished".
The event follows on from national and state level apologies for adoption prac…

Catherine Corless on the Late Late Show

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First Mothers Rejects Zappone's Transitional Justice Plan

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By Kathy McMahon, Founder of Irish First Mothers  |  5th March, 2017

The Irish First Mothers group rejects Minister Zappone's offer of so-called "transitional justice" to address civil ​ r​ ights abuses, forced adoptions and incarcerations in Mother and Baby Homes. The mothers seek simply the same justice afforded to any other Irish citizen. Minister Zappone has reportedly said that in the coming days she will start a “conversation” with advocates, historians and scholars specialising in transitional justice. The mothers are not deceased, and have no interest in becoming an academic gender justice program, or stuffed objects in a cultural history museum. The over sixty mothers in the group are living, breathing victims of genocidal crimes.  The youngest among them are in their forties. They have sought the Irish Attorney General's consideration in prosecuting these crimes against them under the Irish Genocide Act of 1973. They merely seek justice in accord with existing i…

Mothers Seek Genocide Prosecutions By Irish Attorney General

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By Kathy McMahon, Founder of Irish First Mothers 
5th March, 2017 - Irish First Mothers has today written to the Irish Attorney General seeking to bring prosecutions under the Irish Genocide Act of 1973 in respect of religiously motivated grievous injuries which we suffered. 
We claim the protection of Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the U. N. General Assembly  – and we demand justice under the provisions of Ireland's 1973 enactment of that Convention.
We were subjected to religiously motivated, grossly criminal acts which meet the following criteria described under Section 2 of the Convention:
2(b): Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. 2(e): Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The Attorney General could pursue prosecutions for failure to prevent genocide, for conspiracy, for incitement and for the crime of genocide itself. But we have identified no culpable parties and w…