Alliance Party Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the endorsement by the Assembly of her amendments to the Preservation of Documents (Historical Institutions) Bill.
The changes will help ensure documents relating to the 27 bodies of babies bequeathed to Queen’s University for medical research from mother and baby homes and other institutions will be protected.
“I am pleased the Assembly has supported my two amendments,” said the South Belfast MLA.
“These babies deserve to have their voice heard through any records held by Queen’s University or any other organisation who may have taken into their possession babies’ bodies.
“It is concerning many of the bodies donated in the Republic had a note attached reading ‘not to be interned’ and those donated to QUB may well have arrived with a similar direction. The documents need to be preserved so their journeys can be accounted for. I am further concerned the number of bodies is based on the mortuary technician’s log and are not an official university record, and if these are not properly preserved and safeguarded then this information could become lost.
“We know mortality rates were exceptionally high in mother and baby homes, and I would hope the documents held would help to tell the story of how and why these babies died prematurely when the public inquiry is established.
“It is disgraceful this was not done with the mother’s consent and I hope my amendments will go some way toward the truth recovery process when the time comes.”